Making Forde Park a recreation area you can be proud of…
Forde Park is an 8-acre area of green surrounded by residential properties in Newton Abbot. Within it are 3 public hard tennis courts and a croquet lawn. Adjacent to these was a disused Pavilion with services including electricity, mains water and inside lavatories.With the help of generous donations from local residents and businesses, along with awards from the National and Post Code lotteries and grants from DCC and the Norman Family Trust, we have transformed the existing pavilion into a vibrant, well used café catering for all park users. Staffed by adults with differing needs and volunteer helpers, this will not only become a welcome addition to the features of the park but will provide much needed employment opportunities as well. Please do continue to support us.
Check out below our before & after photos of the pavilion!
Meet The Team
Forde Park Community Project is a charity started by 3 friends all who live in Newton Abbot.
Dr. Mark Clarvis
I have lived in Decoy, Newton Abbot for 34 years and have a daughter, Charlotte with additional needs. I am very aware of a lack of employment opportunities for her peer group.I was also saddened by the run down condition of the pavilion in Forde Park and am now thrilled to see it returned to its former glory and be of benefit to our local community. I also wish to see the tennis courts and croquet lawn promoted to encourage health and wellbeing.
I was born and continue to reside in Newton Abbot and originally lived just around the corner from the pavilion. It has been very sad to see it deteriorate over the years.I worked for many years for the Job Centre with a particular interest in supporting people with disabilities obtain employment and recognise how difficult this is. Many employers want to see employment history or work experience but are not prepared to offer it. When Mark asked me to become involved in this project I saw a great opportunity for local young people to gain vital employment and training. I hope that our presence will also encourage greater use of the tennis courts and the croquet club – a wonderful local resource.
Having grown up locally in Decoy I can remember Forde Park bustling with activity, the pitch and putt, busy tennis courts and the functioning pavilion. It is exciting to be a part of this project to re- energise the park by restoring the pavilion and creating a not for profit community cafe that is giving new skills to adults with special needs.The idea for developing such a cafe was first seeded by my late husband who loved the park and its magnificent trees, where he walked the dog, taught the children to ride their bikes and played tennis. Our Pavilion is a legacy for Frank and an asset to Newton Abbot.
A word from our partner, Newton Abbot Croquet Club…
Newton Abbot Croquet Club is happy to be a part of the F.P.C.P to revitalise the pavilion and which will offer employment opportunities for those with special needs.The project, in addition to its main aim ,will enable the croquet club to provide a more social setting for the sport of croquet. We believe that with the café, tennis and croquet, Forde Park will be enhanced and improve the setting in which it stands. The café project can only help in promoting Tennis and Croquet for the good of the local community, plus a nice cup of tea and coffee is always welcome, and the croquet club will be using the café facilities. Newton Abbot Croquet Club will be happy to help with fund raising and promotion of this project.
Our Pavilion is dedicated to the loving memory of Frank Verwey whose idea this was. His many friends made his dream a reality.