Throughout London, our much loved and greatly valued green spaces need people to help promote, animate, enhance and protect them.Over the past 20 years a Friends movement of park users has grown up and expanded.
Whilst every site, and every group, is unique and has its own distinct character, the activities that Friends carry out tend to be similar. These might include: running volunteer sessions, including litter picking and helping with some planting and maintenance; alerting the council to any problems; organising community activities and events of all kinds; generating publicity, spreading news and building membership through notice-boards and social media; liaising with staff and managers regarding maintenance and repairs; linking with local stakeholders, such as a school, a site cafe, or nearby residents’ associations; discussing, proposing and sometimes fundraising for improvement projects; and helping to develop a vision for the future.
The impact of a Friends group in a green space can make a big difference to its atmosphere. Friends groups in the Association of Bloomsbury Squares and Gardens have organised Artist in Residence sessions in various gardens, had art exhibitions on the railings of the squares as part of the Bloomsbury Festival, arranged one-off outdoor theatre and music events and have an annual carol singing session. They have collaborated with content for information boards on features and history of the gardens and introduced wildlife areas – in addition to offering the opportunity to take part in three volunteer gardening groups in the area and weekly Wellbeing Walks with Camden Guides. They also liaise regularly with Camden Council and other owners of the spaces.
Could you be a Friend?
The local Friends groups would love to meet you and include you in their activities, outdoors or indoors. You can contact all the local groups through this website: email firstname.lastname@example.org, or turn up at a volunteer session to find out more (see Volunteering page for more details). At the very least, sign up to Follow the website on the Home page to hear about local activities.