VOLUNTEERS are celebrating the installation of three new benches in a Stretford park after raising £3,400 through their popular theatre-in-the-park productions.

The new benches were installed at the Quadrant end of Longford Park after a summer of fundraising efforts by the Friends of Longford Park group.

The park is popular with pensioners, and hosts a Alzheimer’s Society Walk & Talk Group every Wednesday.

The new benches will help elderly park users and people who have mobility difficulties by providing a convenient place to sit down at regular intervals during their visits to the park.

Messenger Newspapers:

Friends of Longford Park aim to make the park accessible for all.

FOLP Chair, Nigel Woodcock said, “One of FOLP’s main aims is that the park should be accessible to all, so we’re delighted to be able to install these benches. Hopefully there will be more to come, but this does depend on good ticket sales for our next production, The Railway Children, at 5pm on Saturday, August 11.”

Longford Ward Councillor Anne Duffield, who also supported the fundraising effort, said: "The importance of readily available seating is vital for so many people to be able to get out, keep fit and healthy and enjoy our green spaces. These benches are much needed and very welcome."

The bulk of the money was raised by volunteers, advertising, selling tickets and stewarding at the three outdoor theatre productions that have taken place in the park in the past year.

Heartbreak Productions paid FOLP a percentage of the gate receipts from each show in return for their assistance.

The remainder of the funding was obtained from fundraising, including a generous £300 donation from the Longford and Firswood Strollers walking group.

Messenger Newspapers:

The new benches will provide a welcome rest for retired park users.

The next production in the park is The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit, at 5pm on Saturday, August 11.

This is a heart-warming family story recommended for children aged 6+ to adult.

Tickets are £12 and are available online at www.folprc.eventbrite.co.uk (The Railway Children) or by visiting Longford Café, Newslink at Stretford Metro or Chorlton Bookshop.