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Jubilee Friends Group formed in Ipswich to turn around negative perceptions of area

PUBLISHED: 16:05 12 September 2017

The Jubilee Friends Group organised a community stalls event featuring crafts, face painting and entertainment. Picture: COLIN KREIDEWOLF

The Jubilee Friends Group organised a community stalls event featuring crafts, face painting and entertainment. Picture: COLIN KREIDEWOLF

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A friends group has been formed for Jubilee Park to help bring the community together and tackle negative perceptions around the area.

The Jubilee Friends Group organised a community stalls event featuring crafts, face painting and entertainment. Picture: COLIN KREIDEWOLFThe Jubilee Friends Group organised a community stalls event featuring crafts, face painting and entertainment. Picture: COLIN KREIDEWOLF

The Jubilee Friends Group’s formation was encouraged by Ipswich borough councillors for the area Colin Kreidewolf and Carole Jones, who began meeting with residents in the area around six months ago.

The aim was to find out from residents what some of the issues were and what they would like to see more of, as well as providing an opportunity for residents to come together and speak to each other.

With meetings having continued since then, a formal Jubilee Friends Group has now been established with the interests of the community and the neighbourhood at the forefront of its activities.

Councillor Colin Kreidewolf said: “Jubilee Park is a challenging area, and what we have tried to do is get residents together for community cohesion and start from the ground up.

The Jubilee Friends Group organised a community stalls event featuring crafts, face painting and entertainment. Picture: COLIN KREIDEWOLFThe Jubilee Friends Group organised a community stalls event featuring crafts, face painting and entertainment. Picture: COLIN KREIDEWOLF

“The council has got a strategy and we want residents’ input on what to do with Jubilee Park itself, and we have had a multitude of different views.”

Mr Kreidewolf said anti-social behaviour and crime in the area meant people had a negative view of the park.

He added: “There are a lot of good people and we want to support them in putting a positive image back into the park instead of it being a negative area,”

So far the group has organised a street-stall style fair at Westgate Ward Social Club with face painting and local crafts, while a reggae choir has been established.

Elsewhere, fundraising plans are afoot to help repair damaged equipment in the play area, a coffee morning is being planned for older residents and a petition has been started to keep street lighting on in the area.

“We managed to get a six month trial period for street lights to be kept on overnight which we have had for the last three months,” Mr Kreidewolf said.

“It’s an improved perception of safety so members of the group have been going around and trying to get community support for what’s going on.”

The group is hopeful it can have the same success as other friends groups in Ipswich such as those for Christchurch Park and Holywells Park which organise events, fundraise and drive improvements.

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