How to Start a Friends Group
Let’s Be 'Friends'!
Do you value your local park or green space?
Do you want see improvements there, and more people using it? Do you think it should be looked after properly? If so, why not get together with other users to form a local 'Friends of…' group?
How you can get started...
- get a small group of interested people together
- call a public meeting to discuss your local park and what you’d like to achieve together - distribute publicity leaflets to local homes and to users in the park (with a tear off slip)
- kick things off straight away with positive activities you can all do together
- build up your membership, and set up an email list to share news and views
- if you want a constitution for your group, here is a sample
- involve the views of all the various types of users
- be positive and determined… and stick at your activities through thick and thin
- you are an independent group, but be prepared to work with the Council, local schools, conservation groups, & other community groups to achieve your aims
- you are not alone! There are currently 27 local Friends groups, and we work together through the Friends Forum
Some things you could do as Friends...
- meet up regularly to discuss your views and concerns about the park
- lobby the Council for better maintenance, and also improvements
- produce your own leaflets and newsletters
- set up a website about your park and the Friends activities
- draft up a long-term vision for how the park could be if there were new facilities, etc
- organise events such as: bulb and tree planting, clear-up days, picnics, health and nature walks and maybe a summer community festival
- research the history of the park and produce a pamphlet
- apply for grants for some of the things above
Just as our parks need 'Friends', so our neighbourhoods need residents' groups and associations! Its all about taking 'ownership' of our lives, our local facilities and our areas, and working together to improve where we live. Together we are stronger.