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groundwork impact report 2012

Groundwork is the community charity with a green heart. We’re passionate about creating better places with a greener future. We’re equally passionate about helping people to reach their potential. Both are important in their own right, but when we can create practical local projects that meet both goals, it adds up to a world of difference.

“Every £1 spent

on project activity by Groundwork generated around £3 of physical and human benefits, representing ‘high’ value for money in terms of government benchmarks.�

Tony Gore, Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research

We work where we’re needed most. That’s why we’re on the ground in communities that face the biggest challenges, delivering thousands of projects across the UK. Whether it’s tackling climate change or helping people out of fuel poverty, bringing out the best in young people by helping them to improve their local area, building stronger communities by improving green spaces or getting people back into work by creating green jobs, we make a difference that is greater than the sum of its parts. We have been changing places and changing lives for more than 30 years. We work with a wide range of partners to make this change happen, from major household names including

Marks & Spencer, Britvic, Dulux, Aviva, Southern Water, United Utilities and Cadbury to organisations such as the Big Lottery Fund and government departments like the Department for Education, the Department for Work and Pensions, and the Department for Communities and Local Government. We also work with the Assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland and local authorities all over the country. Last year, Groundwork generated and invested £140 million in making places better, greener and more prosperous. Researchers at Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research found that the total £200 million we spent on projects in the two previous years delivered well over £500 million in net outputs – a return on investment of 3:1.

HELPING COMMUNITIES TO HELP THEMSELVES Supporting people to become more involved in shaping and influencing local decisions that affect them leads to communities better able to bring about positive change. We focus our activities in areas of significant social, economic

and environmental need and provide opportunities for people from all backgrounds to engage in practical, collective action to improve their neighbourhoods and, at the same time, their own lives.

Last year we supported:

230,000 220,000

days of social action by adults

days of social action by young people


community organisations

Groundwork in Action A new stream of Big Lottery funding managed by our Community Spaces programme is helping groups across England to take the next steps in ensuring the spaces they have improved continue to be valuable assets for years to come. Over ÂŁ500,000 from the Supporting Change and Impact fund will help groups in the last 12 months of their project become more self-sufficient and create plans for the future of their project to secure a lasting impact. Target Well-being has been helping people in the North West to lead healthier and happier lives. In four years, the programme managed by Groundwork in partnership with a range of health bodies in the region has contributed to

improved mental well-being of nearly 9,000 people, increased physical activity among 4,500 people and encouraged 10,000 people to adopt healthier eating habits. A community group in Cheshire is working with Groundwork to take on responsibility for planning and delivering community projects in their neighbourhood for the next 10 years. The Rudheath and Witton Together group, backed with ÂŁ1million Big Local funding, will be supported to spearhead a number of activities including environmental improvements, identifying activities and facilities for local young people and improving local skills and employment opportunities.


Community Spaces programme has supported hundreds of communities across England in improving their local green spaces. Recently, we provided further funding to help them to continue making a difference in these tough economic times. We are confident that Groundwork will make this happen.�

Peter Wanless, Chief Executive, Big Lottery Fund

GROUNDWORK AND LONDON 2012 The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games inspired us all and brought the nation closer together under the banners of Team GB and Paralympics GB. We want that spirit of community and common purpose to live on long after the Olympic Flame has been extinguished and we are working to ensure that the legacy of the Games is felt for generations to come.

Groundwork in Action More than 4,500 Groundwork volunteers staged 2,700 community events in the two years leading up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games through the Cadbury Spots v Stripes community programme. They helped more than 180,000 people of different backgrounds to build social networks and community spirit through fun sports-related activity, linked to Cadbury’s sponsorship of London 2012. An evaluation of the programme found that 50% of volunteers who took part now say they are likely to continue volunteering in future.

