Stronger parks and green spaces groups

Stronger parks and green spaces groups

Reductions in Brighton and Hove City Council’s budget, a review of the park ranger service, and a consultation on future priorities for parks and green spaces, required us to support local parks and green spaces in a different way.

What we did

During 2016 we worked with the Trust for Developing Communities, the University of SussexBrighton and Hove City Council and Brighton and Hove City in Bloom to run a number of activities to bring together and support parks and green spaces groups.

Together, we ensured parks and greens spaces groups were involved in discussions on how such spaces could be run more collaboratively, and how local people could take a more prominent and pro-active role in running our parks and green spaces.

Together we:

  • reached out to and connected with a large number and wide range of parks and green spaces groups across the city
  • supported 120 individuals and 26 parks and green spaces groups to be involved in conversations with the council on the future of parks and green spaces, and to explore how these spaces could be run more collaboratively
  • worked with the Biosphere Project, to win £6,467 in funding from the University of Brighton’s Community University Partnership Programme to develop a new parks and green spaces network which will strengthen and enable greater sharing of resources and expertise between parks and green spaces groups
  • collated the views and expertise of parks and green spaces groups into a position statement (PDF) which was submitted to the council’s open spaces consultation. The council’s consultation received the highest number of responses of any done by a council as a result of our involvement and collective reach
  • surveyed 40 parks and green spaces groups to find out more about their support and development needs and how they could be met by the network
  • supported the network to discuss the council’s new open spaces strategy and how they could connect and co-deliver on it

“You’ve improved our knowledge of current thinking in managing parks.” 

Trustee of a small community organisation

 

Next steps

Together, we’ll continue to collaborate around the council’s open spaces strategy. We’ll also continue to support the new parks and green spaces network.

We hope the network will:

  • improve connections between parks and green spaces groups
  • improve collaborative working with the council
  • support the development of a pro-active role for parks and green spaces groups
  • help parks and green spaces groups to find more funding and volunteers

Ultimately the network will ensure that our parks and green spaces will continue to be looked after and benefit local communities and residents.

 

Need help?

If you’re part of a parks or green spaces groups in Brighton, Hove, Adur or Worthing, then your group can apply to join us as a member. Over 20 groups already have. By being a member, you’ll benefit from prioritised and discounted access to our services.

If you work in the public sector you’ll benefit from collaborating with voluntary and community organisations. We can support you to collaborate and work in partnership with voluntary and community organisations in Brighton, Hove, Adur and Worthing.

To find out more get in touch with our Partnerships Manager, Laura Williams, on laura@bhcommunityworks.org.uk or 01273 234025

 

“Community Works' sessions on parks and green spaces helped to bring people together and understand the complexity of the issues associated with parks and green spaces. It also demonstrated how we all need to challenge the silo approach to managing public services. We're optimistic that we can work in partnership with the council to address the manner in which volunteers can take on future challenges. ”

“Community Works' sessions on parks and green spaces helped to bring people together and understand the complexity of the issues associated with parks and green spaces. It also demonstrated how we all need to challenge the silo approach to managing public services. We're optimistic that we can work in partnership with the council to address the manner in which volunteers can take on future challenges. ”

NEXT | One of the benefits of volunteering

Tressa volunteered with us for two years. She's recently left us to take up paid employment.