• BOSF Conference 2016

    Saturday 21st May 11am to 3pm at The Studio, Cannon Street, Birmingham

    Conference Delegates 2016We were again back at The Studio on Cannon Street for our 2016 conference & AGM which was well attended with over 70 delegates from our BOSF Member groups, our partners and experts from many different backgrounds.
    It was a day packed with networking and information.  We again ran the “Agency Speed Dating” which gave out a lot of useful information to all delegates, with a lot less moving around this time!  We are looking at everyone’s feedback and will again be seeing what improvements we can make for next year.  The Programme for the day was:
    11.05   Health & Green Space – Craig Lister, Green Gym Managing Director, TCV
    Councillor Trickett11.35   Councillor Trickett – Cabinet Member for Sustainability
    11.45   ‘Just a minute’ speakers corner session – sixty second presentations of successful activity from five/six of the groups present.
    11.50   Birmingham’s New Tree Wardens – Steve Flood & Ian McDermott, BCC Tree Officers
    12.10   ‘Just a minute’ speakers corner session
    12.25   “Come Dine with Me” Recipe for Successful Funding Bids – Cherida Plumb, Head of Fundraising, Earth Trust
    Just a Minute12.55   Networking Lunch
    1.45     “Just a minute” speakers corner session
    1.50     “Speed Dating” Sessions: Introduced by Emma Woolf

    • Parks – Mike Hinton Park Manager & Beth Ashley BCC Ranger
    • Grounds Maintenance – BPN, Glendale & Quadron
    • Funding – Cherida Plumb
    • Speed dating sessionPhysical Activity – Gaynor Roberts & Olga Sukhanover, Active Parks & Streets
    • Health & Green Space – Craig Lister & Chris Blythe
    • Conservation & Wildlife – Alf Dimmock & Matthew Barker BCC Rangers
    • Tree Wardens – Steve Flood & Ian McDermott

    2.50     BOSF AGMclick here to view the minutes
    3.00     Networking – join your contractors, park managers & rangers for discussions about your individual sites
    Thank you to everyone who filled out the Feedback Sheets.  To view the 2016 Feedback from the Conference please click here.


    Craig Lister TCVThere were three main presentations on the day. The first was looking at how physical activity can improve health and why it is so important.  Craig Lister from TCV Green Gyms spoke about how essential activity is to our health and details about TCV Green Gym activities.  Click here to view the presentation.  Craig also highlighted the Kings Fund publication “Gardens and Health” which is worth reading.
    Cabinet Member for Sustainability Councillor Lisa Trickett very kindly gave her time to come along to the conference and spoke to the delegates about how important she sees the work of volunteers in our parks and open spaces and how important it is to connect our communities together and get more people walking. She wants to see open spaces utilised more for education “need to create the space for children and people to excel”
    Councillor Trickett spoke about making sure that open space is used well and for the correct reasons, for example, could an open area be used better as a community garden for the local residents? The overall aim is for zero carbon impact, no net loss of open green space and to make sure it is utilised properly.
    Tree warden presentationSteve Flood & Ian McDermott, BCC Trees spoke about the new Birmingham Tree Warden Scheme. A training course on the third Saturday morning each month at Kings Heath, starting in June, will be offered to the community to learn about trees and how to become a volunteer tree warden.  Steve & Mac said that “the future of tree management is the people” and that “the best tree wardens start from friends groups” Click here to view their presentation.
    We currently have 16% canopy cover across Birmingham and this needs increasing to 30%. “Only solution to the pollution is trees!”
    Funding workshopCherida Plums, Head of Fundraising from the Earth Trust, spoke before lunch about funding ideas, the successful receipt for a good funding bid and got all the tables discussing possible projects. Click here to view the presentation.

    Agency Speed Dating

    One of the most important aspects of the BOSF networking events is the chance to talk to other volunteers and other organisations that are dealing with similar issues and who have come up with interesting solutions.
    Speed Dating Grounds MaintenanceAt all BOSF networking events people never have trouble finding someone to talk to – but we do have the tendency to talk to people we already know.
    Although it is always good to touch base with friends and colleagues it might mean we miss out on new opportunities and new ideas.
    So that’s where the speed dating idea comes in.
    Everyone had 7 minutes on each table to ask quick questions to the experts, then the experts moved on to the next table.
    The networking tables were:
    Parks & Rangers

    Conference Photo 4A chance to speak to the representatives from the Rangers and Park Managers from your area
    Grounds Maintenance
    A chance to ask specific questions from your grounds maintenance team. Representatives were present from Quadron, Glendale & BPN
    Speed Dating Funding TopicA chance to ask further questions from Cherida. Feedback from these discussions highlighted a request for more information. Cherida has therefore sent over information on Funding Sources and information on William A Cadbury Charitable Trust.
    Physical Activity
    A chance to speak to the Wellbeing Team in the council and ask more questions about how to get volunteers active, more about Active Parks and an introduction on Active Streets. Gaynor Roberts informed all the delegates of a paid opportunity to get more involved:-
    Speed Dating Activity Topic“CCGB are after some support for the marketing events they are planning for Birmingham. My understanding is they would really like to involve local community members / volunteers / activators / staff where possible who will have lots of local knowledge and passion for their area and want to talk about it.  Events will take place on local streets close to the parks we deliver in – so for instance Coventry Road to support Small Heath park and better still – it is PAID ”
    If you are interested then please contact Gaynor Roberts at [email protected]
    If you want to find out more about Active Streets and if your road/street can get involved, then please contact Olga Sukhanova at [email protected]
    Health & Green Space
    Speed Dating Heath TopicA chance to ask further questions about the health benefits of being active and the TCV Green Gym offer from Craig Lister and Chris Blythe from TCV.
    Wildlife & Conservation
    This was a chance to ask specific questions to rangers Alf and Matthew about wildlife, conservation and how to help and improve it around Birmingham.
    Tree Wardens
    Speed Dating Trees TopicSteve and Mac were signing up interested people to join the new Birmingham Tree Wardens scheme. It runs every third Saturday of the month, starting on Saturday 18th June, from 10am to 1pm at Kings Heath Park. Please email  [email protected] to sign up for the course.