Loughborough, Leicestershire, United Kingdom – 2016 International Finalist
Community participation in Loughborough continues to drive the Bloom campaign. Each year the number of It’s Your Neighbourhood groups increases, this year a total of 34 organisations have signed up to take a very active role. There are other groups, individuals and businesses who also contribute in other ways.
In the recent celebration of the Queen’s Birthday, volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints helped ‘Clean for the Queen’ by litter picking in Queens Park and Nanpantan Road in March. The Loughborough BID also cleaned shop fronts and removed graffiti in the town centre. The Council encourages local community groups (including schools, Beavers, Scouts, Brownies and Guides) to contribute to the tidiness of the town by providing litter pickers, high visibility vests and recycling sacks on loan so they can run their own litter picking activities to improve tidiness in their local communities. Loughborough Students Union Action Team run regular litter picking events with the support of the Council, to help improve the tidiness of Loughborough. Most recently volunteers from Asda having helped to refurbish benches and help with planting in Queens Park.
The Charnwood Conservation Volunteers are an army of outdoor enthusiasts who work on a variety of green projects across the entire borough, from hedge laying and litter picking to clearing woodland. The group, along with other volunteers, also helps to produce environmentally friendly charcoal. The Council also works with the Probation Service to encourage young offenders to work towards keeping green areas tidy while developing new skills.
A wide network of local community groups, friends of groups and volunteers assist with the management and enhancement of the urban forest. Examples include the Thorpe Acre Gardeners, Thorpe Acre Wildlife Group and Transition Loughborough. Additional activities and engagement are delivered through community workshops, Forest Schools, the Community Orchards project, and the Green Gym.
Charnwood Borough Council recognises the many valuable benefits that volunteering can bring to the individual, to society and to Charnwood’s open spaces. The Council encourages and supports volunteering in its many forms including:
- Friends Groups
- Resident Associations
- Volunteer Warden Schemes
- Affiliation to Nature Conservation Groups
Quadron’s Horticultural Development Manager works in partnership with the Borough Council and its partners to engage with members of the local community in order to help and advise them on the implementation of numerous and very varied projects that benefit both the local and wider environment. This is achieved by:
- Sourcing third party funding (if applicable)
- Facilitating volunteering opportunities
- Application to accreditation bodies (if applicable)