Kazia has a field day at top awards

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A woman who co-ordinated the revival of a troubled Wetherby park has scooped a top award.

Coun Kazia Knight was named Community Champion at the Fields in Trust awards, which celebrate the UK’s green spaces, at Lords cricket grounds last week.

“To win a national community award by the Fields in Trust when there are so many other people doing amazing work is a testament to all the volunteers around me and supporting me,” said Coun Knight.

“I am so thrilled to have won it and bring it back to Wetherby for Wetherby.”

Coiun Knight has been the Chairman since the formation of the Friends of Sandringham Park and has been the driving force for improvement.

From being threatened with closure three times due to anti-social behaviour, the park now has Green Flag status and has won Yorkshire in Bloom awards.

Coun Knight added: “When I started and became chairwoman of Friends of Sandringham Park in December 2010 I thought that it might not work but at least I can say I tried.

“The anti-social behaviour was making residents lives a misery and nothing seemed to be working, so we formed and have gone from strength to strength.

“There have been many challenges along the way such as lack of confidence that we could make change, dealing with red tape and having the determination to keep going when things were getting tough.

“I am very passionate about the park and I feel this passes on to the volunteers, I hope I have inspired, built trust and been committed to getting the best outcome for the town, residents and young people.”

Each year the Fields in Trust Awards showcases some of the UK’s best open spaces and shines a light on the efforts and achievements of the people whose tireless dedication ensures that these vital outdoor spaces can be enjoyed by the public.

Now in their sixth year, the Awards are organised by The Fields in Trust Charity, which counts His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge as its President and protects the UK’s vital open spaces, from sports pitches to children’s playgrounds, bicycle trails and country parks, safeguarding them for future generations.

Commenting on this year’s Awards, Helen Griffiths, Chief Executive of Fields in Trust added: “On behalf of the team at Fields in Trust I would like to congratulate all of tonight’s winners.

“These awards give us the opportunity to shine a light on some of the UK’s most beautiful green spaces up and down the country.

“Despite their undeniable contribution to the happiness and health of our community, parks and outdoor spaces are often undervalued.

“This annual event not only gives the public the opportunity to champion their favourite park, but allows us to showcase some of the people and organisations that work tirelessly to ensure the upkeep and community enjoyment of these wonderful spaces.”

At the Groundwork awards last month Sandringham Park was runner up in the community cohesion group.

Sandringham Park was also shortlisted for the Best Have a Field Day Award and the Most Improved Award in the Fields in Trust awards.