Our Parklife Highly Commended at the 2017 Business in the Community Responsible Business Awards

BITC Responsible Business Awards 2017 Photos: Alastair Fyfe. fyfephoto.com email: alastair@fyfephoto.com
BITC Responsible Business Awards 2017
Photos: Alastair Fyfe. fyfephoto.com
email: alastair@fyfephoto.com

We are delighted to announce that Our Parklife has been awarded a Highly Commended Award in the The Experian Award for Building Stronger Communities category at the Business at the Community  Responsible Business Awards Gala last night. The Award recognises Our Parklife’s commitment to being a catalyst for local regeneration in East London; connecting local communities and people to the Park through employment, volunteering, training and service provision.

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.

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.”

You can see a full list of all the Highly Commended finalists here: http://awards.bitc.org.uk/home-page/highly-commended

We are accredited!

On 5th May, we found out that Our Parklife was successful in gaining the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) Accreditation – the UK quality standard for best practice in Volunteer Management.

This comes after over a year of hard work to get all the documentation and evidence in place, demonstrating the amazing contribution that you Park Champions make on the Park. From Customer and Mobility Services, Conservation and Biodiversity, Events, Mobile Garden, Community Guiding, Orchard Leaders, Careers days, and all the other wonderful requests we get! Our team and partners try their best to provide a rewarding, well managed, fun and dynamic programme.

Throughout the two day assessment over 30 volunteers were interviewed from all parts of the programme as well as staff and Our Parklife Board members. Feedback was glowing, and we couldn’t be prouder of our team of volunteers. We wanted to thank you all as Park Champions for your passion for the Park, enthusiasm and energy. Thank you also for taking the time to provide your feedback to us, it is really important as we want to develop a programme that is exciting, engaging, interesting and fun for you.

Last year you gave up over 13,700 hours of your time on the Park. AMAZING!
We look forward to a busy future on the Park in 2017 and beyond!

Come and join us on Friday 2nd June at 5pm when we will be installing the plaque at the Information Point. To sign up, please visit: http://volunteers.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk/vk/volunteers/my_opportunities_info_ur.htm?PID=10027263
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Commonwealth leaders visit ENGIE Energy Centre in East London

On 10 May 2017 delegates from CSCLeaders including HRH The Princess Royal visited the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where ENGIE provides both district energy and facilities management, to help them answer the challenge set for 2017 “What could be the future of energy in Commonwealth cities?”

CSCLeaders is an annual conference that assembles 100 senior individuals from across the Commonwealth to tackle challenges that businesses, governments and society face today and build the global relationships needed by the leaders of tomorrow.

Energy is crucial for achieving almost all of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), from its role in the eradication of poverty through advancements in health, education, water supply and industrialisation, to combating climate change. Cities have a vital role to play in achieving SDG7 to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.

Cities are the engines of the world economy generating around 80% of global GDP, consuming two thirds of the world’s energy and responsible for 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Energy is essential to all city functions and services; it is at the heart of both the challenge and the solution to achieving healthier, more resilient and prosperous cities. As the world urbanises, it is crucial that cities develop innovative approaches to energy supply, delivery and management.

The CSCLeaders spent two days on study tours immersing themselves in London to explore the energy challenge in depth. The purpose of the visit to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was to provide an opportunity to explore the Energy Centre at Stratford and understand the role that the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and ENGIE are playing in shaping the future of energy and regeneration in London.

ENGIE provides 21 separate services at the Park, supplies heating and cooling through its low carbon energy centres and is the founding partner of the Our Parklife Community Interest Company. The visit included presentations from LLDC and ENGIE, a guided buggy tour of the Park and a walking tour of the King’s Yard Energy Centre.

David Goldstone, Chief Executive, LLDC, led the presentations explaining its role as a regeneration body answerable to Mayor of London with plan-making and development control powers. The LLDC acts a single point of contact for developers, investors, and landowners and is responsible for the transformation, neighbourhoods, and new cultural and education district areas surrounding the Park. David’s presentation illustrated how the regeneration plans for the local area will deliver a wide range of community benefits including new social infrastructure, local employment and skills development, schools and youth engagement, access to sport and physical activity opportunities and volunteering.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is one of the first of a growing network of smart, sustainable districts across Europe. The Park and its surrounds are designed to promote walking, cycling and other forms of low-carbon transport. The District Energy Network (DEN) is designed to be low carbon to meet zero-carbon targets for homes. The LLDC and ENGIE work closely to ensure that the network is operating efficiently within set carbon parameters and that it is futureproofed (capacity-wise and technology-wise).

