Over the last eight years we have helped establish a great number of new community groups associated with protecting, conserving and enhancing the environment, ranging from 'Friends of parks groups' to more formal environmental groups/charities with legal structures.

Using this experience, as well as drawing upon experience from across the charitable sector, we can help and support you to develop your ideas and your group.

If you are looking to organise smaller, more straightforward community activities, a useful tool kit has been developed by our insurers and we can help alongside this.

Setting up a group

We have developed some guidance to help set up a 'Friends of' parks and green space group, see our "Friends of" groups webpage.

Most Councils, including the London Borough of Richmond, will only recognise friends groups if they are constituted and have an open voting process to elect representatives to their committees. This is to ensure that any group is open and representative of the surrounding neighbourhood and community, and it is also considered good practice for groups to have these in place.


We can help you with all aspects of establishing a group; getting people together, governing documents/constitutions, working with and linking with the the Council, raising funds, buying tools, getting insurance, develop policies and procedures and practical support etc. 

An unincorporated voluntary association or a not-for-profit company can apply for charitable status, but this must be approved by the Charity Commission. For charity 'models', see the Charity Commission website. For charities that will have an annual turnover of less than £5000, go to Charity Commission, less than £5,000

For several publications explaining how to set up groups, published by TCV and other bodies, visit SWLEN's library.

 Social Media Training Session low res

We can help your group with:

  • A telephone and email advice and support service
  • Provide template constitutions and policies
  • Offer access to our discount insurance scheme
  • Provide a webpage on our site and support you developing your own website through the free e-voice platform
  • Provide a forwarding email address; avoiding the need to use personal email addresses on publicity materials
  • Provide a geographical address (our office) should you need one
  • Network your group with similar groups in the area to share ideas and good practices
  • Receive our monthly e-news providing news, information on good practices, funding sources etc
  • Signpost specialist support services (such as legal advice)
  • Promote your group and any events you undertake through our website and social media sites/platforms
  • Help to find and secure funding
  • Provide help with financial planning
  • We can run an organisational/group health check and help you develop areas if needed
  • Borrow items for free from our library (laptop, projector, display screens and marquee)


Here are some templates that may be useful for setting up your group:

Template - Environmental Policy.pdf

Template - Equal Opportunities Policy.pdf

Template - Park Survey.pdf


Here are sample Agenda and Minute sheets that you can use for your meetings and adjust according to your needs:

Sample Meeting Papers - Agenda

Sample Meeting Papers - Minutes


Give us a call or email to discuss your needs.

We are also very happy to come and meet with you and hear your ideas.


We also run an evening drop-in for environmental groups in Richmond Borough every third Wednesday of the month at our office in East Twickenham. Email us to arrange a time.