This month, we caught up with Amy, a Senior Community Project Lead here at Groundwork, to see what she gets up to in a typical week!

Amy (left) with Groundwork colleagues

What is your role?

As a Senior Community Project Lead my role focuses on bringing people together to carry out positive action to help people, places and communities flourish. I work on a number of nature and climate programmes across Greater Manchester creating engagement strategies and action plans, running events and workshops, chatting to people about their ideas, bringing people together and making things happen!

In this blog I’ll focus on my work as part of the Green Community Hubs programme, and the Northern Network – which is a network of green community hubs across the North of England.

What do you get up to in a typical week?

In true Groundwork spirit, my weeks are very varied! I spend a lot of time at West Gorton Community Park, supporting the community to create a Green Community Hub.

West Gorton Park is a new ‘sponge’ park which opened in 2020 and contains a variety of features that help us to cope with the effects of climate change  – from storms and flooding to heatwaves. So I’m often showing different organisations around the park for ‘Seeing is Believing’ tours so they can see the features for themselves, learn how they work and take ideas away with them.

At our Green Community Hub, I can also be found planning or running events. Over the past few months, we’ve hosted a number of growing sessions so local people can learn about plants and food growing. We also held a bug spotting and tree trail event, which the kids loved! We collect monitoring data to make sure we capture the impact we are making – from number of people attending events to how it made them feel and what they learnt. We make sure we find out the activities people want to see in their local area, and help make that happen alongside local residents.

I have worked a lot with Friends of West Gorton Community Park and particularly the Chair Emma to support where we can, helping to solve problems, offer technical advice and find funding. We recently had their AGM which welcomed 4 new members to the group and it was amazing to celebrate all the impact that had been made in just 12 months.

Friends of West Gorton Park

Tell us about an exciting work day you’ve recently had?

In June this year, we hosted an opening day for a new sensory garden at West Gorton Green Hub. It was a really exciting day and celebration of many months of planning and creating with the Friends group. The Lord Mayor Yasmine Dar officially opened the garden, and we also enjoyed a visit from the local MP Afzal Khan.

This is a really exciting step for this community as there hasn’t been provision for SEN children in the area. It was also a real partnership effort with involvement from Groundwork’s Landscape Architects and local residents in choosing sensory plants and food to grow, JLL’s corporate volunteers added sensory toys, planting and new pathways. The local councillor created textured sensory cushions, the parks team shared their time and funding in planning, designing and creating the garden and of course Emma’s family ensured the day was a huge success! There was creativity aplenty and it was wonderful to see the final result, which the whole community can enjoy.

Sensory gardening opening with Lord Mayor Yasmine Dar

What motivates you to do your work?

All of the amazing people I get to meet! There are so many inspiring people in Manchester and I love working with people full of enthusiasm and passion, it makes the job very easy.