Memories exhibition to come to Northampton park spearheaded by new park officer

Buddies of Beckets work to develop Becket's Park and encourage residents to visit.
Buddies of Beckets work to develop Becket's Park and encourage residents to visit.

Northampton's very first 'park development officer' has pledged to support vulnerable people and improve the mental, physical and emotional health of her area.

Luisa Jepson, 29, from Castle Ward, Northampton, has taken up the newly-created role and has vowed to reduce isolation in her community.

New park development officer Luisa Jepson (left) with Joy Ormond and Nick Stephens of the Buddies of Beckets group.

New park development officer Luisa Jepson (left) with Joy Ormond and Nick Stephens of the Buddies of Beckets group.

She will be leading projects around Becket's Park, in Castle Ward, to engage and involve people and improve residents' wellbeing.

Luisa said: "My role is completely new. It's the first of its kind for Northampton and possibly the country.

"I am particularly keen to assist any vulnerable and isolated people by using Beckets Park as a vehicle to improve their wellbeing."

The post was created by the Buddies of Beckets community park group, who work to support and develop Beckets Park and was awarded the funding to employ Luisa by the Northamptonshire Community Foundation.

Buddies of Beckets organise projects to involve residents with the park.

Buddies of Beckets organise projects to involve residents with the park.

Nick Stephens, Chairman of Buddies of Beckets, said: "We have lots of ideas for the park which we feel has been neglected for a long time.

"One of our group’s aims has always been to encourage greater use of Beckets Park and Luisa will now ensure this happens.

"Buddies of Beckets' members are all volunteers and, although we give a lot of our spare time to Beckets Park, this new post will ensure a proper commitment and resources are put into the projects."

One of Luisa's first projects will be to help Buddies of Becket's gather residents' photos, stories and memories of the park and launch an exhibition of the local area.

Park development officer Luisa Jepson.

Park development officer Luisa Jepson.

Luisa said: "I am very excited about my new role and will be building on the work that Buddies of Beckets and its partners have achieved.

"My previous experience working for Northamptonshire Police, in supporting victims of all types of hate crime, my welfare role at the University, and my work as a development officer for Northampton Inter Faith Forum, will all be useful in this brand new post."

For more information on Buddies of Beckets, email buddiesofbeckets@outlook.co.uk or find them on Facebook.