Future of Doncaster park volunteer group thrown into doubt as founders stand down

The future of a group set up to care for a popular Doncaster park has been thrown into doubt after three of the organisation’s founders and key members stood down.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 7:57 am
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 5:28 pm

Friends of Sandall Park chairman Sandra Crabtree and her husband Don, who have been at the forefront of transforming the park’s fortunes since forming the group 15 years ago, have stood down from their roles, along with vice chairman Wendy Barclay.

The trio announced their departures at a meeting last night – and the group could now be forced to fold.

In a post on the group’s Facebook page, Sandra wrote: “Just to keep everyone informed as to what is happening with Friends of Sandall Park – I have resigned as chairman and resigned from the group, as has my ‘bag carrier’ as he calls himself, otherwise known comms manager and crime reduction advisor Don.

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Wendy Barclay, her son Marshall and Sandra and Don Crabtree in Sandall Park.

“It was an emotional AGM with much discussion as to how the group should progress.

“It was decided to ‘hibernate’ the group until the February meeting and make a decision then as to whether the group should continue or fold.

“We have had 15 fabulous years working with a great team of volunteers and great teams of DMBC staff at a local level.

“At this stage, it is unlikely that the free Easter Eggstravangza - a major event that attracts thousands and is firmly on the Easter calendar, will go ahead.

“We will be making a decision in February as to whether the group and charity continues or folds.

“We thank you all for the support you have given us over the last 15 years. We couldn't have achieved what we have without you.”

Trustee Wendy Barclay, who is moving from the area, has also stood down.

The group was set up in 2003 to help revitalise the park following several decades of decline which had seen the area become rundown and a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

However, the pair, along with a team of volunteers have helped introduce new play areas, environmental initatives, flower planting and a number of successful events to restore Sandall Park as a popular and award winning visitor attraction.