On Sunday 5th May, Glynis and Kelsey from Hartburn Co-op, were joined by Katharine Lam, Co-op Member Pioneer Stockton, at the second Spring Fair and Food Festival held by Friends of Ropner Park (FoRP).

Co-op donated two huge food hampers as raffle prizes and were running the raffle with FoRP volunteers. This raffle raised £401.

For the past three years the local Co-op Community Funding Initiative has supported FoRP and to date has raised over £4,500 for our Sculptures Project, ‘Stories in the Park’.

In addition to the Community Funding, Hartburn Co-op has been incredibly generous running raffles for our cause. This has helped to generate the current sum of £5, 400.

Sunday was a special day because our first commissioned sculpture was unveiled by the Mayoress of Stockton, Councillor Eileen Johnson. Our ‘wise old owl’ sitting on a pile of unnamed books, now has pride of place overlooking the lake. It is sited in such a way that children, families, school groups, toddler groups and others, can sit below it and read or have stories read to them.

“We are delighted with it. We really have to thank the Co-op for this statue. We hope it will stand there for many years to come, to be admired and enjoyed by this and future generations of the local and wider area.” Vicki Nicholson, Trustee of Friends of Ropner Park (FoRP)
Sculptor Steve Iredale, was commission by Friends of Ropner Park to deisgn and carve the sculpture. “I was inspired by the idea of the wise owl and the learned books, I hope it encourages children to read books” said Steve.

Kate Rider visited Oxbridge Lane and Fairfield schools to discusss with 4 classes in year 4. She showed them a slideshow of Steve’s work and they discussed and drew many ideas, hopefully for another sculpture. Steve would like to thank Stockton Borough Council for their assistance with logistics, installation and health and safety.

This year Friends of Ropner Park are a local cause in Stockton’s Co-ops. When Co-op members purchase Co-op branded products in store 5% goes on their cards to spend in store and an additional 1% goes to their nominated local cause. If you are a member and will like to select your local cause please login to your account:

www.membership.coop.co.uk

Article written by, Katharine Lam, Co-op Member Pioneer Stockton.