Fun, free outdoor activities on offer with Parklives return
Parks across Birmingham are set to play host to thousands of fun, free activity sessions as ParkLives returns to the city for a fourth year.
Delivered by teams from Birmingham City Council in partnership with Coca-Cola Great Britain, ParkLives sessions help bring local parks to life with activities that help to bring communities together and improve wellbeing.
Taking place daily in more than 100 parks and green spaces across Birmingham including Lickey Hills Country Park and Handsworth Park, activities will range from Tai Chi and bushcraft to zumba and nature play, and are designed to appeal to everyone, regardless of ability or experience.
The programme has been planned and developed in co-production with local communities within the city, and will see new activities such as open water swimming, dodgeball and even Pickle Ball – a mix of badminton, tennis and table tennis – feature on the timetable this spring and summer.
The fun starts this week with Easter egg hunts taking place at Handsworth Park and Aston Park (various times between Monday 10th – Friday 21st April). Families will hunt for colourful eggs hidden amongst the natural beauty of their local parks. Instructors at Handsworth Park will also be taking the stress out of learning to ride a bike over the Easter holidays by hosting two special ‘Ditch the Stabiliser’ sessions (Wednesday 12th and Wednesday 19th April).
Gaynor Roberts, ParkLives Programme Manager at Birmingham City Council said: “Thousands of Birmingham residents will benefit from ParkLives again this year. It’s a great opportunity for people to enjoy their local parks, meet new people or spend quality time together as a family.
“ParkLives is great fun, we see a lot of friendship groups forming and plenty of smiling faces after each session. As well as getting people outdoors, it also plays a serious role in helping to address the social and mental wellbeing problems that many people face.
“In 2016, we had more than 85,000 attendances in ParkLives sessions. Many of those took part in the most deprived areas of the city* as our free sessions across the region make it easy for all members of the community to get involved, who may otherwise see cost and a lack of opportunities in their local community as a barrier to being outdoors.”
Sessions last for around one hour and are hosted by trained, friendly and passionate leaders and volunteers from the local area. Activities are group-based, and everyone can go at their own pace.
Session leader, Mick Sherratt, from Birmingham will be leading running sessions over the summer. He said: “I’ve been holding running sessions with ParkLives for three years now and love that I’m helping people to get out of the house, try a new hobby and make friends along the way. In my time, I’ve even coached a few next-door neighbours that didn’t know each other before and are now running buddies. To me, that’s what these sessions are all about and I can’t wait to kick-start ParkLives again this year.“
ParkLives is part of a £20 million commitment by Coca-Cola Great Britain to invest in community-based programmes.
Now in its fourth year, ParkLives runs in 10 cities nationwide as well as reaching many more locations through a partnership with StreetGames, the long-standing charity partner of Coca-Cola Great Britain that brings sports and activities to the doorsteps of disadvantaged communities across the UK.
Liz Lowe, ParkLives lead at Coca-Cola Great Britain said: “It’s brilliant to see ParkLives going from strength to strength in Birmingham as more and more people get involved. This is really testament to the fantastic team of local session leaders and volunteers helping people to try new activities, make new friends and discover the wonderful green spaces they have on their doorstep. With even more activities on offer this year, and all still completely free of charge, we hope that even more people will join in and spread the word.”
To save a space at a free activity, and check out a postcode-led local activity finder go to www.parklives.com
*Source: ukactive, March 2017
Notes to editors
ParkLives is an initiative from Coca-Cola Great Britain, launched in 2014, run in partnership with local authorities across the UK. The programme offers thousands of fun, free activities in local parks, encouraging people across the UK to enjoy the green spaces in their local community.
Birmingham is one of 10 cities taking part in ParkLives 2017. It is joined by Dundee, Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent, Swansea (including Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend local authorities), Nottingham, the London Borough of Newham and Southampton.
ParkLives activities will take place in the following parks in Birmingham:
|Aston Park||B6 6HR|
|Balaam’s Wood Public Open Space||B45 0BH|
|Balsall Heath Forum||B12 8LS|
|Balsall Heath Park||B12 8BA|
|Billesley Common||B13 0PT|
|Bloomsbury Park||B7 5BD|
|Bloomsbury Park/ The POD||B7 5BD|
|Bournville Park||B30 1UG|
|Brookvale Park||B23 7YT|
|Burbury Park||B19 1QH|
|Cadbury Club||B30 2LU|
|Calthorpe Park||B5 7NZ|
|Chamberlain Gardens||B16 8JL|
|Cofton Park||B45 8UN|
|Conker Island||B44 0QN|
|Cotteridge Park||B30 2HN|
|Dawberry Fields Park||B14 6RP|
|Fox Hollies Park||B27 7HA|
|Handsworth Park||B20 2RS|
|Harvest Fields Park||B75 5TJ|
|Holders Lane and Pebble Mill Fields||B13 8NL|
|Kings Heath Park||B14 7TQ|
|Kings Norton Park||B38 8ND|
|Ladywood Health & Community Centre||B16 8RP|
|Laurel Rd community sports Centre||B21 9PB|
|Ley Hill Recreation Ground||B31 1PN|
|Lickey Hills Country Park||B45 8DX|
|Manor Farm Park||B31 1AB|
|Maryvale Community Centre||B44 9SR|
|Mount St Rec||B7 5QT|
|Oaklands Park||B25 8FD|
|Perry Hall Park||B42 1RP|
|Queens Park||B17 9UA|
|Rowheath Pavilion||B30 1HH|
|Senneleys Park||B32 3LJ|
|Sheldon Country Park||B26 3XN|
|Small Heath Park||B10 0LP|
|Small Heath WBC||B10 0LP|
|Sparkhill Park||B11 4HB|
|Summerfield Park||B16 0EU|
|Sunset and Moonlit||B15 2BL|
|Sutton Park||B73 6LJ|
|Victoria Common||B31 2JR|
|Walkers Heath Park||B38 0BL|
|Ward End Park||B8 3LS|
|West Heath Park||B31 3DA|
|Westley Vale Millennium Green||B27 6EG|
About Coca-Cola Great Britain
Coca-Cola Great Britain is responsible for marketing 20 brands and over 80 drinks to consumers across Great Britain. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable and recognisable brands, our company portfolio includes Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, Oasis, glaceau vitaminwater, glaceau smartwater, Schweppes, 5 Alive, Lilt, Kia Ora and Powerade.