An open letter to our volunteers: thank you

Dear volunteers,

As Chair of London National Park City, I’m writing this letter at the start of Volunteers’ Week, to express my sincere gratitude for the contribution of each and everyone of you to make our organisation what it is today.

Over the past five years and beyond, our dedicated Founders, Trustees, Rangers and supporters have come together to create a vibrant volunteer ecosystem which has underlined London National Park City’s vision of a greener, wilder and healthier capital, one for residents and visitors alike which also plays its part in supporting key climate adaptation and mitigation measures including boosting biodiversity, promoting active travel and community engagement, embracing sustainable practices and more.

Founders, supporters & Trustees: The visionaries

Your strategic oversight, expertise and unwavering commitment to the London National Park City movement has been unparalleled. With your help we have been able to define and deliver our aims and objectives, drive forward innovation within the organisation and focus London National Park City’s core vision and remit. I look forward to continuing to work with you all in this spirit as we embrace the challenges and opportunities presented as we continue to grow. Together we can truly realise the potential of London as a National Park City and grow our national and international family.  

Rangers: the champions of our urban green spaces

Our Ranger community lives and breathes the National Park City Charter, ‘walking the walk’ of our vision – as action-focused, grassroots movements. You have worked tirelessly to enhance and protect our urban green spaces and connect people to nature, through some amazing projects and initiatives, and I’m in constant awe and admiration of the creativity that exists amongst our Ranger community, whether leading city walks, spearheading local food growing, or sharing key nature-based skills through education projects. You are all making a tangible difference to the wellbeing of our urban communities and our natural environments. There will continue to be inspiring times ahead I’m sure, and where you lead many others are likely to follow.

a shared journey

It would be remiss of me not to mention the broader community that supports nature in London. From partner organisations such as the National Trust, London Wildlife Trust, Parks for London and other charities who have supported the delivery of our festival weeks to the individuals who have helped populate our Community platform, to those who have supported our research and development work and all of the community groups and activists around London who dedicate their time and energy into making London the amazing National Park City it is. I want to thank you all, and say that your efforts are invaluable and greatly appreciated.  

looking ahead

As we look to the future, I know that the road may not always be smooth, but by working as one we can make our impact felt even more widely. On that note I am very excited to see more and more cities around the globe work towards National Park City status, including Breda in the Netherlands who will hopefully be joining our family very soon.

I’ll close by saying thank you again, to everyone, and leaving you with a question from the Charter to reinforce the importance of your work: what if we had more balance and harmony within ourselves, our city and the globe?

With gratitude,

Navdeep Deol

Chair, London National Park City

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