A VOLUNTEER group which has helped transform a Skipton park for families, children, health and leisure groups to enjoy is stepping down after 10 years.

The Friends of Aireville Park (FoAP) trustees have announced their intention to wind up the charity and a general meeting has been called for October 19 to formally agree this.

FoAP was formally established in April 2013 as a small, unregistered charity, with agreed aims to conserve and enhance Aireville Park for everyone to enjoy while providing opportunities for public participation and promoting the park’s benefits.

Friends chair Fiona Protheroe said: “We’d like to celebrate our achievements and thank the Skipton community for your support and suggestions over the years. These improvements have been a community effort, and couldn’t have been achieved without a lot of help. We would like to offer a big thanks for all the ideas, cake baking, litter picking, and other fundraising support that people have given us as well as groups including Skipton Rotary, Rotary Club of Skipton Craven, Skipton Community Orchestra, Skipton Gala, Craven Trust, and Skipton Ukulele Club. The general meeting at North Yorkshire Council’s Belle Vue offices will start at 7.30pm.

Sharon Jefferies, vice chair added: “Over the last 10 years we have helped enhance Aireville Park though funding and advice on the pump track, skatepark, new play area, new trees, sail shade, benches and community planter, new lights. These physical improvements have been alongside community events such as litter picking, Xplorer events, and community picnics. Having achieved our main aims we are calling a general meeting so that the membership can agree this decision. We propose that FoAP’s remaining assets are given to Skipton Community Sport Hub (a charity with similar purposes to FoAP) to assist them in developing a fully accessible, state of the art facility for the whole community that will support both sporting and non-sporting activities.”

Katie Morgan, secretary said: “We are keen to support the Skipton Community Sport Hub. We also are aware that if we can contribute our remaining assets ( £4,000 IRO) to their current crowdfunder it could be crucial in helping them reach their £12,000 fundraising target.”

Katie Birks who joined FoAP five years ago said: “Joining the Friends of Aireville Park committee was one of the best things I did. To be part of such a dynamic group, helping to deliver wonderful events and lasting facilities for the benefit of the whole community was a privilege, a challenge and a joy.”

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for culture, arts and housing, Cllr Simon Myers, said: “I would like to thank every member of The FoAP for the huge contribution and important work they have done to improve Aireville Park in Skipton, transforming it into a popular and much-loved green space.

“Now it boasts a fabulous new playground, pump track and skatepark – making it a better attraction for local, visitors and future generations.

“Aireville Park has also been good for people’s physical and mental health – attracting the young and old alike to free yoga sessions, group exercises and Parkrun. Volunteers also organised regular clean-ups, planted trees and flowers and fundraised to install benches.

“Once again my heartfelt thanks for making Aireville Park such a great place to visit and I wish you all the best for the future.”

To contribute to the sports hub fundraiser go to: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/skipton-community-sports-hub---community-space