Together, ENGIE and the LLDC have saved over 660 tonnes of CO2 per annum through interventions at the London Aquatics Centre and saved more than 1,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2016/17 through DEN interventions. Innovation and continuous improvement are a crucial factor in developing the smart city energy approach for the district. Smart homes trials are being undertaken at East Village, the integration of clean mobility solutions including electric vehicle charging and autonomous vehicles are under investigation and LLDC is building 3D maps and virtual reality simulations to help citizens to visualise energy use within the district.

Ben Watts, Managing Director, Urban Energy for ENGIE, provided an insight into ENGIE’s district energy schemes. Globally, ENGIE operates over 230 district energy centres and has 11 in the UK comprising over 50km of heating and cooling networks. ENGIE’s district energy centres provide local, low-carbon energy generation and consumption with electricity generated locally, avoiding transmission power losses, the ‘waste’ heat is used for space heating and hot water.

The district energy scheme at the Park operates as a 40 year concession agreement between ENGIE, Stratford City Developments Ltd and LLDC. There are two energy centres, King’s Yard and Stratford City, and 16 km of buried pre-insulated pipe installed across the site providing heat and chilled water plus fibre network for metering and monitoring. The scheme has resulted in approximately 11,700 tonnes per annum of carbon savings, a 24% reduction over conventional generation, and the provision of energy at a similar price to high carbon systems.

 

Charlotte Conroy, General Manager for ENGIE, provided an overview of the estates and facilities management (EFM) on the Park. The EFM contract is a 10 year agreement which commenced on 1 April 2014 following two years of mobilisation. ENGIE delivers 21 service streams across the dynamic estate ranging from cleaning, CCTV, horticultural services to waterways management. There are four core pillars to ENGIE’s service to LLDC:

Integrated Energy Solutions: District energy provided via two energy centres for the Park, its Venues, Westfield Stratford and associated residential areas.

Catering concession and visitor attraction: Operating the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the UK’s largest sculpture and the first attraction on the Park, and the Podium Bar and Kitchen, a visitor café and corporate hospitality venue.

Maintaining the Park and Venues: The Park comprises 45 hectares of habitat and has attained the Green Flag Award. The Venues include the Copper Box Arena, the London’s third largest permanent arena, and the London Aquatics Centre. In 2016, the Park welcomed over 122,000 visitors and ENGIE provided support for over 100 events at the Park and its Venues.

Community Interest Company: Our Parklife was established as a social enterprise to help deliver the legacy of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games when the Park reopened to the public in 2014. ENGIE invested over £90,000 as a start-up grant over three years and provides ongoing central admin support including finance, commercial, insurance, legal, IT and HR for the company. In 2016, Our Parklife coordinated and managed more than 850 Park Champions volunteering over 13,700 hours of time to support events, offer customer and mobility services and help with conservation and gardening. Our Parklife was awarded Investing in Volunteers accreditation this month.

Following the presentations, Adele Lefebvre, Volunteer Manager, and one of the Park Champions took the delegation on a buggy ride around the Park. The final part of the tour was a guided walk around the Energy Centre at Kings Yard incorporating the biomass boiler and control centre.

The morning was an energising and engaging insight into the collaborative work that ENGIE and LLDC are undertaking to support the regeneration of East London. Highlights of the CSCLeaders conference can be seen on Twitter @CSCLeaders.

ENGIE launched its UK home energy business this month and recently acquired the regeneration business of Keepmoat, the UK’s leading provider of regeneration services, which will extend ENGIE’s opportunities for engagement with local communities and provide a platform to reduce fuel poverty and improve community energy services.

If you would like to discuss how ENGIE’s combined regeneration, community energy and home energy services can support and improve the lives of citizens in your community, please contact email us at info.communities.uk@engie.com.

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:
https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2017/january/06-january/hammers-unveil-supporter-liaison-officers

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.”