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Thousands of people enjoyed an incredible Family Fun Day at the Botanic Gardens in Churchtown in Southport on Sunday (19th June 2022).

The huge community effort on Father’s Day saw families enjoy a wide range of attractions with dance performances, dozens of stalls, live music, brass bands, fairground rides, inflatables, donkey rides, a soap bubble artist, and lots more besides.

There were lots of superb pictures of the Botanic Gardens on display too. Children from Churchtown Primary School saw their pictures on display throughout the park as an art trail for visitors to discover, while pictures created by the children by Holy Family Catholic Primary School were on display on the boards next to the lake.

Local radio stations Mighty FM and Sandgrounder Radio were both on site during the day supporting the proceedings. Merseyside Police were on site with a police van for the kids to see and explore.

The event, which was sponsored by Monkey Puzzle Nursery in Southport, was organised by the Make A Change For Botanic campaign group, which was set up last year to raise funds to make vital safety improvements to the historic park.

The group worked closely with the volunteers from the Botanic Gardens Community Association, who have led the maintenance of the park for the past 11 years, and with Green Sefton. Volunteers from Southport Rotary also helped out on the day.

The Fun Day aimed to raise money which will contribute towards improving the Botanic Gardens for all to enjoy, with figures from the day due to be announced.

The organisation of the event was led by Jess Thwaites. She said:

“Firstly I want to say thank you. Thank you for the amazing turnout, thank you to all of the stall holders, rides, events, helpers and volunteers.

“This event was five months in the making. I have never done anything like this before and I have been so desperate for it to go well.

“I honestly could have cried at points on Sunday looking at the volume of visitors, the smiling faces and humdrum of joy! I agreed to do this event to celebrate the park. Well Southport, we certainly did that!

“I’m overwhelmed at the lovely feedback and comments, the people laughing as I ran by a million times and the number of you who have donated. Next job is to count the money and I’ll let you all know as soon as I can.

“I’m just so glad it went well, I hope you all enjoyed it.

“Thank you to Josh, from Green Sefton. He is a superstar for all the help he’s given me. I would also like to thank David and Ann Cobham and their team of volunteers, to David Rawsthorne, and everyone else who got me through Sunday and made it such a success.

“We all want to ‘Make a Change for Botanic’ - and on Sunday we did.”

Make A Change For Ben was set up by David Rawsthorne last year after the tragic death of his best friend, Ben Smith-Crallan. Ben, 37, died after falling into the lake at the park.

The group is determined to raise money to make vital improvements to the park, with local people having donated an amazing £28,000 to the cause before the Fun Day took place.

Their fundraising efforts recently saw the purchase and installation of two new water aeration fountains for the lake.

Would you like to help the campaign to improve the Botanic Gardens in Churchtown in Southport? Please join the Make A Change For Botanic Facebook group here.

Reported by Andrew Brown of Stand Up For Southport

More pictures from the day

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