Quack! Quack! Our Highlights of the Year

We have had a busy 2019 – our first year with a small dedicated staff team. A huge thank you to everyone who supported our work whether donors, Rethinking Parks partners, stakeholders or volunteers.

Here are our highlights of the year:

  • We distributed £23,183 in grants to community-led projects to improve parks and green spaces in Leeds. There was lots of interest from Friends groups and environmental NGOs and the programme managed by Leeds Community Foundation was heavily over-subscribed.
  • Following the declaration of a Climate Emergency, our first grants round had a strong environmental focus and 13 groups were awarded funds for projects which could demonstrate significant environmental benefit.
  • Our report Charitable Giving to Parks and Green Spaces highlighted barriers to corporate and community giving to parks and was informed by a national workshop of park experts organised in the city centre in April. The report has been used to shape our strategy.
  • We started a roadshow in August to raise awareness about our work and the benefits of urban green space. Over the following months we visited 10 busy park sites and popular community events speaking to 1000 park users of all ages.
  • A massive thank you to playground supplier Kompan who joined our newly launched Corporate Supporter programme over the summer. Their donation along with the donations of other generous businesses and members of the public meant we could launch our initial grants round.
  • Fifteen volunteers, including some freshers from the University of Leeds, spent 60 hours helping us with community engagement and fundraising activities.
  • We developed a range of Love Leeds Parks merchandise featuring our mascot, a mallard duck, to increase our profile, selling almost 100 items in the first few months. You will be seeing a lot of more of him and us in 2020!