Who we are and what we do
The Midlands Parks Forum is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, formed in November 2019 from a group of Parks Practitioners who had been working as a voluntary organisation for over 30 years.
Our trustee board of 9 bring a wide range of knowledge and skills to the charity to meet our strategic goals of improving green space through education.
Day to day management of the charity is undertaken by our Partnership Manager.
Membership of our organisation is open to organisations who manage or assist in the management of green spaces, and includes over 70 local authorities, parks trusts, small and large charities, and Open Space Community Forums such as those in Nottingham and Birmingham.
Our charity registration number is 1186863 and our annual accounts, which are independently examined are registered with the Charity Commission.
186 Alcester Road South, Kings Heath, Birmingham. B14 6DE.
Tel: 07384 312840
Our National Lottery Resilient Heritage project ran until June 2021 and focused on a range of key outcomes for green spaces:
- Developing our organisation with our Partnership Manager.
- Developing and implementing our business plan.
- Collaborating with partners to share best practice, undertake research and develop case studies, resulting in better managed parks and the region’s heritage.
- Increasing the skills and knowledge of our members by sharing good practice through a range of learning opportunities through professionals and community representation.
Through the application of our business plan and having a collaborative and cohesive approach, our goal is to become a sustainable organisation which has a direct benefit on green spaces.
The project covered community green space management of allotments, community gardens and included DICE training (Diversity, Inclusion, Cohesion and Equality) and Mental Health First Aid Training
Meet our trustees
From left to right: Alison Bate (Partnership Manager), Angela Lewis, Richard Hunt, Sam Village, James Cairncross, Ishrat Karimi Fini, James Dymond (Vice Chair) and Liz Stuffins (Chair).
Alison Bate is the organisation’s Partnership Manager. Having previously worked in local authority green space development and environmental education, Alison now manages the charity’s learning opportunities, fundraising and financial management.
Angela Lewis is Fields in Trust’s Head of Programmes and also has a Development Manager role covering the Midlands, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. She joined Fields in Trust in 2011 with a focus on the QEII Fields Challenge, and having led the organisation’s work on the Centenary Fields programme in partnership with The Royal British Legion, and the London Marathon Charitable Trust’s Active Spaces programme, now leads the Development Team to deliver the Green Spaces for Good Strategy.
Angela has always worked in sport and leisure for a variety of organisations at national, regional and local level including Sport England and the London Borough of Richmond. She spends as much time as possible in parks and green spaces; running, boot camping or watching her daughter play football.
Richard Hunt -Treasurer
Richard is Head of Country Parks and Estates at Leicestershire County Council, ranging from small local picnic areas and wildlife sites to complex Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Although all trustees are responsible for finance, Richard is Treasurer of Midlands Parks Forum, working closely with our Partnership Manager who undertakes Financial Management and Cash Flow Forecasting to ensure the charity remains sustainabile.
Sam is currently Environmental Partnership coordinator for a local authority, with experience in Green infrastructure projects and countryside management. Sam has facilitated a county-wide parks and open spaces forum and was more recently chair the East Midlands parks forum.
Sam is enthusiastic about engaging people with the natural world and has a passion for trees and woodlands and for many years has coordinated a volunteer tree warden network. Sam is married with two children and a dog and has been known to give a home to unusual pets such as an axolotl and Giant African land snails.
Ishrat Karimi Fini
Ishrat has 17 years’ experience with Greenspaces management and community cohesion. She has worked largely in local government, but also with third sector organisations, supporting the work of young South Asian women. She has also supported various initiatives as a volunteer.
Ishrat has worked in a number of community involvement projects throughout her career and managed a number of successful large-scale events.
Her passion for green spaces and development enables her to play a vital role in decision making as a trustee and ensure the Midlands Parks Forum has the best start to become a key player in green space decision making locally, regionally and nationally.
James Dymond - Vice Chair
James has over 17 years’ experience in the parks and open spaces sector and currently manages a number of teams at Nottingham City Council including parks development, ecology, rangers and country parks.
He has managed projects at a variety of scales including multi-£m lottery funded restorations and works closely with numerous partners including other charities and third sector organisations. He is a keen park user with his family and lover of the outdoors, particularly when on 2 wheels!
James is Vice Chair of the organisation, and is an advocate for the East Midlands (where there are currently over 125 Green Flag award winning green spaces), and bringing new members into the Forum.
Liz Stuffins - Chair
Liz spent the last 10 years at Dudley developing award winning Heritage Lottery funded projects at several parks within the Dudley borough, and as team leader on a Healthy Towns project. Liz really values input from the voluntary sector into the management of parks and has worked on a number of asset transfer projects to enhance community ownership of assets, and community involvement in asset management, as well as partnership projects with organisations such as the Wildlife Trust.
Liz recently moved to Walsall Council to develop Public Health funded programmes of activity in Parks. Liz is Chair of Trustees, and will play an integral part in the good governance of a charity, to ensure that Midlands Parks Forum adheres closely to its mission and works in the interests of its beneficiaries.
Year in Review - to November 2021
Click below to hear our Partnership Manager and Trustees share the charity’s achievements from their second year as a charity.
Our presentations, webinars, conferences and other events
Case studies – Publications – Research
Membership types and their benefits
How to get in touch with us