Pals of the Privies on Glencoats Park, community and foam parties
After transforming a long neglected landmark into a hub of activity for all ages, Pals of the Privies are determined to plough ahead.
Sometimes, one simple ambition can grow arms and legs. And in the case of Ferguslie’s Pals of the Privies, their endeavours might have started with restoring Glencoats Parks, but they’ve come to represent something far greater.
From devising a memorial garden and woodland areas all tended to by a fleet of enthusiastic volunteers to curating an events calendar that’s been tailored to the requests of locals, this organisation encapsulates what it means to be selflessly in service to your community.
“It was Winter 2017 and this path couldn’t be seen for leaves and mush. A few people would come up and say, I don’t walk through there because it’s scary,” Dana Donnelly remarked.
“We loved the park, so we started asking why. The biggest thing was the overhang of the trees. After that was cleared, people began to see the place’s potential and then came the fairy garden.
“Then, the boys were saying ‘what about us?’ So, we made the superhero trail (laughs). It’s been completely community led.”
“There’d be things on in Paisley like the Halloween Festival and you’d see kids from around here and think ‘why aren’t you there?’” Karen Campbell detailed.
“But even though they’re free to attend, the financial aspect stopped them from going. The light up sticks, the hot dogs, there’s a cost for everything. So, we started fundraising for a fun-day.”
“Everything was paid for and no child missed out. Now, Halloween is our biggest thing, people come from all over! We do a lot over Christmas and this year, we delivered 150 breakfast packs to 150 houses, but our greatest hit was definitely our foam party. To this day, the weans are still asking for another one!”
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Set to begin phase two that’ll incorporate swings, exercise equipment and a climbing frame into the park, Pals of the Privies have accomplished all this without being monetarily led. For them, their focus resides in continuing their beautification of the area and entertaining the locals.
“Everything we do goes back into it, so simple things really help us a lot. We find that if people want to gift stuff, that’s always better. Right now, a container for a ride-on mower and a generator for our events are the biggest things we’re after.”
“Our aim was to restore the park, keep it tidy and put in a playpark. Now we’ve accomplished that, our approach will never change.”
Since this article appeared in the magazine, Pals of the Privies did have their second foam party and even had George Bowie from Clyde 1 on the decks – his first gig in 18 months. See photos from the event taken by David Cameron here.
Keep up with the inspiring work by Pals of the Privies on Facebook.