Friends of Torbay Parks and Green Spaces
We have several Friends’ Groups supporting parks and green spaces across Torbay. Joining a Friends’ Group is an ideal way to show practical support for your local green space and to share ideas and activities with like-minded people.
A friends group is formed when four or more people come together with shared aims for their local green space(s). This group must be prepared to hold meetings to plan action, agree a constitution (example constitution available and support from your Green Spaces project manager), open a bank account and obtain insurance for your activities.
All groups get involved in some kind of fundraising... This could be through events in or out of parks, individual fundraising activity or grants. Although parks services are run by Torbay Council, local friends groups usually have a vision or a “shopping list” of extras they would like: resources or equipment which would improve the park or green space and add to the enjoyment of those using it. This might include improved aspects such as signage, extra play equipment, nature projects or education resources.
Friends groups may provide practical activity, such as hosting or supporting events in their local park, holding community consultation, working with other local organisations and projects, such as Play Torbay or Torbay’s Buzzing to develop exciting new programmes of work. You can get as involved as you like.
WHO CAN HELP?
Torbay Council works with Groundwork South to provide support to communities to set up Friends groups, with a dedicated website at parklifetorbay.org.uk
Your local Green Spaces project manager, Debs, can help you with writing your constitution, supporting development of guidance around safeguarding, health and safety, etc and accessing funding and training that your group may need.
WHY SHOULD I JOIN A FRIENDS GROUP?
Firstly, being a member of a Friends group is fun – you will get to meet other people who care about their local parks and green spaces and will be able to enjoy the social side of being part of a group.
You can receive training – aspects such as project management, risk assessment, horticulture, tool use and managing your site for wildlife... If you require other training for your friends group, your Green Spaces project manager can help you to find and access this training.
HOW DO FRIENDS GROUPS WORK?
Each group has its own constitution, which sets out clear aims and objectives, decided together between the Friends Group and your Green Spaces project manager.
A small committee meets regularly to co-ordinate activities and make decisions, in consultation with the local librarian. Minutes are produced and distributed to members, local library staff and library managers.
Help is also at hand for groups through the Communities Can programme which offers funding and support to get your group up and running with free help and specialist advice.
For more information and to find out if your group is eligible, click here: www.communitiescan.org