Through our Transform programme, London communities will be turning 70 derelict, unused and unloved spaces in the Olympic host boroughs into vibrant green spaces everyone can enjoy. London 2012 will help to inspire a generation and deliver a lasting legacy to communities close to the Olympic Park. Groundwork is working as part of a consortium with Balfour Beatty and The Landscape Group to maintain the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and nearby venues for the next 10 years. Up to 85% of jobs will go to local long-term unemployed people from the host boroughs. Shanaze Reade, five-time BMX World Champion and two-time Track Cycling World Champion, was an Athlete Ambassador for Cadbury Spots v Stripes.

“Our partnership with Groundwork helped us

create an innovative community programme with significant impact and allowed us to take the spirit of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.ďż˝

Sonia Chhatwal, Community Manager Cadbury London 2012, Kraft Foods

making places greener We believe bleak grey areas breed bleak grey societies. To combat this we build strong partnerships and corporate relationships that ensure communities can always benefit from vibrant, clean and green open spaces. Whether it’s a place to play, relax, grow, exercise or simply get to know the neighbours, our work with

communities helps them to create or improve green space, making a massive difference to the quality of life for everyone living nearby. During 2012 we marked 30 years of mobilising communities to improve and maintain green spaces in and around towns and cities.

Last year:

10 million m 30 million m 60,000


of land improved


of land maintained

trees planted

Groundwork in Action Marks & Spencer is backing Groundwork’s @myurbangreen initiative to mobilise and encourage people to get involved in local green space management. In just over 12 months, we have supported communities to raise the profile of local green space by holding 700 ‘greener living spaces’ events attended by 13,000 people and supported by 2,000 volunteers. Transform Your Patch is a high-profile consumer campaign led by Britvic and Pepsico to encourage consumers to get involved in supporting the redevelopment and improvement of 170 football pitches, skate parks, play areas and parks across the UK.

Britvic customers are encouraged to vote for their favourite Groundwork project online and follow the campaign’s developments on social media. To date, there have been over 34,000 votes and over 70,000 people have joined the online community. Community Payback is a partnership between Groundwork and Leicestershire and Rutland Probation Trust delivering benefits to allotment holders and to offenders completing unpaid work requirements of community sentences. Working alongside allotment holders to create and restore growing plots, offenders learn about the value of the work they carry out for communities while creating opportunities for less able gardeners to enjoy their allotments.

“There is no better

delivery partner in this field than Groundwork. They have a first class network of people on the ground. That’s been hugely beneficial to M&S; together we’ve delivered 100 Greener Living Spaces and a legacy programme that is engaging communities and changing the face of green spaces across the UK.�

Mike Barry, Head of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer

IMPROVING PROSPECTS Helping someone who is out of work to find a job is not just about putting money into their pocket. Worklessness is the single biggest determinant of health and well-being and can lead to significant social problems. We provide support for adult learners and foundation-level learning for disadvantaged young people to improve their employability.

We are also involved in a range of high profile initiatives including the Youth Contract and Work Programme, which we use to build people’s confidence and skills and ensure lives and communities aren’t blighted by long-term unemployment.

Last year we helped:


people progress into training, education or employment


people gain qualifications

Groundwork in Action Young People Friendly Neighbourhoods is a programme supported by the Department for Education aimed at finding new ways of ensuring the most marginalised young people get access to support and are encouraged to play a positive role in improving their neighbourhoods. Groundwork is working closely with Sanctuary and other housing associations in 20 neighbourhoods to provide personalised support to 2,000 young people. Through the programme we are also developing new models for delivering youth provision in the light of major spending cuts, including the country’s first youth mutuals. Groundwork will be supporting 16 and 17-year olds with low educational attainment through the government’s Youth Contract. In the North West and

East Midlands Groundwork is acting as the prime contractor working closely with partners to provide a network of youth mentors who will work alongside local authorities to provide extra support and encouragement to young people not in education, employment or training to sustain their participation. Groundwork has helped more than 50 young people on a work experience scheme to renovate a 6km stretch of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath near Wigan, creating a safe and attractive route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and opportunities for participants to gain new skills. The project has proved to be a stepping stone towards employment for the team, with one member in particular going on to secure a job working on the London 2012 Olympic Park building site.

