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Learn how to create a successful park and playground campaign

Developing Your Campaign Vision for Outdoor Playground facilities

kids flyering

How We Started


If you are fed up with the state of your parks and playground facilities in your neighbourhood then it is time to start planning. A well structured campaign plan will help you and your community group focus on the problem, developing your common goals and developing your story in order successfully lobby the decision makers who has the power to make change.

TIP: Get young people involved, let them have a voice and say!

The most important thing with a
campaign is that you start it!

The Problem

Assuming you already have a core group of people at this beginning stage. You will have a problem or issue you want to fix, it could be more than one thing. It is really helpful to discuss this as a group and create a list of the changes your group want to see. If you need public support later you can use this to help facilitate public meetings to build more allies and support.

Some examples might be:

  • Safer Parks For Children
  • Better Accessibility
  • New Playground Equipment

So whatever the changes your group decide its really useful to brainstorm ways of how you can make this change happen? what tools will you need to do this? Will you need to learn more about the subject matter or do some research?

Some examples might be:

  • Looking for sources of funding
  • Research into Reports, local council reports can be useful

Reaching out to others -

As you can probably tell campaigns need allies there truly is strength in numbers, collaboration, unity and energy will help you focus on keeping your friends and allies close. These can be family, neighbours, friends, colleagues, stakeholders, elected councillors, staff at your local council, other groups similar to yours? the list is endless.

Successful campaigns have a strong core organising team which does the day to day running of the campaign. These can include, in you decide to become an unincorporated group, A Secretary, a chair and a treasurer. You can also consider additional roles, consultations and surveys, fundraisers, researchers, volunteers for events, people to help you build a campaign website or existing groups which assist with help for community groups, such as designing leaflets and helping you to form as an official group.

Examples of Questions for your group to consider:

What have the press said about this? Why is this happening?
Who might support you in this work? Who might be against you? Who is your campaign target? 


Goals and Objectives

The steps to that change. The objectives are specific things you can do to achieve your goal. It’s good to aim to set no more than a couple of objectives at a time. One objective at a time is fine! If possible try to make them specific and measurable.

Some Example:

  • To gain 100k funding for a new playground – includes a target
  • to get the council to commit to 100k
  • Name specific equipment and facilities you want etc etc
  • Stop a playground being closed
  • create a project design plan



Now you need to figure out who has the power to influence your campaign target.

The best way to do this is to get some post-its (or just some pieces of paper) and list on each one all the people or organisations who might have power to make change happen (including who you think might be your campaign target).


Once that is complete then as a group talk to the people you’re working with to figure out if you need to rethink your objectives, or campaign target.

Your Tactics

We have found the best way to engage with residents is to do this in and around events.

You can choose whatever tactics you want and at this stage you will have an indication. Examples of what Park Life Brighton did as a group were:

  • Launched a Petition
  • Built a Social Media following
  • Held public meetings
  • Created a campaign video to highlight the problem.
  • Leafleted Our Local Area
  • Created Community Events
  • Fundraised
  • Organised support from Elected Councillors and MP.
  • Met with other stakeholders and the Local Authority.

Future Plans

Spreading the word – so you have lots of supporters who will help you win!

Campaigns are never won by one person working alone.

To win your campaign you’ll need to bring together a group of people who work with you to plan your campaign, and then attract some campaign supporters.

Supporters are important – as they’ll show your campaign target that this is a problem lots of people care about. This not only gives you more power – but also means that you don’t have all the pressure on yourself.

The foundation of many campaigns is a petition. They allow you to explain to the world what you’re doing, and they allow the public to show their support quickly and easily. Ultimately petitions are about building and showing your power — by showing how many people care about your campaign.

But always remember that a petition alone is not a campaign. A campaign should build over time using a variety of tactics — with a petition as one of them.

It’s best to start a petition online, as you can get lots of supporters quickly, and if you choose a good petition platform you can message your supporters and tell them all about your campaign as it grows stronger. To build a petition you’ve got some choices. In the UK there are four key platforms for you to consider:

  1. 38 Degrees. 38 Degrees is a UK organization that promotes democracy, peace, human rights, equality and sustainability. They run their own campaigns and also have a petition platform with lots of tips and guides.
  2. Change.org. Change.org is a global petition platform that helps people run their own online campaigns. They’ve had 234 million people sign the petitions on their website and also have lots of tips and guides.
  3. Care2. Care2 is another global petition platform that helps people run their own campaigns. They’ve had 653 million people sign petitions on their website and also have lots of tips and guides.
  4. Gov.UK. petition is a petition site run by the government. If you start a petition there and get over 10,000 signatures the government will respond. If you get over 100,000 signatures then parliament may decide to debate your petition. However, you should use the site with a lot of caution, because unlike all the petition sites mentioned above they don’t allow you to contact your petition signatures. This is a big problem, as communicating with people supporting your petition is very important, and helps you build powerful, meaningful campaigns. 

You can use this helpful tools:

Writetothem and whatdotheyknow are tools to assist you. Writetothem will help you find out who are your local elected officials and whatdotheyknow is a handy Freedom of Information Act website which allows can help with research. 

Building Pressure!

Keep going & escalate your campaign – so your campaign target feels the pressure

One of the key decisions a campaign target will make is “can I ignore this campaign?”. When most campaigns start they’ll look at what you’re doing and think “yes, I can ignore this, it’s not a big deal”.

Your challenge is to change their mind by planning for your campaign to keep going for many months. Then as your campaign grows your campaign target will realise that your campaign isn’t just going to go away.

The best way to do this is to plan to gradually escalate your campaign over time, by figuring out a series of tactics which will help you achieve your objectives over a number of months

Finally, look after your physical and mental health wellbeing

It’s very hard to campaign on things that matter a lot to you, it can be exhausting and make managing your mental and physical health rough. Campaigns are successful because they are sustained and build pressure over time. So as you plan your campaign it’s important to look after your own and , each others mental health, so you can keep campaigning for as long as it takes.

We are always looking for opportunities to work with others and partner. If you find our organisation useful and want learn more then