Facebook appeal to back fundraising vintage fair to improve Earlham Park toilets

Earlham Park cafe owners Hakan Torunogullari and Ingrid Henry.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Earlham Park cafe owners Hakan Torunogullari and Ingrid Henry. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A park cafe owner is using the power of social media to organise a family-friendly vintage fair to improve a block of public toilets.

A flashback photo of the toilets during a period when they were closed for refurbishment. Picture: A

A flashback photo of the toilets during a period when they were closed for refurbishment. Picture: Angela Sharpe - Credit: Archant � 2009

Ingrid Henry, who co-owns Earlham Park Café, wants to contribute towards or pay for a full refurbishment or rebuild of the block which is 'well-maintained' but 'past its sell-by date'.

She also wants to fundraise for a defibrillator, accessible to the park users, as she has previously helped with emergency first-aid situations at the park.

The toilet facilities are owned by Norwich City Council.

Mrs Henry, who has two boys aged one and eight as well as an four-year-old girl, put an appeal for fair ideas and manpower on its Facebook page at the weekend and has been 'overwhelmed' with responses.

She said: 'The council is positive about the plan. The response on Facebook has been brilliant. I was thrilled that people were so positive about it and want to raise money for the park. That is the power of social media.

'Lots of people who use Earlham Park have used it for years. It is well-known in Norwich.

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'The council has done its best for the toilets but they need replacing. We as a community can raise money as well as have a lovely, fun and free family day out.'

She is speaking to the council about her plans later this month and hopes to put on the vintage fair in spring or summer next year.

Mrs Henry, who runs Twinkle Toes Soft Play Baby Café in Sussex Street, Norwich, has operated the year-round Earlham Park Café with husband Hakan Torunogullari for 10 years.

Her customers have to use the park toilets which are sometimes closed for maintenance, according to the business owner.

Dog walkers, families and groups of friends who visit the park also use the facilities which do not have a baby changing unit - something Mrs Henry is keen to change.

She said it was important any new toilets fitted into the park landscape.

A spokesman for the council said: 'Regarding any plans to raise money which could help to pay for improvements at Earlham Park – this is something we're also happy to be involved with and provide some guidance on.'

To get involved contact Mrs Henry via the Earlham Park Café Facebook page.

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