About AHSRA

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A little bit of history – and how is it funded ?

AHSRA (Ashton Hayes Sports & Recreation Association) was founded in 2007 (becoming a charity in 2010) to put in place a first-class recreation ground facility, with land purchase being its first goal.

In 2009/10 we raised enough money (£67,500) to buy a fallow 4.7 acre (1.82 hectares) farmer’s field near the village centre which had last been used for growing potatoes and with a public footpath along one edge.

In early 2010 involvement with the Fields in Trust (FITs) organisation’s ‘Queen Elizabeth II Fields’ scheme began with the signing of a Trust Deed with the Parish Council and FITs. It was a key step forwards, giving confidence to partners and funders.

The signing of this Deed of Dedication has ensured that the Playing Field has been protected since July 2011, with the legal agreement in place that it will be retained for use as a green space in perpetuity. You can find out more about the Fields in Trust organisation at https://www.fieldsintrust.org/ or more about what this means for our Playing Field here:

In 2012 the AHSRA playing field won first prize out of 200 entrants at the inaugural QEII Playing Fields Awards as the ‘Most Improved QEII site, Supported by SITA Trust’.

A trophy, a new plaque and a bench were presented at Lord’s Cricket Ground in recognition that a first-class recreation ground had been developed, with a play area, football pitch, outdoor gym, carbon-neutral pavilion with car park, a perimeter path, nature area and picnic areas. The fully accessible pavilion provides excellent facilities for changing, with showers and toilets and was built to a high environmental standard to feature a 10kW bank of solar panels and heating via an air-source heat pump.

2012 – A £25,000 grant from SITA Trust funded further improvements. The pavilion benefitted from a new smart path all around it, a small patio area and wooden cladding on all its walls. CCTV equipment was also installed. Outdoor gym equipment was added along with additional playground equipment and tree and shrub planting to soften the look of the car park area.

2015 – Funding was obtained for the laying of tarmac to improve the surface of the car park.

2019 – A £10,000 grant awarded by the Big Lottery Community Fund enabled improvements including an extension to the car park, new wood chippings for the playground, new signs and noticeboard.

2020 – A new Boules Court with a surrounding picket fence added to available facilities, part funded from CWaC managed grant funding [‘Let’s Turn This Around’ fund] to assist communities to move on post pandemic.

FUNDING and Ongoing Costs:

As AHSRA is a registered Charity and whilst from time to time we receive grants for capital items ALL the costs of improvements, maintenance, cleaning etc have to be raised by income and more particularly donations.

What costs are there ?

  • Ongoing maintenance of the Playing Field, including fertilisation and being verti drained to improve the sub soil in addition to the annual aeration to maintain the health of the grass.
  • Ongoing maintenance, replacement and improvement of Playground and Outdoor Gym Equipment
  • Ongoing maintenance and replacement of Benches, Marquees, Gazebos, Café Furniture and Equipment etc
  • Annual professional Health & Safety Inspections
  • Hedge Cutting, Grass Cutting, Tree Maintenance and Planting
  • Ongoing maintenance of Buildings, Fencing, Gates, Paths, Paving, Car Park Surface, Signage etc
  • Insurances, Heating, Lighting, Security

Where does the income come from ?

  • The Pavilion building was constructed to a high environmental standard and features a 10kW bank of solar panels and heating via an air-source heat pump. Income from the solar panels (managed by the Ashton Hayes Community Energy Company) makes a big contribution towards the running costs of the field.
  • Football Pitches and Pavilion Rental
  • Income generated by The Pavilion Café
  • Income generated by AHSRA run events, such as ‘Picnic in the Park’
  • Donations from the Community Shop for improvements to the cafe, purchase of blinds and benches etc
  • Annual financial and non-financial support from the Parish Council
  • Applications for Funding from various bodies (for capital expenditure)
  • Donations from Individuals by donation boxes in both the shop and the cafe and annual standing orders. If you wish to make a donation please contact the Treasurer – Richard Stradling by email richard.stradling@hotmail.com

Current Trustees:

  • Jane Colville
  • Bryan Davies
  • Jon Gilbert
  • Phil Goodall
  • Bob Hooks
  • Alison Howe
  • Graham Lennie
  • Don Owen
  • Mike Powers
  • Onnie Powers (Chair)
  • Ian Ridgley
  • David Rounthwaite
  • Geoff Stamper
  • Richard Stradling

The running of the Playing Field and all Fundraising to keep the facilities that we all enjoy maintained and improved is all done by volunteers from our Community – and we need more. See how you can help on the Volunteering tab.

Could you be a Trustee of the AHSRA charity (Ashton Hayes Sports & Recreation Association) that runs the Playing Field and Playground ?

The AHSRA board of trustees is actively seeking additional volunteer members to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of local people, through having a diverse group and succession planning. Representing all aspects of the community is key to ensuring that the facilities are sustainable and thrive. No special skills are required, just a desire to help to maintain and improve the facility, and some of your time to get involved (trustee meetings, help at events, etc)

If you are interested in the role and would like to know more email ashtonhsra@gmail.com 

More information about what being a trustee of a charity entails can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charity-trustee-welcome-pack/charity-trustee-welcome-pack