A charitable integrated organisation (CIO) 1176548


A CIO providing employment for adults with additional needs, having converted a dilapidated pavilion in our local park, into a cafe where this special group of people can work.



For takeaways, teas and coffees.

CLICK HERE to visit our website

Under New Management

Belinda Merriman, who was previously a volunteer for us, has been appointed as our new cafe manager and we are very excited to have her on board…. she is brimming with new ideas!

Please feel free to speak to her if you see her at Our Pavilion if you have any suggestions or queries. She would particularly like to speak to you if you feel able to join us in any way as a volunteer. Otherwise, Belinda may be contacted by email … cafe@ourpavilion.co.uk

Peter Kendall

Quite simply, the conversion of the pavilion would not have occurred without the commitment and dedication of Peter who gave his time freely to project manage this for us. He has a unique set of skills of which none of our trustees are blessed with!

Since opening, Peter has remained an integral part of our team as the “go to” person for any malfunctioning of the building or equipment. He and Margaret also can regularly be seen volunteering in the cafe itself so if you see them please give them a big thank you!

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.


The croquet club previously had use of the main pavilion to store equipment and as a place to shelter. They now have use of a store at the rear of the pavilion which also has electric and plumbing facilities.

They supported with us during the conversion and their chairman, Simon, had unique skills in helping us with the installation of our suspended ceilings. The club are an active prescence in the park from spring through to autumn and continue to support us as regular customers.


We lend racquets and tennis balls to promote use of the public courts.

The Transformation

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.

Julie Bladon


 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.

Julia Verwey


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.