3 May 2017

Events to welcome parks volunteers

Over a thousand people who expressed an interest in volunteering in Brighton & Hove’s parks and open spaces are being contacted by the council asking how they would like to contribute.

Last autumn the authority staged its Big Parks Consultation on priorities for parks, given that it had to save £600,000 from its parks budget over four years.

Around 3,500 people responded to the survey – a record for such a consultation in the city.  Email addresses were provided by 1,100 people who said they could be contacted about volunteering in parks.

Would-be volunteers are now being emailed and invited to events in coming months where they can meet parks staff and find out how to get involved. Anyone is welcome.

The response will help the council’s Cityparks service put detail on its plans to create a high-quality volunteering service. This would supplement, rather than replace, paid staff.

Cllr Gill Mitchell, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee said: “We want to say thank you very much to over 1,000 people who gave us their email address indicating an interest in volunteering.  Now we’re really keen to harness that enthusiasm and find out how this goodwill can be turned into activity to improve our parks.”

Full details of volunteering in the city’s parks are at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/parksvolunteers

Two types of events have been lined up during May, June, July and August – ’clean-up days’ and ‘introduction to volunteering’ days.

Introduction to volunteering: These sessions involve meeting a park ranger for a short while, walking around a site, looking at the sort of thing volunteers can do there and elsewhere:

Clean-up days: These sessions involve meeting ranger, helping clean up and learning how to assist in keeping a local green space cleaner.  General parks volunteering opportunities can be discussed:

Look out for a Cityparks vehicle at each venue!

Anyone interested in volunteering can also contact cityparks.volunteers@brighton-hove.gov.uk or see www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/parksvolunteers

 An update report on the Open Spaces Strategy will go to the environment committee on 27 June.