Next week (13th July), Coca-Cola Great Britain’s ParkLives programme in Newcastle will play host to a range of free wellbeing activities in parks across the city to celebrate Love Parks Week.
Run by Keep Britain Tidy, Love Parks Week (13th-20th July) encourages everyone to get out, enjoy some fresh air and celebrate the important role that parks can play in the local community.
Throughout Love Parks Week, Newcastle residents can join a variety of free, wellbeing-focussed ParkLives activities such as Tai Chi, walking football, bowling and gentle exercise sessions. Events will take place across many of the local parks, including Exhibition Park and Walker Park.
All the sessions are designed to promote the wellbeing benefits of taking part in outdoor activities such as combatting loneliness and boosting confidence, as well as empowering local communities to help keep green spaces looking their best.
The ParkLives programme is part of a £20 million commitment by Coca-Cola Great Britain to invest in community-based schemes, with activities delivered by Newcastle Council. In 2017, more than 11,000 Newcastle residents participated in the programme, which runs throughout the year.
Councillor Kim McGuinness, Newcastle Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Public Health said: “Love Parks Week is a fantastic initiative that encourages communities up and down the country to get outside and make the most of local parks and green spaces.
“In Newcastle we’re lucky to have some fantastic parks and it’s thanks to groups such as Friends of Parks that they are safe and welcoming places for people to enjoy. This year, our Love Parks Week activities are a great way to celebrate the green spaces across our city, have some fun and help keep them tidy.”
The Love Parks Week events coincide with the start of the ParkLives summer programme in Newcastle.
ParkLives sessions last for around one hour and are hosted by trained, friendly and passionate leaders and volunteers from the local area. Activities are group-based and inclusive, allowing everyone to go at their own pace.
Wendy Chan, who will be leading the Tai Chi session at Jesmond Dene and Walker Park during Love Parks Week, said: “I’d encourage anyone looking for free things to do in Newcastle to come along and try a ParkLives session. They fit easily around everyone’s schedules and are a great way to meet new people and build confidence.
“I can’t wait to start practicing Tai Chi with my groups at Jesmond Dene and Walker Park. The gentle exercise is a great way to improve your overall wellbeing and it’s even better that we get to practice in the great outdoors!”
We’ve seen an increase in the number of individuals and community groups wanting to help with maintenance activities to ensure our parks are litter-free – and I hope that more will want to join in during Love Parks Week!”
ParkLives runs in nine cities as well as reaching 37 more locations through a partnership with StreetGames – the long-standing charity partner of Coca-Cola Great Britain – who brings sport to the doorsteps of disadvantaged communities across the UK.
Liz Lowe, ParkLives lead at Coca-Cola Great Britain, said: “With over 37 million people in the UK regularly using parks each year, it’s important that we support initiatives like Love Parks Week to encourage people to step up to protect and enjoy green spaces.
“Taking part in outdoor activities with others has proven to have a positive impact on mental wellbeing, encouraging communities to come together and make new friendships. We hope that more people in Newcastle will get involved in our ParkLives sessions and benefit from them.
“From Tai Chi and health walks to walking football and bowling, there’s a ParkLives session to suit everyone, no matter age or ability – and they’re all completely free!”
To see the full range of ParkLives session near you, visit parklives.com to book a place, or simply turn up on the day.