How to Set up a Group

How to Set up a Group


The following steps suggested below will help ensure that your group is:

  • A strong group that is likely to achieve its objectives;
  • Recognised and respected by the council, other service providers and park users;
  • Able to represent your community;
  • Clear about what the community’s issues and priorities are for improving the park;
  • Clear about how it is organised and run.


Contact the Greenspace Forum. You will find our contact details on theContactsPage. At present we have 67 member groups and some of them have been in existence for as long as 12 years. Our member groups have a wealth of experience on running a green space group, which they are willing to share. We may not have all the answers, but we probably know someone who does.


Contact your Area Manager and/or Team Leader and tell them that you want to establish a group and why. This could save a lot of time in the long run. Your Area Manager and/or Team Leader can help by:

  • Letting you know whether Stockport MBC is the organisation that owns/manages the park/green space that concerns you;
  • Letting you know whether Stockport MBC has any existing plans for improving the park/green space.
  • Telling you whether anyone has tried to establish a group in the past and help put you in contact with them;
  • Suggesting other local ‘stakeholders’ from the parks/green space that you should contact, such as sports clubs or young people’s groups.


Draw up a short questionnaire to ask questions of park users and people living in houses in the streets around the park/green space. A sample of a questionnaire can be found in our manual. The aim of the questionnaire is to:

  • Gather support for your group and gather people’s contact details;
  • Tell people about the area that you are concerned with and where it is;
  • Enable you to find out what your community needs and what their opinions and aspirations are for the park – how would they improve it?
  • Find out how people currently use the park.

It is vital that you can show the council, other service providers and potential funders that the aims of your group meet the needs of your local community.

Research and consult other interested organisations and agencies and other stakeholders in the park. Tell them what you are planning to do as a result of the consultation and invite them to your first meeting.

This is important to ensure that you get all the support you can and avoids any misunderstanding and conflicting aims later on.


Hold a meeting, or a number of meetings, that includes all those who have expressed an interest in your survey and other stakeholders.

It is vital that you involve everyone that has expressed an interest early on, including someone from Stockport MBC and the Greenspace Forum. The aim of the meeting is to:

  • Meet each other and show that you have support. This makes everyone feel that they have joined a winning cause;
  • Discuss the information your survey has gained and the issues local people and others have;
  • Decide your group’s key objectives and priorities, which will help you to be focused;
  • Consider what actions/tasks you want to take on and establish who you need to contact to help you with this.


Decide what structure your group needs in order to tackle its objectives and priorities. Do you need to be a formal organisation, a charity or can you achieve what you want by just being an ‘informal group of residents’? (See next section.)

If you want to be formal you will most likely:

  • Adopt a document or constitution that tells you and others how your group is organised and run;
  • Open a bank account or affiliate to a partner organisation that has one already;
  • Decide who might act in key roles, eg a Chairperson or Secretary.


Now you can begin to identify the resources and support you need to deliver your aspirations.

  • Do you need money?
  • Do you need expert advice?
  • Do you need willing volunteers?