As we wrap up the final bits of the merger and formally say goodbye to the charity that was known as FRAPA (Felix Road Adventure Playground Association) we wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks to Mandy Watson who was Chair for the last 7 years.
Mandy fell in love with Felix Road in 2010 when a good friend recommended it as a good place for their sons to play in the community.
In 2013 when Felix Road Adventure Playground was threatened with closure as a result of cuts to public funds, she could not stand by and see that happen.
Together with some other mums, she led a campaign to stop the closure, gathering over 3,000 signatures on a petition so that the full council had to discuss the issue.
As a result of her tireless campaigning alongside Councillors and community members, then-Mayor, George Ferguson agreed to a reprieve and some transition funds to help local people form a management committee and take over the running of the playground. Mandy became the Chair of this committee and led the process over seven years to see Felix Road Adventure Playground grow and flourish to have over 900 children on its register including some of Bristol’s most vulnerable children.
In 2018, Mandy began the process of Felix Road undertaking a merger with Easton Community Centre and Up Our Street. She is now on the board of Eastside Community Trust and continues sharing her insight, passion, optimism, and wisdom.
Always full of new ideas Mandy was instrumental in getting a new nursery built at Felix Road as part of the strategy to secure its long-term survival. During the first lockdown, Mandy drew up a list of families she knew would be struggling if the playground was closed, and she supported the Easton Hub team to start doorstep visits.
Everyone involved in FRAPA and Eastside Community Trust wants to thank Mandy for all she has done and continues to do for Felix Road, the children of this area, and our community.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been associated with FRAPA for the last 49 years, you know who you are (Felix Road is 50 in 2022 get ready to party!).
“Mandy is such a caring and warm-hearted person and it has been her passion, commitment and determination that not only saved Felix Road but made it thrive and secured its future into the long term.”
Andy Burkitt, Trustee