A great local and cheap day out with the kids! Stanford-le-Hope, Essex

Hardie Park is a wonderful local park with an abundance of space and newly installed play equipment. Situated at the end of Hardie Road, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex. SS17 0PB with parking for approximately More »


Are you good with people? We are recruiting a Volunteer Co-ordinator

volunteeringAs we move into the next stage of our projects in and around the park, we need someone dedicated to recruiting and supporting our volunteers.


Please read our  Volunteer Coordinator Job Description and Person Specification to see if you have the necessary skills and characteristics.

It’s a very simple application process, simply fill in the contact form below and we’ll get in touch, ask you a few questions and arrange a very informal interview.

Please note this is an unpaid voluntary position.

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A great local and cheap day out with the kids! Stanford-le-Hope, Essex

family-on-tango-swingHardie Park is a wonderful local park with an abundance of space and newly installed play equipment.

Situated at the end of Hardie Road, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex. SS17 0PB with parking for approximately 20 cars (plus unrestricted on-street parking within 100 yards) – Hardie Park offers your family a real treat with the provision of toilets and a Cafe that sells a small range of food, Italian coffee, drinks and ice-creams (including Rossi).

You can sit on our decking and watch your children play in safety and peace.

Our volunteer staff are friendly, polite and welcoming and there to provide assistance and local knowledge.

So if you are looking for a reasonable priced day out, in a place that’s a little different, then visit Hardie Park today!


Latest aerial photos of the new Skatepark

skatepark-aerial1The latest aerial photos of the new skatepark, 5 weeks into the building phase, have arrived from our friend, Dave Edgley of Smartline Electrical and they certainly do it justice!

The expcted completion date is Late May/Early June, what will you be doing this summer?!


Excitement – you can taste it! (and smell it)


Me – in the wee hours

For the third time in as many nights I am up in the small hours of the morning, working on some of the practicalities of running a Cafe in the park…Do you know what woke me up this time? The smell of fresh coffee! I’m not kidding, I must have been dreaming of making our customers a latte or a cappuccino with our amazing new coffee machine!  It stayed with me for at least an hour, I even had to check I hadn’t accidentally turned on my own espresso machine 🙂

Despite the disappointment of missing sleep, I have realised (4 hours later) how excited I have been the last few days since we have experimented with a “soft” opening of the cafe – and that excitment is spreading.  We have had several volunteer applications in the past week and the number of likes on our Facebook page has shot throught the roof!

This morning (well in 4 hours time) we will be offering food for the very first time – bacon and egg rolls and cheese toasties!  So if you are free, come down and enjoy a freshly cooked breakfast and coffee (of course) on our decking in the spring sunshine, I guarantee it’ll be enough to get you excited!

Rob x

Never too much…

Our Easter Event on Friday was an amazing day in so many ways and I thought I’d put a few thoughts together by way of a record…Inspired by an awesome “record” by Luther Vandross.

You can have…

eehunt5Never too much sunshine – the weather made all the difference!  The crowds of at least 3,000 people were a sight to behold and since the event I have spoken to dozens of local people who weren’t able to make it and most of them would have been regulars, so goodness knows how many there would have been if all the locals had come!

Never too much (many) volunteers – Despite the Friends “only” staffing the Cafe, BBQ and Easter Egg Hunt, we didn’t have enough people to make the most of the whole opportunity a day like that presented.  The queues were longer than I’d have liked, we didn’t sign new volunteers and “friends” up and we weren’t able to run our popular 50/50 raffle all because we didn’t have quite enough help – recruitment is a priority for next time!

PictureNever too much (many) friends – I’d like to say my first massive THANK YOU to everyone who did help out, lots of friends and family and some new arrivals too.  Like Christine from DP World who was an absolute STAR on traffic patrol for much of the day, she never complained once and did all those menial things that I didn’t want to do, THANK YOU CHRISTINE!  So here is the list (not in full…please read on) Mandie, Vicki, Maureen, Gbenga, Gbenga’s friend ;), Femi, Ethan, Russell, Alex, Gill, Kate, Dot, Dean, Linda, Jean, Liz, Pam, Emily, Molly and friends ;), Kevin, Henry, Louise and Robert.

Never too much stock – We ran out of drinks and hot dogs pretty early on so went and bought some more on the quick, I guess we should have been more optimistic on numbers!

