Community Spaces is a £57.5m open grants programme funded through the Big Lottery Fund and managed by Groundwork UK. This is a place for the Community Spaces team, Facilitators, projects as well as passers-by to share their stories about transforming green open spaces.
Posted on 11th December 2013 by Chris Burton
Community Spaces may be coming to a close in the next few months, but the job continues for Groundwork, which has managed the programme since 2008.
Groundwork operates in communities and neighbourhoods all over the country, helping to change spaces for the better, improve people’s employment chances and enable everyone to lead cleaner, greener lives.
You have already been part of our story so here’s your chance to stay involved and tell the world about what you have helped us to achieve.
We have launched a Facebook page for Friends of Groundwork. It’s a place for memories, thoughts and ideas about what Groundwork has meant for you and how you have helped us to change places a change lives.
Come on over…
Posted on 11th December 2013 by Chris Burton
Busy times at Bythams Spinney in Lincolnshire, where volunteers have been making sure their Celebrate Your Space grant from Community Spaces has been put to good use.
Dr Patrick Candler, chairman of the Bythams Woodland Trust, says: “We have just had the most wonderful of weekends at the Spinney
“Our Tree Dressing event was brilliant with more than 300 people joining in the activities. There were lots of family groups making all sorts of decorations not just for one tree but for many all over the site. We were able to feed everyone and it was a wonderful celebration of the work that we do all year round. There was great support from the local school and scout and guide groups.”
Elsewhere, the group has been busy with hedge-laying. Patrick adds: “We have already had three working days and have completed nearly 80 metres of hedge, which is looking really excellent. We would have done more, but we have run out of materials and need to get in some more. There has been good support from the community with between 20-25 people involved in the various stages of preparation, cutting wood, trimming up the hedge and the actual laying. We have two more sessions planned in the new year on January 19 and 26.
Patrick concluded: “All told, the Celebrate Your Space Grant has been a huge success and has achieved exactly what it was supposed to do. Many, many thanks for the support you have given us. It has been much appreciated and, quite simply, without it we could not be doing what we have done.”
For more, visit the group’s website or Facebook page
Posted on 10th December 2013 by Chris Burton
The sound of Christmas at Spitalfieds City Farm. This podcast gives a flavour of the festive season at the East London farm, home to the Community Spaces-backed Spiralfields Community Garden.
The podcast features a farm tour, wreath-making, story-telling and a meeting with Santa.
Yo ho ho
Posted on 9th December 2013 by Chris Burton
Around 200 people braved the cold to enjoy Operation Farm’s Funky, Fruity Family Fun Day at the Hyde Park Community Orchard in Manchester.
Staff from Green Monster Arts, volunteers and visitors made a small army of trolls and peg dollies as well as a gang of colourful tree sprites who guarded the fruit trees for the day.
Local musicians Aidan and Lis played wassailing songs and everyone joined in to thank the trees for their harvest…a libation of apple juice was poured on to the tree roots to ask for a good harvest next year.
The event was made possible with a grant from the Community Spaces Celebrate Your Space fund.
Joan, a regular volunteer for Operation Farm said: “I think the beautiful and happy faces of the children made it. They loved the troll making and the folk songs, also great food and much more. A lot of hard work went into the day. So thank you all.”
For more, visit the Operation Farm blog
Posted on 27th November 2013 by Chris Burton
Spitalfields City Farm in east London gets into the festive spirit with a Christmas Fayre on Saturday (December 1).
A Celebrate Your Space grant from Community Spaces means the farm has been able to arrange a host of seasonal attractions from 10am-2pm, giving people the chance to enjoy the farm’s new community gardens.
There will be a raffle, tombola, a farm stall selling pickles, preserves, cards, animal sponsorship and fresh milk, plus folk music from Teyr, story-telling sessions, wreath-making workshops and a farm café.
And if that’s not enough, on Wednesday December 11 there’s an afternoon of carol singing for the animals from 1pm-5pm, with music by Teyr.
The farm is at Buxton Street, London E1 5AR. Admission is free to both events.
More information here
Posted on 20th November 2013 by Chris Burton
The Woodland Trust is once again offering community groups, youth groups and schools the chance to apply for packs of free trees for delivery in March 2014 and is accepting applications until January 9 2014
Whether you are interested in helping wildlife, creating a faith or inter-faith green space, planting for remembrance, creating a community garden or allotment or just want to enhance your local area – all are welcome to apply for free packs of saplings.
The Trust has more than 3,000 packs to give away and they come in three sizes – 30 saplings, 105 saplings and 420 saplings in various themes (hedge, copse, wildlife, wild harvest, year-round colour, working wood, wild wood and wetland). A new feature of the scheme is that you can now apply for more than one pack with 420 saplings being the maximum quantity.
The offer is usually oversubscribed so it’s advisable to apply quickly.
You can find out more and apply online at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees
Posted on 5th November 2013 by Chris Burton
The Friends of Fortune Green at Camden in north London held a birds of prey event at their refurbished park..
The day was funded through a Celebrate Your Space grant from Community Spaces and follows the success of another event earlier in the year.
Mark Stonebank from the Friends says: “Following our earlier outdoor screening of the Blues Brothers with the money we had left over (and a bit of extra funding from CS) we put on this birds of prey day event coinciding with an bulb planting we had already planned. It was a popular event, and it was particularly apposite since it was set up on the part of green recently excavated and returfed. For the first time since I have lived in the area the grass really is green in that part of the Green.”
Don’t forget to send us pictures and reports from Celebrate Your Space events – let’s share the love.
Posted on 23rd October 2013 by Chris Burton
The Friends of Hilly Fields in Lewisham, south London, held a Green Fair, helped by a Celebrate Your Space grant from Community Spaces.
Visitors of all aged were able to enjoy sketching and craft workshops led by professional artists, a talk by a local bat group, badge making and a guided walk led by an ecologist.
Rachel Mooney from the Friends reports: “Four hours of fine weather, one hour of torrential downpour… There was a lovely atmosphere and I have no idea who the men were who persevered and put up a borrowed marquee which seemed to be missing half of its parts! We’ve had really positive feedback all round.”
For more pictures click here
Posted on 8th October 2013 by Chris Burton
Roisin Dail, Orla Dail and Andy Dail
The Friends of Victoria Park at Stretford in Manchester held a community gardening day, thanks to a Celebrate Your Space grant from Community Spaces. They were serenaded by the Stretford Band as volunteers of all ages helped to create a rose garden, weeded flower beds and carried out a litter pick.
Young gardeners also too the opportunity to share Groundwork’s Make Tomorrow Different message.
More pictures on our Flickr feed
Posted on 4th October 2013 by Chris Burton
Older members of the community near St Mark’s Church in Kensal Rise, London, enjoyed a day of Living Well tips and activities thanks to a Community Spaces Celebrate Your Space grant.
The church, which had already received a Community Spaces grant to build a community garden, laid on sessions including gardening, exercise, yoga, massage, cookery, music and dance.
And it looks like everyone had a great time.
More pictures on our Flickr feed or on the St Mark’s Facebook page.