JANUARY 2019 UPDATE
We in the NFPGS continue to be a key participant and influence in the Greenspace Sector / Government liaison body – the Parks Action Group [PAG] – discussing and debating what must be done to address the under funding crisis. We ourselves are coordinating a Community Empowerment work stream, and have proposed a series of regional conferences for Friends Groups to strengthen networking, good practice and partnership-working. There may be some good news to report on this and related matters very soon.
Our Chair and reps from other national organisations have held 2 meetings with Clive Betts MP, the Chair of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee. The Committee has written to the Minister for Parks seeking a report on progress made over the last 2 years on addressing their Recommendations in response to the growing under funding crisis facing parks. We have ensured that members of the PAG will be able to respond also, so that the Committee can keep up pressure on Government to take effective action.
23 national organisations have now signed up to back the new Charter for Parks calling for proper recognition, funding and protection for all the UK’s public green spaces. www.parkscharter.org.uk
Following ongoing discussions with ourselves and others The Mail on Sunday, has continued with its Save Our Parks campaign, taking many of its demands from the Parks Charter. On 30th December there was a special double page spread ‘We Salute The Parks Saviours’ about the Friends of Parks Groups movement, with some excellent examples and quoting the NFPGS Chair. You can read it by clicking here: https://www.natfedparks.org.uk/pdf/nfpgs-save-our-parks-sunday-mail-20181231.pdf
We continue to support the Lottery-funded ‘Rethinking Parks’ project – parkscommunityuk – to promote community empowerment throughout the UK. It is being run by the Friends of Lordship Rec in London, working with a dozen other Friends Groups. The project is actually co-managed by our Chair, who is also the Chair of the Friends of Lordship Rec. The idea is to develop a website ‘one stop shop’ for all Friends Groups, with ‘How To’ guides, information, links to supporting organisations, case studies etc to inform and inspire.. watch this space for more details.
We have been given a donation of £7,500 by a small charity, so for the first time since we set up 10 years ago we have some of our own substantial ‘unallocated’ funds to help strengthen the NFPGS. We have also been allocated a place in the London Marathon – appeal below! Together these 2 ‘pots’ will help us achieve some longer term financial sustainability.
NFPGS Run the London Marathon to Raise Money
Our own treasurer Roland Bruce from the Bristol Parks Forum has taken up the challenge to run the London Marathon to raise money for our work to champion volunteers in our parks and open spaces!
Please can you pass this around all your networks to help raise the profile and we are hoping to raise over £2,000.
Roland will be doing regular updates on how the training is going and we would like to offer all our support and backing.
More info here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/national-federation-of-parks-and-green-spaces
Good luck Roland!