Parkforce awards: winners announced
30 August 2006
An urban park development ranger who has worked tirelessly to regenerate Rotherham's Rosehill Park has been named Britain's best park worker.
A park worker from Rotherham and Leicester City Council's park service have won CABE's Parkforce awards.
The accolade of Britain's best park worker goes to Paul Spriggs, an urban park development ranger at Rosehill Park in Rotherham. The judges chose Paul for his tireless work to put his park firmly back at the centre of its local community following years of neglect. Paul has achieved a huge amount in his two years at Rosehill, especially to help young people enjoy the park. His initiatives include a junior ranger programme, efforts to involve offenders in transforming the park and an inspiring multi-agency initiative to tackle graffiti, criminal damage and nuisance vehicles, problems which have now virtually been eradicated from the park. He wins a week in New York, working with the city's celebrated park rangers.
Meanwhile, Leicester City Council's parks service have been awarded Britain's best Parkforce. Achieving a huge reduction in anti-social behaviour and arson as well as a marked increase in park use, Leicester was applauded by the Parkforce judges for their comprehensive plan to reverse years of decline in budgets and maintenance of the city's parks service and for their understanding of how important good parks staff are to the general well-being of local communities. The City Council was also praised for investing in their Parkforce with a strong programme to develop formal qualifications for their staff.
Commenting on the winners Baroness Andrews, Parks Minister, said 'It is so important that our parks are well cared for and that people feel safe using them. I applaud the winners of these awards for successfully delivering cleaner, safer, greener communities.'
The awards are the latest development in CABE's Parkforce campaign, which highlights the importance of park workers in transforming and maintaining Britain's parks. More than 130 local authorities have taken the Parkforce pledge, while 12,000 Parkforce badges are being worn by park workers across the country.