Set up a Friends Group for your local park or facility

Set up a Friends Group

One way to make a difference to your local park, recreation ground or facility such as a library is to set up a Friends of Group.  Friends’ Groups work with Council staff to look after the park or facility.  There may already be a Friends of Group looking for members and supporters.  Find a Friends Group.


Friends of Queensbury Cemetery

What do Friends Groups do?

It really depends on what is important to your group  – what needs fixing or providing?  Most activities can be divided in to putting on events for people and looking after the facility itself.  It is important to remember in running the group, putting on activities or looking after the facility that the Council and its partners respect and value people’s differences and we work together to make sure everyone is included and able to participate.


Parks, woodlands, greenspaces, buildings often need some Tender Loving Care:

  • Agree a programme of works or management plan with Council colleagues;
  • Set up a “practical tasks” group to do the “gardening” or “housekeeping”;
  • Raise funds for improvements: new benches or paths etc.
  • Inspecting and reporting.

Fun and Games

Parks etc are not just for looking but are great places for social and recreational activities, many Friends’ Groups also have a calendar of events:

  • Wildlife walks and talks from the dawn chorus to bat walks;
  • Galas, fairs and fun days for all the family;
  • Exercise and fitness sessions;
  • Local history research.

How to get started

Find like-minded people who want to who want to make a difference.

  1. Talk to friends and neighbours – in the park, school gate, when you’re passing or on Facebook or twitter.
  2. Arrange an informal get together of people who are interested in forming a group. Tea and cake always helps!
  3. Contact the Council and let us know if you need help: [email protected]
  4. Organise an event where more people can come along and share their ideas and views.
  5. Use facebook, twitter, flyers and posters to let people know about the event.
  6. Agree your next steps…

TOP TIP: use comoodle to find space, stuff or skills to help you set up.

Next Steps

What you do next depends on who is involved, the level of commitment time and resources people have and what your goals.  Some Friends have been deeply involved in multi-million pound projects others are happy to meet once a week to litter pick their local recreation ground.  Some people love meetings others are happier doing something practical.

Toe in the water

One way to test out as idea is to have a go! Organise an event or activity and see how it goes.


If you’ve generated some interest and enthusiasm its time to think about what sort of group you need to be:

Constituted group:  if you are going to raise money to fund projects, envisage a large membership paying a fee or will need insurance then  your group should be formally constituted.  Being constituted means having a set of rules (constitution), elected officers, hold an Annual General Meeting, keep accounts and hold a Bank Account.  Advice on how to set up a constituted group is available via CVS, email: [email protected] or call 01274 722772.

constitution icon


Informal group: if you can run without money and membership is free, it probably won’t be necessary to become a constituted group, although it is useful to agree some contact details.  Some groups have simply been people who meet-up and agree some work.  Some groups are Facebook groups – networks of people with an interest in their local facility.

Contact: [email protected]

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