LAKE Meadows will get hundreds of pounds worth of new plants and Billericay’s popular parkrun team will get life-saving equipment, thanks to unexpected cash boosts.

Billericay Town Council will provide funds for Billericay Parkrun, Billericay Men’s Shed and Friends of Lake Meadows.

The money will buy a new defibrillator for the parkrun, help establish a new venue for the Billericay Men’s shed and buy new plants for the rhododendron garden in Lake Meadows.

Town council chairman Jim Devlin said the cash will help so many in the community and it’s a pleasure to be able to help.

He said: “We are so pleased to be able to support these groups. The parkrun needs a new defibrillator as the organisers have moved the startline as it’s so popular so they need a new defibrillator for the starting point.

“We are thrilled to be able to contribute towards the parkrun as it’s a real popular one here in Billericay and has really gone from strength to strength.

“It’s also nice to have it back and it’s not been back all that long after all the issues over the last 18 months.

“Friends of Lake Meadows need new rhododendrons for the gardens and we helped to establish it originally as well.”

The council chairman said although it was not a vast amount of money for the group he hoped it would make a difference none-the-less. The three groups will share £1,200 between them.

He said the Men’s Shed is a start-up and the council is delighted to help launch the new initiative which will give men the chance to attend a new club with like minded people and fix and mend things, like woodwork and metalwork.

Mr Devin added: “It came about after a woman whose father has dementia came to us with the idea and we were keen to support it – there are many other groups across the country. I do like fixing things and will probably pop in to see what’s happening or even just for a coffee and chat. Basildon Council has agreed we can use a disused building in Lake Meadows Park.

“It needs to be made secure and some new fitting out. The grants are also a sign of things getting back to normal for us too which is nice.”