DEALING WITH THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID 19) CRISIS
(Information for managers of local outdoor green spaces including recreations grounds)
Having already ordered certain businesses to close, such as pubs, cinemas and theatres, this week the Government extended this requirement to a further set of businesses and other venues including "communal places" within parks such as playgrounds, sports pitches and courts and outdoor gyms.
Individuals have been asked to stay at home except for the following activities, so long as they stay at least 2 metres (6 ft) away from other people:
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of their household.
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
Communal spaces within parks and other outdoor open green spaces, such as playgrounds, tennis courts, sports pitches, MUGAs, skateboard areas, public toilets and other such facilities, should now be closed and should not be used.
If you are responsible for managing an outdoor open green space, recreation ground, play area or other similar facility, the OPFA suggests that you should act on these Government orders as follows:
Where you can, lock any gates to communal places, as identified above. Whether or not these kinds of facility can be closed in this way, you should post a notice to insist that the facility must not be used.
You need not prevent entry into an outdoor open green space, which in itself does not count as a communal place as identified above, so long as you have closed any eligible communal spaces (or put up notices preventing use) within it.
You should put a notice at the entrance urging users to do the following:
- observe social distancing by keeping at least 2 metres/6 foot away from other people
- keep dogs on a lead to avoid unnecessary contact with other space users
- encourage people to wash their hands before leaving home and as soon as they return from being outside.
It would probably be helpful to publicise within your community what you have done and why you have done it and to remind people of what are the Government recommendations for individuals in terms of exercise and social distancing.
This information has been provided in the light of Government advice available at the time of writing (24 March 2020)
A NEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT OFFICER FOR OPFA
OPFA is pleased to announce that our new Community Development Officer (CDO) is Andrew Parsons, who will be working with us from 11 November 2019 to deliver OPFA’s information and advice service.
For the past 16 years Andrew has been an independent consultant focusing particularly on green space good practice issues.
He has previously worked as Head of Parks and Green Spaces at Oxford City Council.
Andrew was jointly responsible for re-writing the Green Flag Award scheme’s guidance manual “Raising the Standard” and led the partnership review of the Green Flag Award scheme on behalf of CABE Space. The Green Flag Award scheme recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.
Andrew was also instrumental in the development of SPACESHAPER, a toolkit that allows communities to measure the quality of a public space before investing time and money in improving it and have led many workshops since.
He has managed grants projects on behalf of the Big Lottery fund through their Living Spaces and Community Spaces programmes, which provided support towards the improvement of community assets for voluntary groups. Working with community groups he led over twenty major projects valued at £1,200,000, which included the provision of sports areas, children’s play areas and major building refurbishment.
He also led the procurement process for grounds maintenance services for Hounslow Borough Council and has delivered many options appraisals for the future delivery of grounds maintenance services including commissions from Guildford, Crawley and Swindon.
We are delighted to welcome Andrew to our organisation and he is looking forward to helping local community organisations providing and managing outdoor recreational spaces.
The CDO contact details remain the same: email firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 01295 817662.
Trustees Annual Report
The trustees annual report for the year 2018-2019 can now be downloaded via the link below.
Trustees Annual Report 2018-2019
Our newsletter is sent out quarterly to all of our members. Browse current and past editions via the links below.
Autumn 2019 Oxfordshire
Autumn 2019 South Northants
Summer 2019 Oxfordshire
Summer 2019 South Northants
Spring 2019 South Northants
Spring 2019 Oxfordshire
Winter 2019 Oxfordshire
Autumn 2018 Oxfordshire
Summer 2018 Oxfordshire
Summer 2018 South Northants
Spring 2018 newsletter
Winter 2018 newsletter
Winter 2018 newsletter South Northants
Autumn 2017 newsletter
Come and join our friendly OPFA Executive Committee:
It can be amusing amid the business!
OPFA is looking for some more community-minded people who would be interested in helping to take our organisation forward into a changing but rewarding future. Could it be you or someone you know?
The Committee, whose volunteer members are the managing trustees of the charity, currently meets on a weekday up to 4 times a year. The Committee’s role is to make sure that the OPFA is managed effectively and is as financially secure as is possible in these challenging times, so that we can continue to provide our information and advice services to community groups around the county.
Between them the Committee’s existing members already bring a range of useful and relevant interests, skills and experience, so we don’t need to recruit anyone who is an expert on every aspect of organisation management, playing space provision or operating as a community-focussed organisation alongside other partners in Oxfordshire. An interest in what OPFA does and in sharing thoughts and ideas, and just some relevant experience, is all we ask. There is plenty of mutual support and sources of expert information and advice both nationally and locally that the Committee can call on. What we need is some enthusiasm and a willingness to give , free of charge, just a bit of time back to OPFA.
If you would like to see if this is an opportunity that would suit you, please call the OPFA office on 01295 817662 or email Meryl Smith, the Hon. Manager, on email@example.com. If you think you know someone else who might be interested, please give them these contact details.
Project Management and other new OPFA services
We are working hard to diversify the services that we offer in response to the need that we have recognised in our county. We understand that changing times and pressure from housing developments mean that parish councils and recreation space managers are now facing a new set of challenges. These include ensuring that facilities are adequate for an expanding population and therefore making the most of developer contributions. OPFA can help you to navigate this minefield and put a robust case in place for the facilities that you need. We can also act as the project manager on playground installations and other facility improvement projects.
For full details of the new services we offer, please download our consultancy leaflet