Torbay’s park’s and open spaces provide opportunities for recreation and enjoyment, benefiting health, relaxation, play, peace and tranquillity for Torbay residents. It is important that these opportunities are available for all and that ‘Friends’ groups play a vital role in the enjoyment of our parks and open spaces.
Torbay Council is responsible for over one hundred and fifty areas of public open space and gardens, with approximately seventy sites furnished with play facilities. The continuing development and improvement of these facilities is to ensure that the needs of the users are being met for present and future generations.
In order to meet these aspirations, the Council is keen to hear the voice of the community. After all, any changes that are made towards the positive improvement of Torbay’s parks and playgrounds must be done to benefit the community.
Friends Groups: A Policy for Torbay's Parks and Play Areas
This publication has been developed as a criteria for the development of park ‘Friends Groups’ which will consist of local people who can volunteer their time to improve Torbay’s parks and green spaces. Anyone can join and volunteer as much or as little of their time as they wish. These groups can become the voices of their communities and can help the Council in understanding what improvements are necessary and needed.
Torbay has a number of existing ‘Friends Groups’ who act as an important link between the Council and the public users of these parks. These groups have been vastly important in providing suggestions for the major (and minor) improvement of our parks and gardens; seeking funding opportunities unavailable to the local authority and helping in the creation of designs; and creating a sociable community environment used as a medium for charity days and community events.
By forming a group you can help the Council to identify the needs and priorities of the local community whilst understanding the challenges of the Council. You can also take advantage of the vast opportunities available to the public and community schemes benefiting those you live next to and amongst.
‘Friends’ groups can make a difference. By forming a group you can help to sort out what needs to be done, identify needs and priorities for local people of all ages and backgrounds, understand the challenges and the opportunities and form a practical partnership with the Council.
Key reasons for establishing a ‘Friends’ group
- Friends Groups give people interested in their local park a representative organisation and a means of meeting the needs of the local community.
- Friends Groups can work in partnership with the local authority and other local organisations to represent local views and improve and develop the park and green spaces.
- Friends Groups can make and secure grant applications to improve the park or green space
- Friends Groups can encourage an increase in the use of the park or green space and discourage abuse and misuse.
- Friends Groups can work to improve their local park or green space.
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