North East Connected

Volunteers from Darlington businesses bid to improve the town’s parks

Darlington firms have competed with each other to commit volunteering hours to improve the town’s parks at Darlington Cares’ Great Park Auction.

The volunteering organisation, in partnership with Darlington Borough Council, has auctioned four parks to local businesses, who will work with their employees to help rejuvenate the green areas, during its event which was held on Thursday April 19th at the Theatre Hullabaloo.

The auctioneer for the evening, Peter Barron, former editor of The Northern Echo, auctioned off Eastbourne Park, The Denes, Green Park and North Lodge Park.

The auction saw four Darlington Cares’ members commit a total of 2,135.5 employee volunteering hours to working with the Darlington parks.

Cummins pledged 465.5 hours to Eastbourne Park, EE donated 750 hours to The Denes, Darlington Building Society offered 500 hours to North Lodge Park and Capita volunteered 420 hours to Green Park.

Darlington Cares’ Director, Seth Pearson, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for our members to get involved with their local community and work together, with their employees, to develop the parks for the public.

“An astonishing number of volunteering hours were pledged at the event and we can’t wait to see what the companies can achieve over the next few months.”

The businesses will work alongside their respective park’s Friends group and Darlington Parks’ Ranger, Pippa Smaling, to come up with a creative project that will benefit the local community.

The members’ employees are going to be working on their park throughout the Summer months, and a judging of the transformation of the parks will take place at the end of August.

“The event was great fun but also a heartening testimony to the way businesses in town and their employees are willing to support Darlington and its communities,” Seth added.

“With 16 parks in the town, it’s important that we take care of them and improve those in need of a little TLC. We want each park to be a fantastic, community-focussed space it deserves to be.”

To find out more about Darlington Cares, its projects and volunteering opportunities, visit

Twitter: @darlingtoncares

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