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Our Parklife shortlisted for the 2017 Responsible Business Awards

We are delighted to announce that Our Parklife has been shortlisted for the UK’s longest running and most prestigious awards programme, championing responsible business in the UK and abroad.

Now in their 20th year, the Awards champion the most inspiring businesses who are making a difference by taking action to build more inclusive workplaces, stronger communities and tackle our biggest environmental challenges.

Our Parklife has been shortlisted for The Experian Award for Building Stronger Communities in recognition of our role as a catalyst for local regeneration in East London; connecting local communities and people to the Park through employment, volunteering, training and service provision.

Commenting Wilfrid Petrie, CEO, ENGIE UK said: “The Our Parklife model of private, SME and third sector partnership was a key pilot project for ENGIE to trial a new way of working that not only brings meaningful benefits to the business but also real social value to the communities in which ENGIE and our customers operate. The success of the initiative has seen us look to replicate the model in a number of communities across the UK as we work towards leaving a lasting positive social and environmental legacy.”

Today’s announcement coincides with Responsible Business Week (24-28 April), an annual initiative aimed at increasing awareness of the positive contribution of businesses to society.

Chief Executive of Business in the Community, Amanda Mackenzie, said: We want all businesses to be a force for good in the community, and being shortlisted means that Our Parklife can inspire many more companies to be part of the responsible business movement, so that together we can work for a fairer society and a more sustainable future.”

The winners of all ten categories will be announced at the Responsible Business Gala Dinner at the Royal Albert Hall on 4 July, in front of 1,200 business leaders. Wish us luck!

To find out more about Responsible Business Week 2017 visit www.bitc.org.uk/rbweek or search for the hashtag #RBweek.

Investing in Volunteers Assessment – thank you!

IiV logo

On behalf of all Our Parklife team, we’d like to tell you a massive thank you to all our volunteers’ support and thank those that were interviewed by the Investing in Volunteers assessor. During this two day assessment, thirty three volunteers were interviewed.

Our assessor was really impressed by all our volunteers, their commitment and the sense of pride and ownership they have for the Park and the programme. We are therefore being recommended to the UK Panel and look forward to hearing the final outcome in May. Fingers Crossed!

West Ham United Supporters Liaison Officers

The West Ham Host Park Champion role was incredibly successful with over 7,700 supporters assisted over the first games of the season. West Ham have now decided to take the team in house and have evolved it into a paid role.
Supporter Liaison Officers (SLOs) will now be present at every game and assist supporters with any issues they may have to ensure all visitors enjoy their visit.

Our Park Champions will be at the forefront of the SLO role, with many benefiting from this opportunity to transition into a paid role.

The Our Parklife team and the Park Champions have helped in this role transition with over 15 Volunteers having gone into the casual role of Supporter Liaison Officers.
Check the article below to learn more about it:

Disabled Access Day – Coming soon!

In March 2016, for the first time, Our Parklife and the Park Champions led  on the delivery of a range of activities as part of Disabled Access Day, a national campaign to raise awareness of access issues faced by people with disabilities.

Following on from this really successful event, we will again be taking part in the national campaign this year from 10th-12th March.

Watch the Harvest Stomp 2016 film now!

Harvest Stomp is ‘Stomping Success’ for Second Year Running

On Sunday 25th September, 3000 Londoners came down to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to celebrate local food growing and produce at The Harvest Stomp 2016, for the second year running.

View our short film about the day.

The much-loved, free community festival marked the end of Urban Food Fortnight 2016, London Food Link’s city-wide celebration of London’s vibrant local food scene.

Highlights included:

  • The internationally acclaimed PIG, by Whalley Range All Stars (WRAS), a truly original installation and show inside a 30-foot long sleeping sow;
  • The Green Man, a lyrical spoken work interactive show for young audiences, which took place at Mobile Garden City;
  • Cirque du Surplus with food waste campaign This-is Rubbish, immersive performances and games on the theme of food waste;
  • Live music and barn dancing with Laurel Swift & the Ceilidh Allstars and Robin Grey & Friends;
  • Workshops and demonstrations from Cordwainers Grow, Hackney Herbal and Kenneth Greenway from Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetary Park;
  • and some of east London’s best local food including grilled cheese sandwiches from The Cheese Truck, handmade gin sorbets from Sloshed, the Jamboree Tasting Table with East End Jam, and the Mason & Company bar, normally based at Here East, who showcased craft beers from Five Points Brewing Company.

The competition for Cream of the Crop – the festival’s local food contest – was tougher than ever, with Lorraine Hourdebaigt winning Best in Show for her raspberry jam; and Harvey, a Jack Russell-Cross from Newham, scooping Best in Class for the ‘Best Dressed Harvest Festival Themed Dog’, dressed as a pea!

The Pea Games was once again a hit with young festival goers – particularly the Human Fruit Machine and Grape Stomping, with grapes kindly donated from Montgomery Wholesale and Abel & Cole.

Groundwork’s Ben Coles, Director Communities & Environmental Services, said: “We’re thrilled to have been able to shine a light on local food production, sustainability, community participation, music and the arts at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park again this year. So great to see so many people enjoying everything Harvest Stomp had to offer and the feedback we’ve received has been amazing. We’d like to thank everyone who helped make The Harvest Stomp 2016 possible, and hope we’ll see you all again next year”.

