A commemorative seating area designed to display plaques dedicated to lost loved ones has been unveiled at a Rotherham beauty spot.  

With funding from housing provider Sanctuary, Thrybergh Country Park has a new platform with two benches, two wheelchair spaces and views over the reservoir.

The idea came from recently retired park ranger Alan Duncan, who worked in the Rotherham Council park for exactly 33 years.  

Alan chose the spot for the stone construction, which was built by regeneration and energy experts EQUANS, based on its spectacular views of the water, wildlife and close location to the café and play area for families.

Sanctuary helped Alan to bring his idea to life through its MORE! programme, which supports people and projects in communities where it is building new homes.

Sanctuary is delivering 73 two, three and four-bedroom homes at its nearby Whinney Hill development, as part of a wider development project supported by Rotherham Council.

Alan said: “I had the idea 10 years ago, when I was looking for a way to pay tribute to my late mother.

“It looks out over one of my favourite views and I’m really pleased that others will be able to sit here and enjoy it.”  

Vicky Penn, Sanctuary’s development manager, added: “We really enjoyed meeting Alan and hearing his wonderful ideas.

“We hope that the new benches will provide comfort and joy to others within the Thrybergh community for many years to come.”

Councillor David Sheppard, Rotherham Council Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, added: “Everyone deserves to feel happy, healthy, and secure. We want to empower everyone to lead fulfilling lives, whilst also keeping them safe from harm.

“Alan was dedicated to creating a better environment for Rotherham in his work and this bench is a wonderful legacy, that enables people to relax and enjoy the greenery that Alan helped shape and his colleagues continue to care for.”

To arrange wording on a plaque at the new memorial, please contact Thrybergh Country Park on 01709 850353.

The cost to dedicate a plaque is £500, which goes towards the upkeep of the park. All plaques will stay in place for at least 15 years, longer if there remains space.

The new homes at Whinney Hill are being built by Sanctuary’s contractor EQUANS – part of the ENGIE Group - and are available for affordable rent and shared ownership sale. 

For more details about Whinney Hill, visit https://www.sanctuary-homes.co.uk/developments/whinney-hill.


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