Green Champions

You can help deliver the actions required to make Birmingham a City of Nature by becoming a Green Champion volunteer.

What is a Green Champion?

The Purpose of the Green Champion programme is to provide opportunities for all Birmingham citizens to be involved with the delivery of the city of nature plan.

Wikipedia definition of volunteering

“Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve the quality of life of humans or animals, but people also volunteer for their own skill development, to meet others, to make contacts for possible employment, to have fun, and a variety of other reasons that could be considered self-serving. Volunteerism is the act of selflessly giving your life to something you believe free of pay.”

Government definition of volunteer

For the purposes of volunteering policies, the Cabinet Office defines volunteering and volunteering opportunities as: “Any non-compulsory activity which involves spending time, unpaid, doing something which is of benefit to others (excluding relatives), society or the environment.” Phil Hope, Minister of the Third Sector (15th October 2007)

As defined by the individual

“One of my definitions of volunteering is doing more than you have to – because you want to – in a cause you consider good.” – Ivan Scheier – Guerrilla Goodness

Green Champion Programme

All these definitions include elements of what we mean by a Green Champion, but it is perhaps the last one that best describes the scope of Green Champions: “Doing more than you have to – because you want to – in a cause you consider good”. This is because not all our Green Champions are strictly volunteers in the traditional sense. An example of this would be a Public Health officer arranging a nature walk for colleagues in their lunch break, or a teacher taking part in “Outdoor Classroom Day”, in these examples they do get paid to their job, but they are doing extra that they don’t have to simply because they want to and are benefitting the environment and others by doing so.

The model for volunteering being delivered through the Green Champion programme does include the more traditional forms of volunteering including individuals taking part in Park Ranger led action groups or constituted Friends of Parks / Green Space Groups working in parks and green spaces and other community groups and corporate organisations. But it also goes further to look at “visiteering” opportunities and recognising community growing and gardening projects, improving school and business green spaces, and supporting roles in marketing, data, storytelling, etc. It’s a simple as this if you are helping to deliver the City of Nature Actions by doing more than you have to – just because you want to then you are a Green Champion.

So what are we going to do to help you be a better Green Champion?

We asked people who have been volunteering in green spaces for years and people who have never volunteered before what we could do to support or encourage them. Over the two years of the Future Parks Project we have been consulting across communities, people often said: “We love what we do but we could do so much more if only you [that’s us] would …”

  • Help us do what we want to do
  • Keep in touch
  • Promote activities
  • Provide free training
  • Bring people together
  • Celebrate achievements

We already have fantastic organisations in Birmingham who support volunteering through groups and memberships and they are doing amazing work! But we know there are people who want to help but aren’t part of a group. Or perhaps you want to be involved in activities outside your group or learn new skills to help others in different ways like social prescribing, social media, citizen science. Or you have skills that can help other organisations or other groups that you want to share. You can sign up to be Green Champion and we can help you do what you want to do.

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