Cannon Hill Park BridgeBOSF is a volunteer network organisation that brings together all the people in Birmingham with an interest in open spaces. Currently we have funding for two part time support workers, but this funding is time limited. Our main focus is supporting the volunteers who add value to the city’s open spaces.

Who are we?

Currently there are more than 130 BOSF member groups – some are large & organised, others are 2 people & a dog, but all add in a vital role to their open space. There are areas of the city less well represented than others and we need your help to make sure that all of the city can benefit from what a friends group can offer. Studies undertaken by us, with help from Be Active, show that an open space with a friends group benefits from an average of £35k a year additional funding and that BOSF volunteers contribute more than £10k per month in additional grounds maintenance to the city’s open spaces.

Why is there a BOSF?

BOSF 2011 Conference1. We set up in 2005 to provide a support network for friends groups and to use that wealth of experience to encourage other individuals to get involved.

2. Our other key role is to facilitate partnerships with the organisations that manage Birmingham’s open spaces. In most cases this is Birmingham City Council.

We actively work in partnership with Birmingham City Council & its contractors to ensure that users & volunteers are able to be involved in how open spaces are managed.

Wildflower meadow Handsworth 2012What do we do?

We offer opportunities for groups & individuals interested in open spaces to share knowledge and experience. This is in the form of regular information digests, funding advice, networking opportunities and training.

BOSF, working in partnership with Birmingham City Council, is recognised nationally as a model on which other authority-wide networks can be successful. Our members, sometimes with Birmingham City Council staff, have spoken at events across the country.

NFPGS CommitteeBOSF is a founder member and is currently the Chair of the National Federation of Parks & GreenSpaces (NFPGS), working in partnership with other national organisations, including Keep Britain Tidy and Love Parks.  Through this committee we hope to promote the national community voice for our parks and open spaces!