Never too much (many) things to do and stalls – THANK YOU to all the stall holders who came especially the Ice Cream Man, Gazza and Liam and friends from BIZZY BOUNCERS for providing the children with entertainment!

triplelNever too much (many) First Aiders – an ENORMOUS THANK YOU  to Nick and the team from TRIPLE L TRAINING for providing First Aid cover, although they weren’t inundated with injuries or illness, the people that received care from them were very grateful (myself included!)

Never too much COMMUNITY SPIRIT – the event was only a success because so many people turned out so THANK YOU TO THE CROWDS!  This also includes support we got on the day, like Lee and Dave from Smartline Electrical who came to aid when we overloaded the power supply!

eehunt14…and last but most importantly NEVER TOO MUCH PASSION!…and I want to take this opportunity to say the BIGGEST THANK YOU of all to one of the most passionate people I know, my partner in crime, SHANE RALPH, without whom so much of the good stuff that has happened at the park, simply would not have happened.  From the installation of new equipment, to the acquisition of the building and the vision for us to become a training centre and all of the day to day negotiating, planning, organising and doing, the list is endless and he has worked tirelessly now for several years and I’m proud to call him my friend.  So Shane, THANK YOU for helping me thus far…here’s to many more exciting times ahead.

My last word is this….if Friday’s event inspired you and made you feel proud to be part of the community in SS17, please get in touch with us and get involved.  We welcome all and everyone in our project because we believe every person has something to give.


p.s. Here is a gallery of photos from the day, if you have some of your own that you would like to share please email them to info@friendsofhardiepark.co.uk or upload them to our Facebook Page.

Thames Gateway Rotary Club visit Hardie Park and donate £250!

hardie_park_180316We were delighted to welcome our friends at The Rotary Club Thames Gateway today who donated £250 to us towards the purchase of tables for the cafe, which is due to open in less than 2 weeks!

Stephanie Lakin and Frank Clayton from the club visited the building for the first time and were thoroughly impressed with the project and were excited to have contrinuted to the work.

We would like to say a massive thank you to them for their timely contribution.

THANK YOU FOR VOTING! We have been awarded £10,000! We came 2nd in recent Tesco vote!!

Hardie Park Trim Trail

Click to enlarge

We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded £10,000 funding from Tesco!  You all went out and voted for us in-store and we came 2nd out of the 3 projects – SO A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU ALL!  We send out congratulations to the other two projects 🙂

bagsofhelp-digitalTesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative in hundreds of regions across England and Wales. The scheme will see three community groups and projects in each of these regions awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge. Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 390 regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags.

We hope that the extra funds will help us buy another couple of pieces of equipment in the trim trail or help us with the installation costs.

The funds will be released to us in April so we will get cracking with the project as soon as we can and hope it will be installed long before the summer!


Skatepark construction – Week 3

skatepark-construction-14mar2016-1 ResizedThe guys from Maverick Industries are cracking on with building the skatepark, other than the first couple of days, the weather has been kind.

skatepark-construction-14mar2016-2 Resized




2016 Easter Egg Hunt is back…with a few surprises!

A date for your diaries! EASTER SATURDAY – 26TH MARCH 2016 marks the return of our ever-popular Easter Egg Hunt.

With a new and improved format and better checking in, we aim to prevent the queues, so that you can come in and enjoy all of the wonderful stalls and bouncy castles.

It is the end of March, so it might be a bit chilly, so make sure you wrap up and get the kids outside at the start of the Easter holidays.

The Easter Egg hunt is just £2 and all proceeds raised on the day go back into making Hardie Park the best in SS17!

Check out our event on Facebook and share with your friends.

Want to volunteer in our New Community Cafe? Sign up today!

12524256_10153563472983937_547247121676840662_nWe are very excited to announce that the long-awaited Cafe at Hardie Park will be opening this month!

Our project is entirely run by volunteers and we are looking for people who would like to offer some of their time to working in the cafe on a regular basis.

You can do as much as you like and we will work on a minimum of 2 hour shift so that it can suit people who have a little time available during the day.

We are offering Level 2 Food Handling training as a minimum to all of our cafe volunteers.

If you are interested, please complete our volunteer form and tick Cafe work.

We are hosting an induction for cafe volunteers in April, final details to be announced.