Residents in Cheltenham came a step close to reaching their £540k target for regenerating Pittville Park as part of a crowdfunding campaign orchestrated by the Friends of Pittville, thanks to a generous donation by an opticians in the town. 

Specsavers Cheltenham, at 206 High Street, donated £500 towards the campaign, which will go towards developing the play area and refurbishment of the much-loved aviaries and small animal cages. While the bulk of the campaign is funded by the council, the local group has implored locals and businesses for donations to generate the remaining £140k. 

Melanie Brackstone, store director at Specsavers, said: ‘We are delighted to donate to such a wonderful local project. Our team is passionate about supporting the local community, and by donating to this project we felt that we would be contributing to making the park a place that can be enjoyed by the whole community for generations to come.’

With the project already underway and the first pieces of play equipment going in, the donation from Specsavers comes at a critical moment, with continued donations to the fundraising effort ensuring that the project will be finished in time for the summer holidays. The 30 day crowdfunding campaign, organised by voluntary organisation Friends of Pittville, still has £22,000 to raise and donations can be made through their Just Giving site.

Judie Hodgson, Chair of Friends of Pittville, said: ‘We are so grateful for the generous donation from Specsavers which will make it more likely that all the work on the new play area will be completed before the reopening in June. The play area is going to be a fantastic facility for local families and a donation towards it from a business located in the town is particularly welcome.’ 

The generosity of the donation means that the Specsavers team will see their name, together with others who have donated, on a board to be positioned near the entrance to the park. The team has also received a letter from the Friends of Pittville and the mayor, thanking the store for their donation, and will be attending the opening ceremony in the summer along with other donors. 

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