The organisation: Friends of Eston Cemetery is a volunteer organisation which helps to maintain and look after Eston Cemetery and consists of many people who have relatives laid to rest there. The cemetery provides plots for a large area of the borough including South Bank, Eston, Teesville and Normanby, and sits within the centre of one of the busiest areas of Greater Eston on Normanby Road. The Friends of the Cemetery aim to ensure that it provides a tranquil, peaceful and welcoming environment for families and is a pleasant green space that the community can take pride in.
The initiative: There are several areas of the cemetery badly in need of renovation, especially considering that many of its graves are hundreds of years old. The Sofia funding will support work to improve the entrance area of the cemetery as there is no signage, nor any welcoming features for a cemetery serving so many local people. The group will restore an entrance section, install bespoke signage to welcome visitors and plant flowers and shrubs. The funding will enable the group to bring in expert landscapers and joiners, primarily to repair the deteriorated brick work, and also to install new soil and plant flowers and shrubs. It will also contribute to funding specialist sign makers to design and install a welcoming entrance sign for visitors. The volunteers will help with the installation but need to hire in the specialist expertise to ensure the project is completed to a high standard. The aim is for it to be a safe, welcoming, peaceful and tranquil space for people to mourn their relatives, and a green space to enjoy in an otherwise urban area.