Earth Stories – Handsworth Park

Councillor Paulette Hamilton shares her earth story memory of Handsworth Park and her request for you to help shape the future of Birmingham’s parks and open spaces.

My name is Paulette Hamilton, I’m the cabinet member for adult social care and health and public health in Birmingham.

Let me start by saying I’m a wife, I’m a mother, I’m a grandmother, I’m a carer and I’m daughter. I have a long history in this city, in fact I was born in this city, I grew up in this city, in an area called Handsworth and throughout my life I have visited many of the parks and open spaces in this city.

As a child when I was growing up my mother had five children and we had a very small garden in our house but it was our delight each week to go to the local park which was a park called Handsworth Park. We absolutely loved it and it was an area we enjoyed going to every week for exercise with my mother and with our older brothers and sisters and my younger brothers and sisters.

During this time we had some really really fantastic days where literally sometimes all we did was sit down in the park by the bandstand or go by the boats and just sit down and enjoy life and just looking around the world and, in fact, when I got married I actually took my pictures by the weeping willows at that very same park. So you can see I have got a long history.

For me when I go into a park and I’m in the open spaces I actually feel relaxed, it really helps my mental health, it helps me to think and it just helps me to see what we can do going forward, not just for me myself and my family but in the roles that I do what we do going forward in the community.

The reason I’m speaking to you today is because we are doing this new consultation about parks and I really do want you to join in. I want you to get involved, I want you to join in, I want you to help us shape the future of our city and our city parks and open spaces. Because without you we are going to be unable to take this forward in the way we want to. So please, get involved, help us shape the future of our parks in Birmingham.

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