Collaboration brings new goalposts for young people

20 March 2023

Children and young people showed off their skills at a mini football tournament and during football-related activities to celebrate the installation of new goalposts at a South Ockendon park.

On Saturday 18 March, young members of the community came together to enjoy a kick-around at Bonnygate Park. They were joined by Thurrock Council's Resident Engagement and Parks Engagement Teams, representatives from Mears and Huws Gray, Cllr Qaisar Abbas, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities, Cllr Andrew Jefferies, Cabinet Member for Environment, and Cllr Paul Arnold.

The council worked with its repairs contractor Mears, who funded the goalposts with Huws Gray, an independent builders' merchant that works collaboratively with Mears to supply materials, as one of its social value projects.

Cllr Luke Spillman, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "Our Resident Engagement Team and Anti-social Behaviour Team engaged with residents and young people in the local community to find out more about their neighbourhood. This initiative aims to provide an innovative solution to noise nuisance concerns around the parade of shops at Aire Drive.

"Pupils from surrounding schools including Beacon Hall Academy and Harris Academy Chafford Hundred, as well as children from local scouts groups were invited to take part in this celebratory event.

"Thank you to our teams for working with the community and for providing a space that our young people can enjoy. A big thank you also to Mears, who also installed the goalposts, and Huws Gray for supporting this scheme and funding the goalposts."

Gary Luscombe, Head of Operations, Mears, said: "Mears is delighted to have been able to support this project through a grant from the Mears Foundation, contributions from our Thurrock branch and a further contribution working in partnership with Huws Gray to benefit young people in South Ockendon. As part of Mears' social value commitment, we strive to help make a difference to people living in the communities we serve."

Stephen Bullock, Operations Director – Huws Gray Public Sector Team, said: "We pride ourselves on working with Mears and supporting them where we can on local initiatives and areas which can bring improvements to the borough. This will be our second involvement in the last four months, and we were pleased when Mears communicated to us the plans for Bonnygate Park and how this would help the local area. We made a donation and were available to assist on the day supplying some labour from our teams."

The council's Resident Engagement Team works with council tenants and leaseholders in a variety of ways. Find out more by emailing

Photo below: members of the community join council teams, representatives from Mears and Huws Gray, Cllr Qaisar Abbas, Cllr Andrew Jefferies, and Cllr Paul Arnold on Saturday 18 March to celebrate the installation of new goalposts at a South Ockendon park.