Our latest news and blog posts

Are you passionate about volunteering?

A local community project is appealing for volunteers to help support the day-to-day running of their park and cafe moving forward. Events are scheduled throughout the year at Hardie Park in Stanford-le-Hope with new initiatives and clubs developing weekly.

Rob Groves, Director of Hardie Park said, ‘We currently have a dedicated team of enthusiastic volunteers who do a sterling job keeping the facility open 9am to 4pm, 7 days a week. Due to the success of the park and our growing events calendar we are now looking to recruit more people. Volunteers range from school pupils and graduates gaining work experience to retired people, who bring a lifetime of skills with them.’

‘Aside from bringing the community together, volunteering has huge benefits for the volunteer. Maybe you are looking to enhance your CV, change career and looking for catering and hospitality experience or just to meet new people and gain support from others. Whatever your need, Hardie Park might be a good place to start!’

For anyone wishing to find out more, click through to the Volunteer area on the Friends of Hardie Park website www.friendsofhardiepark.co.uk/volunteer/ and fill out the application form or contact Rob Groves on 07803 295374

Friends of Hardie Park’s aims are to build community, create opportunity and transform the environment of the park. New projects and initiatives are always in the pipeline with the purpose of engaging all age groups and abilities. Upcoming events and feedback on recent activities can be found on their social media channels.

Contact details: Hardie Park Cafe, Hardie Road, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex. SS17 0PB Phone: 01375 402182 or 07803 295374

Email: info@friendsofhardiepark.co.uk Twitter: www.twitter.com/LoveHardiePark Facebook: www.facebook.com/LoveHardiePark

SS17 Rocks at Hardie

The popular SS17 Community Festival will be hosted by Hardie Park in Stanford le Hope this year for the first time in its history. The event is free for all between 12pm and 6pm with a packed agenda for the local community to enjoy. Live acts will entertain from the stage alongside bouncy castles and games for children.

Rob Groves, Director of Hardie Park said, ‘We are excited to be hosting the event this year. It should prove to be a great family day out. Games and activities for all ages and beer and prosecco tents for those who want to chill out enjoying the entertainment. A selection of gourmet food stands will also be on site throughout the day.’

For anyone wishing to find out more, click through to the Friends of Hardie website www.friendsofhardiepark.co.uk or contact Rob Groves on 07803 295374

Friends of Hardie Park’s aim is to build community, create opportunity and transform the environment of the park. New projects and initiatives are always in the pipeline with the purpose of engaging all age groups and abilities.

Contact details: Hardie Park Cafe, Hardie Road, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex. SS17 0PB Phone: 01375 402182 or 07803 295374

Email: info@friendsofhardiepark.co.uk  Twitter: www.twitter.com/LoveHardiePark


Friends of Hardie Park calls out for votes to bag a share of bag charge fund

Friends of Hardie Park is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

FRIENDS OF HARDIE PARK is one of the groups on the shortlist.

The project: Installation of a Petanque Rink in Hardie Park, Stanford-le-Hope.

Rob Groves, Director of Friends of Hardie Park said,’ The construction of a Petanque rink will be a wonderful addition to the park, as it is such an accessible game and can be played all-year round.’

Voting is open in stores throughout May and June. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £28.5 million to more than 4,000 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for May and June. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:

“We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.

“We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp



  • The Bags of Help initiative is supported by money from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags in Tesco stores.
  • So far Bags of Help has awarded over £28.5 million to more than 4,000 community projects.
  • For more information please visit: tesco.com/bagsofhelp

Hundreds swap skills, stuff or just a smile at the Hardie Park Fair

A market place with no money changing hands, where people shared skills, stories and community spirit, was set up in Stanford-le-Hope with the help of the Eden Project.

Christine Sefton, Community Project Developer at Eden, said that the aim of the event was to bring people together, build confidence and grow talents: “Most of us have things in our homes that we no longer need – good stuff that is sitting unused and taking up valuable space.  This might be books we’ve read, clothes we’ve grown out of and ornaments that we no longer like. All this stuff can be brought to a Share Fair to share or swap.

“We have skills we can share – some of us play musical instruments, or are excellent knitters, or good cooks. Some of us are experienced vegetable growers, dog-trainers or song-writers. Some of us mend things, build things or create things.  All of us are good at something – even if that something is being friendly for half an hour and listening to somebody who is a bit lonely.”

Christine added:  “And we all have a story to tell – new ideas, new recipes, useful information, stories about where we live or projects we’d like

to start. At a Share Fair we have comfortable seating areas where people can just sit and chat.”

Rob Groves, founding Director of Hardie Park said, ‘It was great to host a Share Fair in partnership with the Eden Project, one of the first to be hosted in the UK. Hundreds of people visited the event to give, share, swap all manner of things, and it was all free! We even fed people free curry created from donated vegetables. Feedback from the local community has been really positive with some great ideas for future fairs.”

There are a further four Share Fairs scheduled at Hardie Park, with the next one being held on Sunday 21st May. For more information or how to get involved visit Hardie Park’s Facebook Page www.facebook.com/LoveHardiePark

The Share Fair programme is funded by The National Lottery’s Big Lottery Fund and is being led by the Eden Project Communities team. This is one of many initiatives supported by Eden Project Communities, all with the aim of improving the happiness and wellbeing of people across the UK by helping to build better connected communities. Its flagship project is The Big Lunch, the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours, which began in 2009 and last year saw 7.3 million people take to their streets, gardens and neighbourhoods to join together for a few hours of food, friendship and fun. Community initiatives like The Big Lunch connect people and encourage friendlier, safer neighbourhoods where people start to share more —from conversations and ideas, to skills and resources.

This year Big Lunches will be held over the 17-18 June as part of The Great Get Together Weekend – the biggest community event since the Jubilee. Visit ww.edenprojectcommunities.com to get your free Big Lunch pack, and share the community spirit.

Contact details: Hardie Park Cafe, Hardie Road, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex. SS17 0PB

Phone: 01375 402182 or 07803 295374 Email: info@friendsofhardiepark.co.uk

Twitter: www.twitter.com/LoveHardiePark Facebook: www.facebook.com/LoveHardiePark

Photos attached – credit Full Frame Memories Photograph

Treat the Dads in your life! Sunday 18th June

We are hosting a sumptuous Fathers Day Breakfast for you and the special man in your life, from 9am at Hardie Park Cafe.

With an unlimited choice of Continental and Full English Breakfast, including regular tea, coffee and fruit juice, this will be a treat feast!

Spaces are limited so please send your booking enquiry using the form below today and we will confirm your spaces straight away.

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Technology Club for kids launched

technology-club2technology-club47 youngsters fiddled and played with tech at our first IT/Technology club on Friday.

13 year old Eden shared his knowledge of the Rasperry Pi, a micrcomputer that encourages hands on electronics whilst others soldered a snowman that can be plugged into the Pi and lights up.

Craig Hamilton, who ran the session, was pleased that the youngsters had had so much fun.  “It’s great to see kids learning from each other and picking up new skills, I haven’t soldered for years so we all got something out of it”

The sessions will run every Friday and there is no cost for the time being, while the club is trialled up to Christmas.

To register for the club please call Rob on 07803 295374 to check there are spaces.



Christmas Card Making Workshop

christmas-cardmakingworkshopTo register for our Christmas Card Making Workshop on Saturday 26th November – please register by completing the form below.

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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