About friends of parks
Friends of parks groups are made up of residents and other interested people who volunteer their time to improve their local park or open space. Each group is unique in what they offer, but all have a shared aim to care for their park and make it a better place to visit.
Anyone can join a friends of parks group. You do not need to live in the nearby area, and it is up to you how much time you give.
What friends of parks groups do
Friends of parks groups represent the local community. Most friends groups get 'hands-on' and carry out a range of activities, such as bulb planting, vegetation clearance and clean-up days.
Friends groups help the council by advising on park improvements. They can also help to gain funding for certain projects.
Joining a friends of parks group
We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers of all ages to join our friends of parks groups or set up new groups.
By joining a friends of parks group, you can:
- help improve the park's appearance
- have a say in its facilities
- improve its biodiversity
- increase its safety
- meet new people
- enhance your skills
- improve your employment prospects
- get exercise and improve your health and wellbeing
- make a positive contribution to your local area
Setting up a new friends of parks group
How you can get started
First, let us know about your plan by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once we have approved the formation of the group, you can:
- get a small group of interested people together
- arrange a public meeting to discuss your local park and what you would like to achieve together (hand out publicity leaflets to local homes and users in the park)
- start with positive activities you can all do together
- build up your membership, and set up a contact list to share news and views
It is important to remember that parks are for the benefit of the whole community. So, you should make sure your group represents the views of a cross-section of the community, for example, age, gender and sexuality, ethnicity and religion, and ability and disability.
When you have set up your group and have enough members to help develop it further, you will need to arrange the first formal meeting. This should include:
- Setting up a committee - the committee helps to run the group. There are certain roles, such as Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, that will need to be decided. It is the Chair who usually leads the group and acts as the public voice.
- Agreeing a constitution - this sets out exactly how your group will be managed, your aims and objectives, and how meetings will be run
- Setting up a bank account - once your group is formally established, it should set up a bank account. This is so membership subscriptions (if applicable) and other funds raised can be managed properly. The account should be in the name of the group and will need at least 2 people (usually committee members) to act as signatories each time a transaction is made.
- Organising an Annual General Meeting - groups need to hold Annual General Meetings (AGMs) each year. The first AGM will adopt the constitution and elect committee members. The following years' AGMs will:
- re-elect committee members
- present an annual report and accounts to group members
Once the committee and constitution are in place, you can work towards achieving your group aims and objectives. You should hold regular meetings to include:
- discussing your views and concerns
- planning fundraising events
- planning tasks and group activities, such as bulb and tree planting, clear-up days, picnics, health and nature walks
- producing your own leaflets and newsletters
- setting up a website about your park and friends group activities
- drafting up a long-term vision for how the park could be if there were new facilities
- applying for grants for some of the above
Please email email@example.com to let us know when you have set up your group. This allows us to tell you about any friends networking events we run, and send you information on grants, training events and site visits.
If you need further support, Enfield Voluntary Action provide a range of services tailored to meet the needs of voluntary and community organisations. They can also help guide new groups through the start-up process.
Insurance, risk assessments, and health and safety
Friends groups that carry out practical tasks in their parks will be covered by the council’s public liability insurance policy, as long as:
- the events are fully risk assessed
- groups have agreed the work in advance with the Parks Service
For each activity you organise, you should complete a risk assessment to identify potential risks associated with that activity. You should then put in place any measures to reduce the risks or get help if needed.
For useful risk assessment templates and examples, visit Health and Safety Executive.
Make sure volunteers are made aware of how to handle tools and equipment properly, and of the potential risks associated with the work they will be doing.
You can find grant funding opportunities on the free-to-use Enfield 4 Community online search tool. This allows you to search for grants, schemes and funds that match your friends of park group profile. It is updated regularly, including council funding opportunities in the local news section.
Groups will need to register the first time they use it - they will then have access to all areas of the portal.
Support for friends groups
Friends partnership agreement
We have developed a partnership agreement to outline what we expect from friends of parks groups and what they can expect from us.
The partnership agreement challenges friends groups to strive for a better park, and is structured on 3 levels:
There is an increasing level of commitment from both partners at each stage.
If you have any enquiries about the friends partnership agreement, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of parks roundtable meetings
Friends of parks roundtable meetings provide a chance for friends groups to discuss opportunities and strategic issues with council officers and the Cabinet Member for Public Spaces, Culture and Local Economy.
Friends of parks advice surgeries
Friends of parks advice surgeries are a chance for friends groups to discuss park issues. The surgeries are led by the Head of Parks and Open Spaces. Friends groups can book a 20 minute slot between 1pm and 5pm monthly (this may be subject to change). Slots are on a first come first served basis, and must be booked in advance by emailing email@example.com.
Below are funding resources that could help you find a funder for your work.
Friends of parks groups, voluntary organisations and community groups looking for funding, can do a free online search with Enfield4Community.
This free tool allows you to search for grants, schemes and funds that match your friends group's profile. It is updated regularly, including council funding opportunities in the local news section.
Groups will need to register the first time they use it, and then they will have access to all areas of the portal.
If you have any enquiries about the Enfield4Community web portal, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parks for London
Parks for London is a charity which champions and supports London's parks and green spaces. It develops good practice, guidance and resources for managers of green infrastructure.
Enfield Voluntary Action
Enfield Voluntary Action (EVA) provides support services to assist the development of the voluntary and community sector in the borough.
Friends of parks groups can access EVA services, such as funding advice, preparing policies, finance and budgeting in a way that is tailored towards their needs.
EVA can also support friends groups with finding volunteers and volunteer management.
National Lottery Heritage Fund
The National Lottery Heritage Fund, funds projects of all sizes that connect people and communities to the UK’s heritage.
Enfield in Bloom
Enfield in Bloom aims to improve the environment by encouraging local people to 'green up and clean up' their neighbourhoods. Through its annual award scheme, it encourages and makes lasting improvements through horticultural best practice, environmental friendliness, community involvement and sustainability.
If you cannot find what you’re looking for on our website, or for other park enquiries, email email@example.com.
Friends of parks groups in Enfield
- Albany Park (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Aldersbrook Park
- Angel Gardens (email email@example.com)
- Arnos Park (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Broomfield Park
- Bury Lodge Gardens (email email@example.com)
- Bush Hill Park
- Conway Recreation Ground
- Chase Green (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Enfield Chase
- Enfield Playing Fields
- Firs Farm
- Forty Hall Park
- Grovelands Park
- Hazelwood Recreation Ground
- Hilly Fields
- Jubilee Park (email email@example.com)
- Kennington Hall Park
- Minchenden Oak Garden
- Montagu Recreation Ground (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- North Enfield Recreation Ground (Tuckers Park)
- Oakwood Park
- Painters Lane Open Space
- Pocket Park (Silver Street, Edmonton) (email email@example.com)
- Ponders End Park (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Pymmes Park
- Tatem Park
- Tottenhall Recreation Ground and Boundary Playing Fields
- Town Park
- Trent Country Park
- Voice of Jubilee Park (email email@example.com)
- Weir Hall Recreation Ground
- Woodcroft Wild Space