Nominate someone you know for a Lewisham Council Make a Difference award

News Shopper: Kylie Barnes, of the Friends of Blythe Hill Fields Kylie Barnes, of the Friends of Blythe Hill Fields

WHO do you know who’s making a difference to Lewisham? Lewisham Council and the Volunteer Centre Lewisham are looking for volunteers from all walks of life to be nominated for a Make a Difference award.

News Shopper: Lewisham Council’s Make a Difference awards Kylie Barnes from Blythe Hill has been secretary of the Friends of Blythe Hill Fields since 2003.

She said: “My house backs on to Blythe Hill Fields, which is a beautiful area of open land with spectacular views over London. Seven years ago it was in a sorry state and not many people used it.

“When I heard about the Blythe Hill Fields User Group, I joined immediately. There’s a core group of around ten of us and we meet every couple of months.

"We carried out two feasibility studies early on to find out what local people thought of the park and what improvements they wanted to see. These included better facilities for children, lighting, seating, and more trees and shrubs.

“Over the years we’ve been working to find ways to carry out these improvements. We managed to get funding through the Playbuilder scheme to improve the playground, we’ve held planting days, and we’ve now got bird boxes and bat boxes in the trees. We’ve also had 100 new trees planted, funded by the Crofton Park Local Assembly.

“In 2006 we held our first Fun Day to encourage people to come to the park and we’ve held one every year since, with stalls, food, music, bouncy castles and even a donkey or two. It’s very rewarding – the playground looks so much better, and there’s been a tenfold increase in people using it.”

Nomination forms for the Make a Difference awards are available from libraries and leisure centres across the borough, or online at lewisham.gov.uk/makeadifference.

The deadline for nominations is 5pm Tuesday 3 May. An independent panel of judges will then go through the nominations and the winners will be announced at a ceremony on 7 June.

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