Paul Brickell, London Legacy Development Corporation, said “Harvest Stomp was a storming success. It was wonderful to see so many local people joining in the celebrations on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We had some fantastic entries into the closely-fought Cream of the Crop contest and it was great to see everyone trying out various activities including barn dancing, Morris dancing, bulb planting and even pea fete games. We look forward to welcoming everyone back next year!

Groundwork London delivered The Harvest Stomp for LLDC, on behalf of Our Parklife CIC. With thanks to the Big Lottery Fund and our kind sponsors.

Our Parklife embarks on Investing in Volunteers quality mark

Investing in Volunteers

Our Parklife has embarked on a process to work towards the UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management; ‘Investing in Volunteers’ (IiV).

Investing in Volunteers (IiV) helps organisations who work with volunteers to check the quality of their management and involvement, prove and improve the effectiveness of their work and enhance the organisation’s reputation.

Our Parklife is committed to managing the Park’s volunteer programme to the highest standards, ensuring volunteer opportunities are rewarding, fun, and provide something for everyone. By going through the Investing in Volunteers accreditation process we can ensure we’re promoting best practice volunteering on the Park.

Our Park Champions Celebrate!

On Thursday, 6 October, we were delighted to host our annual celebration event at The Podium Bar & Kitchen.
It was a fantastic evening that enabled us to say thank you to you – the volunteers who have participated in a range of activities within our Park Champion programme over the past year. Over 110 Park Champions attended and we hope all of those that attended enjoyed themselves.

2016 has been a fantastic year with volunteers racking up a huge 12,800 volunteer hours. There has been an array of volunteering opportunities from providing information, welcoming guests and delivering the park mobility service at the Information Point to supporting the vast number of events including West Ham United and London Lions matches, National Paralympic Day and Sport Relief. Not forgetting those who really got their hands dirty during the conservation and gardening programme.

Take a look at the news article in the Newham Recorder here: 

We are now looking forward to another exciting year in 2017, with a number of major events coming up on the Park. From the IAAF World Championships and World ParaAthletics Championships to community and sports events to help connect local people to the Park, there is sure to be something for everybody to get involved with. Once again we will be running our hugely successful Park mobility service and there will be many new roles to come with new Park partners so keep your eyes peeled for opportunities.

David Goldstone, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “Our brilliant Park Champions are at the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Within the last year the team clocked up more than 12,800 hours of volunteering on the Park, whether it was supporting our events, within the venues, looking after our parklands, or supporting visitors on our customer and mobility service.

“Our congratulations go to all our fantastic volunteers, with special thanks to Frank from Newham, who has volunteered for 721 hours this year. What a brilliant achievement.”

Park Champions become West Ham United hosts


Since West Ham United’s move into London Stadium at the start of August, Park Champions have been welcoming supporters and assisting them with a variety of queries.
It is an exciting time for our local Park Champions and West Ham supporters to be part of the club’s move to the Park.

“Being a football fan, this is exciting to volunteer for West Ham games. I can relate to the supporters’ banter and their excitement for their team. It is a pleasure to meet the West Ham fans, take pictures with them and they seem to be happy with the information we are giving them.”
Mark Orton

“From the Boleyn to the Chicken Run not forgetting the North Bank and the bag of Percy Dalton’s roasted peanuts. These are all memories of the past. I have been a West Ham supporter for the last 64 years, went to my first match in 1952. Now it’s my pleasure along with all the Park Champions to welcome all footballs fans to the London Stadium, I love to talk with all the fans and help them when needed. Let’s keep those memories but look forward to the future of West Ham United, supporters along with the ever helpful Park Champions.”
Graham Soames

“I am a keen football fan and supporter of the game as a whole. I travel up and down the country to different stadiums and it always makes a difference on how friendly and approachable people are to your overall day and experience of the Stadium. The London Stadium is a fantastic legacy of the Olympic Games! I have enjoyed seeing it grow and feel very proud of where I live and work and would like to use this passion to be a great ambassador on game days.”
Amy Ward

National Paralympic Day and Liberty Festival


On the 3rd of September, National Paralympic Day 2016 and the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival brought a programme of disability arts and Paralympic participatory sports to the Park.

Visitors from the local community and beyond were encouraged to participate in sports activities on offer in between enjoying live performances including DJs, Circus, Dance, Storytelling, Installations and more!

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, also came to the Park to attend the event, enjoying the great variety of sports and arts on offer.

Over 35 Park Champions volunteered for National Paralympic Day and Liberty Festival this year, engaging with the public, encouraging them to participate in the activities and helping over 230 people with our dedicated mobility service.


Park Champions help the mighty London Lions!

We would like to say a massive thank you to all Park Champions who participated to the London Lions games this season.

Thank you for helping guide or drive ticket holders to the Copper Box Arena, selling over a thousand 50/50 tickets and hundreds of programmes.

Your enthusiasm and passion has been very much appreciated by all. Plus, a special thank you to Pauline for making the crowd do the Mexican wave at the play off game!

Lolly Marlbourough, Marketing director for the London Lions said: “Thank you to all Park Champions for your support and enthusiasm in welcoming customers and assisting varied crews. You’ve all been great and made such a difference.