Have you ever wanted to get more involved in your local park or green space in Torquay, Brixham or Paignton and surrounding areas?

Are you interested in volunteering, perhaps a spot of gardening, helping to plan events or fundraising? Or maybe you have some other practical skills that you’d like to use to help others.

Torbay Council wants to work more closely with the community and as part of this is encouraging local people to come forward and volunteer in their parks and green spaces. The Council is working jointly with Groundwork South, an organisation which works with local communities to enhance their local area, and will also work closely with SWISCo, the new company wholly owned by the council which is responsible for waste and recycling, highways, and grounds maintenance.

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said: “We want to make the best of our beautiful parks and green spaces in Torbay and we know that you care about them too, so we want to work with you to help us keep them clean and green and help futureproof them.

“We are always looking at different ways of working with our communities to deliver services differently, particularly with the ongoing pressures on finances, and we want to empower people to do their bit.

“Getting out in the great outdoors and doing activities like gardening or ‘being active’ and also volunteering or ‘giving’ are also proven to make you feel happier and healthier as part of the Five Ways To Wellbeing, so this is a great chance to find a new hobby and do some good. So what are you waiting for, put your name forward and let us know where you’d like to volunteer and what you’d like to do.

“We can put you in touch with your local ‘Friends Of’ park group or potentially you might even be able to help set a new Friends Of group if there isn’t already one.”

Hannah Worthington, Torbay Green Spaces Development Officer for Groundwork South, said: “Through our work with communities and councils across southern England we know how much individuals and communities can benefit from involvement with caring for their green places, with volunteers telling us how rewarding it is to be actively making a difference to where they live.

“The Bay’s parks, gardens and green spaces provide places for relaxation, recreation and play but they also offer opportunities to learn about local wildlife and the environment, as well as to socialise and exercise, helping bring communities together.

“Joining or setting up a group is straightforward and gives everyone the opportunity to get involved in ensuring Torbay’s green spaces continue to thrive.”

A call for volunteer gardeners to help with Oldway Mansion was put out last year and more than 100 people came forward.

Find out more about volunteering

If you want to volunteer to help enhance your local park, green space or flowerbed, visit the Torbay Council website to fill out a form and express your interest.

We will need your name and some contact details, the area you want to volunteer in, and what sort of activities you’d be interested in taking part in, to help match you with the right opportunities.

You can complete an expression of interest form on our Volunteering webpage.

Pictured: Babbacombe Bay Bloomers are a great example of a local volunteering group who get involved with their local green spaces. You can find out more about them on their Facebook page here.

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