The residents of the Clooney estate in Londonderry’s Waterside have paid tribute to a former community worker who did much of the groundwork in progressing the proposed new £250k play park in Lapwing Way, which should be finally in place next March.
Adele Dunn left her job at the Clooney Estate Residents Association to take up a new post at the Public Health Agency (PHA) at the start of last month although she is still involved in the community group in a voluntary capacity.
Now the committee of the association have paid tribute to their former project manager for her pioneering work on the £250k play park project.
The committee also praised current Chairman Alan Adair who has also been closely involved in the project over the past few years.
Last week the Sentinel reported how current incumbent at the community group, Geraldine Harkin, felt the new play park - which may be completed by March 2013 - would be a terrific boost for the young people of the area.
Mrs Harkin said: “It’s definitely something the area needs. At the moment the only option is for children to travel down to the park in Bonds Street but parents would prefer to have a park in the area.”
Now the residents committee has heaped praise on Mrs Dunne - their former Project Manager - who worked in the estate for six years before moving on to a new post with the PHA at the start of October.
In a statement of thanks the committee explained: “Adele did all the ground work for the play park and worked really hard over the past four years to get the funding required.
“She also won Woman of the Year whilst in post having been nominated by residents. Adele has now been elected as Treasurer on our Committee and is eager to keep giving back to the community that she became such a big part of.
“She will continue to work in a voluntary capacity with us and will oversee the rest of the work on the play park.”
The group also thanked Mr Adair stating: “Alan Adair has been the Chairperson of our organisation for a number of years. He has given up a substantial amount of his spare time in a voluntary capacity to contribute to the work that we do.
“He worked alongside Adele to secure the funding for a play park in the area and on all of our other programmes. Alan is currently employed by the Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) as a Community Safety Warden.
“The committee feel that Adele and Alan should both be congratulated on their success and would like to thank them for everything that they have done to bring this facility to our area.”
Plans for the exciting new development in Lapwing Way were first revealed by the Sentinel two years ago when community leaders hoped the facility would be finished by 2012.
The area will be utterly transformed with proposals for a tree-lined amenity with playground, water/art feature and pergola, feature railing, seating, wet pour play surface for young children, swings, a slide, a balancing beam, reflective steel domes, a play dish spinner, a stroking stone animal and a roundabout featuring a little Big Ben.
Mrs Harkin last week welcomed Derry City Council’s target completion date of March 2013 for the proposed £250k play park that received 100 per cent approval from residents of the estate when it was first mooted back in 2010.
Speaking to the Sentinel, Mrs Harkin said: “It’s definitely something the area needs. At the moment the only option is for children to travel down to the park in Bonds Street but parents would prefer to have a park in the area.”
“It will be brilliant to have it within the estate because at the moment even the space we have in the community centre is limited.”
A survey carried out two years ago found that one hundred per cent of residents asked if the plans met their expectations said “yes.”
Nobody wanted the plans changed and residents thought the development good for children from the area to play on and said that it should be developed as soon as possible. It looks like they are about to get their wish with a new completion date of March 2013.
The proviso was offered, however, that the new park should be patrolled often and locked at night to prevent anti-social behaviour and one resident said they “would like to see somewhere for the younger boys to play football as the pitch is no good because of dog fouling and people with motorbikes