Three years supporting the legacy of 2012

The Our Parklife Community Interest Company (CIC) was established as a social enterprise to help deliver the legacy of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games when the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park reopened to the public in 2014.

The first CIC to bring together skills and experience from the private, charitable and social enterprise sectors in one organisation, Our Parklife works in partnership with the London Legacy Development Corporation and local communities to ensure that East Londoners benefit from opportunities to volunteer, work and gain new skills on the Park.

2017 marks our third anniversary on the Park and our Annual Report 2016 highlights the positive impact that our truly innovative joint venture has had on local communities.

In our first year Our Parklife:

  • Established the Park Mobility service
  • Developed the Park Champion programme
  • Hosted education visits with local schools and groups
  • Ensured that employment and training opportunities were focused on local communities
  • Developed key relationships and consulted with Park stakeholders
  • Set up and operated Mobile Garden City – the only community garden on the Park
  • Established The Harvest Stomp – an annual community festival celebrating local food growing and resourcefulness
  • Provided event support to the London Stadium and London Lions Basketball Club
Highlights from 2016

Our Parklife has created approximately £2.7m of economic and social value for the local economy. During 2016, the Park Champion Volunteer programme went from strength to strength. Our proud volunteers are the face of the Park, exuding energy, enthusiasm and passion, dedicating over 13,700 hours of their time to customer services, mobility services, events and horticulture.

In 2016, Our Parklife:

  • Coordinated and managed over 850 volunteers giving up over 13,700 hours of their time, creating a value of £133,600 to the Park and £1,849,500 of value through subjective well-being
  • Delivered over 70 accredited training qualifications
  • Supported 15 apprentices in facilities management, horticulture, cleaning and team leading
  • Facilitated 15 school/education visits inspiring local young people to learn about biodiversity, sustainability, career opportunities, energy and landscape architecture
  • Collaborated with local colleges and universities including University College London, Loughborough, University London, University of East London and Queen Mary University
  • Delivered bespoke volunteer placements for over 20 local students with Special Educational Needs from Hackney Community College and BSix College
  • Delivered Customer and Mobility Services welcoming over 67,000 Park visitors and over 9,000 visitors with a mobility impairment
  • Facilitated local employment – our current estate facilities management workforce employs 149 people locally of which 67% are from our surrounding boroughs
  • 50 of our staff were previously unemployed, creating approximately £740,000 for the local economy by getting people back into work
Recognition and success in 2017

On 5 May, Our Parklife was successfully accredited for Investing in Volunteers (IiV) – the UK quality standard for best practice in Volunteer Management. The culmination of over a year of hard work to evidence the amazing contribution that Park Champions make on the Park and recognition of the rewarding, well managed, fun and dynamic programme.

In July, Our Parklife was also awarded a Highly Commended in the The Experian Award for Building Stronger Communities category at the Business at the Community  Responsible Business Awards recognising our role as a catalyst for local regeneration in East London.

Future plans

The Park is a vibrant community which continues to grow and develop and Our Parklife looks forward to building on our success to date as exciting new organisations and institutions move onto the Park.

The CIC is a unique partnership comprising: ENGIE, principal contractor for estates and facilities management; idverde, the parklands management sub-contractor to ENGIE; Renaisi, a local social enterprise specialising in regeneration; and environmental and social regeneration charity Groundwork London. The unique mix of expertise that stems from our founding partners enables us to design new and innovative services and ways of working with Park partners.

Our collective aim is to create measurable, positive social impact for local people through how the Park is managed and maintained by involving local people in services, activities and events. The income we receive for the services we provide is reinvested in realising our aims.

Our key projects include:

  • Developing our services and opportunities to generate revenue
  • Developing new and innovative ways to support local people into jobs on the Park
  • Consulting with our stakeholders

Read the full Our Parklife Annual Report 2016 to find out more about the positive social impact of our work on local communities and our plans for 2017.

If you would like to know more about volunteering or opportunities with Our Parklife, please contact us.

Volunteers build a bike in a day at Mobile Garden City!

One of the many ways that Our Parklife helps to deliver the legacy of London 2012 is by providing opportunities to volunteer in the local community.

Last week, a team of corporate volunteers from ENGIE, joined Groundwork London at Mobile Garden City in the latest in a series of Corporate Volunteering Days, organised by Our Parklife.

Mobile Garden City is an innovative meanwhile community garden using pre-development sites on the Park that is open from July 2015 to October 2017. Following this, the garden will move to a new location on the Park. The aims of the garden are:

· To create a welcoming, beautiful and mobile public garden;
· To demonstrate how to create productive and vibrant community spaces on meanwhile site; and
· To provide food growing, socialising and training opportunities for the whole community.

ENGIE volunteer teams undertook a variety of practical tasks to improve the community garden, facilitated by Groundwork London, including; constructing work benches, weatherproofing and decking out a donated greenhouse, creating a boardwalk, harvesting and planting.

A ‘Build a Bike Workshop’ was also organised with a local community bike social enterprise that has set up a brand new workshop at the same site as Mobile Garden City. The workshop involved a team of six people building a roadworthy vehicle, utilising a selection of parts including two donated bicycles from ENGIE. The team had access to a wide range of tools, plus an expert cycle builder and mechanic, Lawrence Mohammed, who assisted and shared his extensive knowledge and advice on general cycle safety awareness and basic servicing. The bike will go to good use initially as a pool bike for ENGIE employees who work at the Park.

“Such a joy to host today; loads of fun, an incredibly motivated, engaged and interesting group, the perfect first day in the new Pro Bike Service workshop!” 

Lawrence Mohammed, Director/Had Mechanic, pro bike service

pro bike service offers their services to everyone in the local area and have consciously chosen to do this via a gift economy. This means they gift their services and offerings where needed (except any parts which clients need to purchase) and are open to receiving gifts in return. A pop up workshop will be at Here East on 4 August between 12-2pm for anyone who would like to learn more about bike maintenance. Find out more here. You can see highlights from the day including the new bike on its first outing here.

If you want to find out more about volunteering on the Park, please get in touch with us here.