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Douai Park Recreation Association are close to realising their ‘New Pavilion’ dream

Douai Park Recreation Association are close to realizing their dream of building a new pavilion at Douai School, after four years of fundraising. Sport England, The Football Foundation, Greenham Trust and the Douai Society (Old Dowegians) have all significantly contributed to the project. The start of the project was initiated by community interest and over £100,000 was pledged from the local community to kick start the fundraising. Currently, Thatcham Tornadoes, Black Horse and Beenham Dads Football Clubs, Woolhampton, Speen, Theale and Tilehurst cricket clubs, Woolhampton Primary and Elstree Schools, as well as Douai Park Tennis Club use the park. So the proposed replacement building will provide a “fit for purpose” pavilion for future use. It is envisaged that the new facility will also be used for a variety of other activities. Douai Park has been run for the last 14 years by the Association, comprising of representatives from each of the clubs which use the park. The Association became a charity and negotiated a 99-year lease in 2012 and since then has strived to raise the funds to replace the derelict pavilion. The monastic community of Douai Abbey and the society of ex-pupils from the former Douai School, have massively supported the project as the original pavilion was built as a war memorial to those pupils of the school that died in World War 1. It is fitting, that at the end of the centenary anniversary of the start of WW, that funds for a new pavilion, with a memorial plaque, have been granted. Hopefully, the new building will also become a focus for pupils from the old school. If everything goes to plan, building contractors will start on site this summer. Meanwhile, sport will still be played on the park using temporary accommodation while the building programme takes place. Fundraising continues to ensure that the pavilion can be completed to provide excellent experience for those people using the facility. We would encourage people to continue to donate to this valued community project, by following this link “findmeagrant” West Berks website, and putting in the keyword: Douai.

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