125 Local Heroes: Highfield Road Park's Karen Pennington nominated for tower anniversary

Karen Pennington
Karen Pennington
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The campaign to find 125 heroes to help mark the anniversary of the building of Blackpool Tower continues, and today’s hero is someone who has helped transform a South Shore park for the local community.

Karen Pennington is well-known for her sterling work at Highfield Road Park, due to her prominent role as secretary of the Friends group.

The organisation was set up in 2006 and, since then, the park has seen a raft of improvements and new features – all designed to benefit the local community.

Karen has played a huge role along with her husband Gary, who is the chairman of the charity, and the other Friends group volunteers.

Key improvements have included upgrades to the playground and children’s facilities, while Karen has helped organise regular fund-raising events, such as fun days and dog shows.

As well as being the face of the park, she has helped sort out events like the community art project recently, which saw youngsters decorating wooden pallets with spray paint.

As well as her community efforts, Karen writes for The Gazette as a community correspondent.

On finding out she has been nominated, Karen said: “I’m speechless and so lovely that someone has nominated me. I feel really humbled.

“I love being part of Blackpool and being involved with Highfield Road Park and the Friends group.

“Even though I may no longer live close to the park I still know how much it means to the local community. It means so much for all ages as well.

“We have people coming to the park regulary from places like St Annes and Cleveleys who say they are in awe of it.

“It feels great to be part of something that people enjoy. I have to thank all the volunteers that help at the park.”