Emma Woolf – Chair
For some daft reason I’ve been involved in the Friends of Cotteridge Park since it was set up in 1997 – oh I know it’s because I really love living next to such a fantastic space and being part of such a wonderful community.I started using the park a lot when my children were born and a screaming child is always less stressful outdoors. As the children grew up and preferred not to be seen with their mother I found other excuses for being in the park – weaving the wigloo, helping with school groups, weeding – anything rather than working. I now volunteer 2 days a week in the park and help other Friends groups in Birmingham & beyond make their parks (almost) as good as ours.
Cathal Lynch – Trustee
I am a relative newcomer to the park but have already enjoyed many happy hours there. Getting involved as a trustee is my small contribution to ensuring these opportunities continue to happen and hopefully get more frequent and more ambitious in scale. The friends group has been very welcoming and I urge everyone to think about volunteering to do something no matter how small.
Andy Stowe – Vice Chair
I have lived in SW Bham most of my life and next to Cotteridge Park since 2003; the park was a major component of the decision to live here. Having volunteered since then I have seen the fantastic work that FOCP do at first hand, and this was my motivation for becoming a trustee in 2013. I am keen to promote use of open spaces just for fun, and for physical activity and sport, and am always open to innovative ideas to promote this. In my day job as a Cycling Officer I am lucky to visit many of the open spaces around Birmingham…and can confirm that Cotteridge Park is indeed ’the best little park in Birmingham.’!
Declan Vaughn – Trustee
A recent convert to the experience and aspirations of the Friends I became a trustee just a couple of years ago. Although working through the site manual and stewards briefing each year in preparation for the great CocoMAD festival feels like an extension of the things I do in my day job I am proud and excited to be part of a community initiative that has had such a profound impact on our urban space and the local people who use the park.
Peter Plisner – Trustee
Like many, I was outraged when, back in 1997, the council wanted to ‘naturalize’ our park. But a well run campaign put an end to, what many saw as, a closure by stealth. After that I watched and got involved in many events that have helped make Cotteridge Park a real community asset. I use the park as a parent and also as a dog owner. It’s a great space which must be preserved and I’m delighted that as a trustee I’m playing a role in doing that. When I’m not in the park I’m either at home, enjoying time with my family or at work where I’m a journalist with the BBC.
Esther Reeves – Trustee
I have lived in Birmingham since 1997, but after having children, we wanted to move somewhere with a nice park and a good community. A friend brought me to CoCoMAD and I knew this was where I wanted to be. Having Cotteridge Park on our doorstep has been a fantastic experience for both us and our children. It has provided us with the perfect diversion when they have started squabbling at home, and, as they have got older, they have been able to make friends and play in a safe and local environment. As my family have got slightly older, I now have the time to become a trustee, and become more involved in a welcoming and friendly community.
Carola Lange – Treasurer
I discovered Cotteridge Park in 2001 when I moved to Franklin Road with my partner Ian. I attended my first ‘Friends’ meeting shortly after moving and I was immediately inspired by the story of how a small group of people were able to make such a big difference. I have volunteered in some capacity ever since, whether it’s weeding or canvassing for sponsorship. Some years a little less, some years more. One of my first volunteer days was a Sunday morning weeding the little trees that were the beginnings of our millennium wood. I can’t deny my German roots and we Germans like our trees and woodlands! Of course, this is just one of the many small and big projects in the park and I have loved being able to witness the many changes and look forward to seeing the outcomes of some of the new projects that are in the pipeline.
Laura Brooks – Trustee
When we were looking for our first home, we took a wintery walk around Cotteridge Park on New Year’s Day 2010. Less than five months later we had purchased a home on Midland Rd, and just over a year later we were staggering round the park while I suffered through the early stages of labour. I still live in the area 6 years on, with my husband, and two young children who tend to sob if we pass the park and don’t visit. It was during my second maternity leave that I found time to get more involved with the park, including lots of social media and becoming a Trustee in May 2016. I trained as a journalist but now work locally, at Mondelēz International (aka Cadbury) and my daughter is at Cotteridge Primary School. In fact, I rarely leave B30 so having a thriving, vibrant community is incredibly important to me.
Louise Cross – Secretary
I’m a big believer in community. Being a trustee for Cotteridge Park gives me the opportunity to be part of a group that creates a community spirit for all. I get to meet and learn from new and different people and, by delivering initiatives, connect people with one another and ensure that the space and services we have at our finger tips is utilised. I am lucky that I get to do all of these things in the beautiful and unique surroundings of our park.