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What is Vibrant Parks?

“It’s all about transformation”

If you’re new here, or you’ve somehow missed what we’ve been doing for the past few years, our Vibrant Park project is all about transformation.

It’s about transforming any green space within a park into a Vibrant area and by becoming a Vibrant Park it would need the essential key attributes;

  • Volunteering
  • Social Action
  • Fundraising
  • Young People aged 8-24 years
  • Community Involvement
  • Positive Activities
  • Partnerships

From an overgrown plot to a space for sports, education, wildlife and more

Vibrant Parks originated from an overgrown area in a corner of our beloved Birkenhead Park. Since 2016 it has been turned into a community space for sports, education, wildlife and alot more.

The whole project began when HYPE staff and young people noticed an overgrown, disused but, crucially, fenced off area of the park, which would be perfect for the workshops we deliver. Community consultation showed us that people wanted somewhere for music to be performed, plants and vegetables to be grown, wildlife to live and sports to be played within the centre of an urban district.

After many meetings and applications, the council granted us a two-year lease (it’s now 10 years) and we we’re up and running. One of our first innovations was working with Wirral Eco Schools on a ‘Hedge Row Fund Project’, creating products to sell at school Christmas fairs to raise money for a hedge which now forms part of the nature trail within the park. The children who helped raise the funds also got involved in the planting of them all.

Pupils from Weatherhead High School designed and made our planters from reclaimed wood, which gave young people from our youth clubs somewhere to grow their fruit and vegetables.

An outdoor classroom

With many schools having requested an outdoor classroom, we set to work on that too, giving us a space to use for workshops and fitness bootcamps in the rain. As an added bonus, we’ve also been able to use rainwater from the flat roof to water our plants.

The outdoor classroom has also been the perfect place for our budding artists to really let rip, working with local artists (thanks to our partnership with The Pyramids) to create murals for our art wall. The Art Wall was completed summer 2018 by 32 pupils from The Priory Primary School.

We’ve worked with hundreds of teenagers on the NCS scheme, held hugely successful bike workshops, woodwork classes, children’s parties, Victorian Sports Days, Community Dog Shows assault courses and more. The list goes on.

In 2019 HYPE will work with over 300 young people aged 16-21 years through social action projects and supporting the re-development of green spaces that have been neglected or are not fit for use. Many of those young people will progress onto our International Vibrant Parks in 2020…

Bringing life and enterprise to the area

We’ve done a lot. But the Vibrant Park scheme isn’t just about the reclaimed wood planters, or the art wall, or who has the hungriest dog in the Community Dog Shows. It’s about showing the people who matter – what can be done with a disused space or neglected area within a park. And how it can be brought back to life with enterprise, educational and volunteer programmes through HYPE.

Taking our work to the international stage

Since 2016 Vibrant Parks has worked in parks all over Merseyside and Cheshire and in 2018 started working in Central Park, New York and Green Point Park, Cape Town engaging more young volunteers working in parks and working towards UN SDG’s.

In the summer of 2018 HYPE worked with 221 young people aged 16-21 years within park projects see here. Many of whom applied for our International Vibrant Parks Project in New York or Cape Town.

Creating more changemakers

HYPE have aimed to work with 100 changemakers this year aged 16-24 years, to enable them to experience social action in a different culture and continent. They will use the skills they have gained over the last year within their own NCS, D of E or volunteer programmes to make a difference in young people lives in schools and parks.

On their return home to the UK following their pledge to reach more young people locally – we expect them to go on and continue staging community events in their local parks and working with local business to have a greater social impact in the own community and become a local champion and Vibrant Parks Ambassador.