There are several volunteer groups in existence working across Torbay. Each group is different in the way it has been formed and the work it completes, but they all are effective and make a real difference.

Setting up a group gives all members of the community the chance to develop their local park or green space in line with the needs of the community. Being a 'Friend' is an excellent way of providing facilities or events and activities for your local community. Although this is sometimes hard work the rewards are more than worth the effort.

Friends groups are formed by local people, who volunteer their time to improve Torbay’s green spaces, with each group acting as a link between us and the public users of these parks or green spaces. Anyone may join and volunteer as much or as little of their time as they wish.

Friends groups are the voice of their communities and have been vastly important in supporting the development of both major and minor improvements in our parks and gardens; seeking funding unavailable to the local authority, helping in the working up of designs, creating a sociable community environment for charity days and community events, and in helping to maintain the various green spaces.

Many of the projects undertaken across Torbay’s parks and green spaces would not have been possible without the support and efforts of Friends groups and the successes that have been enjoyed by these groups lead to more communities wanting to improve their own local park or green space.

Friends groups bring together the strengths of local communities and ours to make a real difference to local parks and green spaces, enriching the lives of those who use them.

Groups come together to meet with others, gain skills and achieve their aspirations for local green spaces, while our green spaces benefit from groups’ activities, such as exciting new practical tasks, funding for improvement work and events to increase public awareness and enjoyment of the park.

"I joined the Friends because the park seemed a bit unloved and uncared for. It’s always been so popular with young families, including mine, and I wanted to make sure many more would continue to enjoy it.”
- Member, Torbay Friends Group

The work of a well-organised Friends group can be extremely beneficial to both the volunteers and the park they support. Group members can learn new skills, meet new people and gain a sense of achievement and ownership of the park. The park itself benefits through the work the group completes which may include practical tasks, receiving funding for improvement work, or holding events to increase public awareness and enjoyment of the park.

By forming a group, you can help us to identify the needs and priorities of the local community whilst understanding the challenges we face. You can also take advantage of the vast opportunities available to the public and community schemes, benefiting those you live next to and amongst.