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Engaging Communities to Improve our Parks and Open Spaces

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Presentation given by Sarah Royal, Birmingham Open Spaces Forum (BOSF) and Chair of the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces (NFPGS), GSNF, Feb 2011

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Engaging Communities to Improve our Parks and Open Spaces

  1. 1. Engaging Communities to Improve our Parks and Open Spaces National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces
  2. 2. NFPGS Background <ul><li>The Need to Network Community Forums </li></ul><ul><li>Contacted GreenSpace 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>First meeting 2008 in Birmingham </li></ul><ul><li>Formed NFPGS </li></ul><ul><li>Network of Forums across the country </li></ul><ul><li>Sixth meeting January 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Constituted with a committee </li></ul><ul><li>Regular quarterly meetings </li></ul>
  3. 3. Current Priorities <ul><li>Increase our Membership </li></ul><ul><li>Publicity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leaflets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visits/Presentations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discuss Current Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Conference – World Parks Day 17 th September </li></ul><ul><li>Bid for funds </li></ul><ul><li>Building up a partnership network </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Importance of Community <ul><li>Gets people involved </li></ul><ul><li>Changes it in to a vibrant community space </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces crime </li></ul><ul><li>Brings in more money </li></ul><ul><li>Brings in more manpower through volunteering </li></ul><ul><li>Puts the open space on the map </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Squeaky Wheel gets the Oil!” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Importance of a Forum to Groups <ul><li>“ Together we stand divided we fall” </li></ul><ul><li>Networks them to other like groups </li></ul><ul><li>Advertises their open space & group work </li></ul><ul><li>Gives them their voice to make a difference </li></ul><ul><li>Gives them ownership of their open space </li></ul><ul><li>Helps them to bring in extra funding </li></ul><ul><li>Improves skills & understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Supports them to make a difference to their park or open space </li></ul>
  6. 6. Birmingham Open Spaces Forum <ul><li>470 Parks & Open Spaces in Birmingham covering 3,200 ha </li></ul><ul><li>BOSF Formed in 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Currently 130 groups </li></ul><ul><li>Many partners and a good network </li></ul><ul><li>Attend many groups and forums across Birmingham </li></ul><ul><li>www.bosf.org.uk </li></ul><ul><li>Built a good relationship with Birmingham City Council </li></ul><ul><li>We have the community voice they need </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regular meetings with Head of Parks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grounds Maintenance Tender </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Park Keepers Forum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restructure Process </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What BOSF Offers to Groups <ul><li>We offer advice & help to our member groups: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Starting a new group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where to go for funding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Answering enquiries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Signposting to other agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sites under threat advice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Events & Shows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networking & Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Sheet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shrub Bed Project </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. NFPGS – The Future <ul><li>Increase in Size </li></ul><ul><li>Get the Community Voice Heard Nationally </li></ul><ul><li>Put Parks and Open Spaces Back on the Agenda! </li></ul><ul><li>Input our ideas to the decision makers & practioners </li></ul><ul><li>Bring in more Partners & Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Successful, Active, National Network for the Community </li></ul><ul><li>Community self help is the future </li></ul>

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