'Sadness' of Doncaster park's international volunteer group after founders quit amid council row

An international group of supporters of a Doncaster park have expressed their 'sadness’ after the leaders of its volunteer group quit amid an ongoing battle with Doncaster Council.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 2:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 1:14 pm

Sandra and Don Crabtree, who set up the Friends of Sandall Park volunteer group 15 years ago, both stepped down from their roles last week – citing Doncaster Council’s lack of plans and investment for the park as their reason for quitting.

The pair, who have spearheaded a number of major improvements for the park, fear that the group could now fold and that the visitor attraction could fall into disuse again unless councillors get behind plans for a new restaurant which they say will transform the area’s fortunes.

Doncaster Council has so far refused to comment on the pair’s decision to stand down.

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Volunteers fear for the future of Sandall Park in Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley

But a group of the park’s supporters based across the globe have now spoken of their ‘sadness’ over the situation.

Noelle Finn, who lives in the USA and is a member of the International Friends of Sandall Park group said: “We were saddened to hear that Sandra and Don had resigned from their positions at FoSP.

“We stand behind them in their decision due to the unfortunate, continued delays in the final 'go ahead' approval from council for the new cafe.

“We sit with a heavy heart wondering what the future will hold for the park that has been so beautifully cared for and improved out of the love and dedication of its volunteers.

“If the FoSP group is dissolved, where does that leave one of Doncaster's largest all inclusive parks?

“Who will put all the love and care into maintaining and preserving the fifteen years the volunteers put into the park? We hope there is a positive outcome for the future of FoSP and the community.”

The group was formed on Twitter by fans of Doncaster pop star Louis Tomlinson and has members in the US, Netherlands and Australia.

They have paid for a number of cherry blossom trees in the park and several members have been to visit Sandall Park.