“If I’m at school

and feeling really angry, I’ll call my Groundwork youth worker and she will calm me down. Before this, I would go mental. I know I can trust her and that if there’s a problem she will take it seriously.�

‘L’ took part in a Young People Friendly Neighbourhoods project in Northamptonshire.

GREENER LIVING AND WORKING Living and working in a greener way can help us all to save money, improve our health and well-being, and protect the environment. We help local communities to understand and champion environmental sustainability and support collective action to reduce waste, preserve natural resources and improve energy and water efficiency. We also provide personalised advice that helps householders to reduce their utility bills and businesses to cut costs while complying with environmental legislation. We are working closely with businesses, local authorities and voluntary sector partners to prepare communities for the opportunities presented by the roll-out of the government’s Green Deal.

Groundwork in Action We are delivering a major contract to help Southern Water customers to reduce their water bills by adopting environmentally responsible behaviour.

By providing in-home advice and support to 11,000 households, Groundwork has delivered 2,000 benefit checks resulting in £675k in extra income for the most vulnerable. Communities Living Sustainably is a Big Lottery Fund programme focused on helping communities to become better equipped to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change. Over the next five years a national partnership led by Groundwork will provide expert advice and support to groups to develop their projects, share learning and help the Big Lottery Fund to identify how to ensure its future funding contributes to building a society of sustainable communities. Groundwork is working closely with Birmingham City Council as it becomes the first city in the UK to launch a major Green Deal initiative. In partnership with construction technology experts BRE, Groundwork is testing new ways of getting communities interested and active on energy efficiency and will be working alongside the council’s preferred Green Deal provider Carillion to mobilise communities, assess properties, tackle fuel poverty and create jobs.

“I am feeling much

more like my old self again and have even been able to reduce my intake of anti-depressants prescribed from my doctor. I honestly feel that this experience has been the best prescription possible and I can’t encourage people enough to get their green fingers at the ready for a truly fulfilling experience.�

‘J’ took part in a Groundwork ‘Green Activity’ project in Sunderland.

operation groundwork

Campaign highlights:

6,450 500 12,000

Operation Groundwork is a major public facing campaign to raise our profile and mark our 30th anniversary by promoting the value of volunteering to support green spaces. Working with Marks & Spencer and the Royal Horticultural Society, we exhibited a series of thought-provoking ‘Urban Oasis’ gardens designed by landscape designer and broadcaster Chris Beardshaw at all six of this year’s RHS shows.

visits to campaign website

tonnes of material recycled

plants reused

The RHS Cardiff Urban Oasis was recreated after the show at an environmental education centre at the Fedw Hir Eco-Centre at Llwydcoed, near Merthyr Tydfil. It will be used as an outdoor classroom for local schools and community groups. Materials from the RHS Tatton Park Urban Oasis were used to create an innovative living street garden for Manchester’s Dig the City environmental event. Groundwork transformed the city’s Victoria Street into an urban garden with trees, plants and art installations.

The RHS ‘Re-Use’ Scheme was managed by Groundwork in 2012. After the Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace shows we recycled 500 tonnes of material and 12,000 plants for community green space projects across the UK.

The Urban Oasis gardens came together to form a vast 1,600m2 centrepiece exhibit at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Inspired by Chris Beadshaw’s visits to Groundwork projects and communities across the country, the garden attracted significant interest from royalty, the media and general public. As well as inspiring communities, we also set out to inform public debate about the future of our green spaces. Grey Places Need Green Spaces is a landmark report drawing together evidence from across the sector to support recommendations for central and local government, businesses and communities on how they can work together to ensure that improvements made to public parks and green spaces over the last decade aren’t undone by reductions in public spending.

“Groundwork is

excellent at bringing communities together to roll up their sleeves and get involved in preserving their much loved local green spaces.ďż˝

Chris Beardshaw, landscape designer and broadcaster Groundwork UK Lockside, 5 Scotland Street Birmingham B1 2RR Groundwork UK is the operating name of The Federation of Groundwork Trusts Ltd., a company limited by guarantee. Company Registration No: 1900511 Charity Registration No: 291558

Groundwork Impact Report  

Groundwork Impact Report 2012