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Men Volunteering


A network organisation bringing together all the people
in Birmingham with an interest in our open spaces at Aston Park

BOSF is a volunteer network organisation, set up at the end of 2004, that brings together all the community groups in Birmingham with an interest in green open spaces.

Our main focus is supporting the volunteers who add value to the city’s open spaces.

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More About BOSF

Currently, there are more than 130 member groups – some are large and organised others are 2 people & a dog. There are areas of the city less well represented than others and we need your help to make sure that all of the city can benefit from what a friends group can offer.

A study undertaken when BOSF was established demonstrated that an open space with a friends group benefited from an average of £35k a year additional funding and volunteer hours equivalent to 1.5 additional staff.


For our purposes an Open Space is any space that a community regards as a green area, accessible to the local community. This includes: parks, allotments, nature reserves, country parks, public open spaces, cemeteries, wildlife corridors, woodlands, playing fields, community gardens & the bit of green at the end of the road



BOSF offers opportunities for groups and individuals interested in open spaces to share knowledge and experience. We produce regular updates about funding sources, training opportunities, events in open spaces and lots of useful information. We can put you in touch with other member groups who have experiences that might be useful to you. We organise meetings and training opportunities.



BOSF is for any group in Birmingham working to promote and develop an open space. This includes: friend’s groups, community groups, residents’ associations, neighbourhood forums, environmental projects and professionals working in open spaces.



By joining BOSF you will have the opportunity to make contact with other groups and individuals interested in open spaces in Birmingham. You will be kept informed of events and activities that may be of interest to you. You will be able to tap into the network to get answers to problems that other groups have already solved and it is FREE!

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Our Partnerships

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Bidgley Power Foundation

We help people who are excluded from society to participate in volunteering and build a more positive future as a result.  We believe that everyone counts and everyone has something to offer.

Our clients are those at the margins of society, who would not typically think of volunteering as something which they could do, or which could help them to move forward with their lives.

A 3/4 of our beneficiaries are young people who are: leaving care; young carers; at risk of homelessness; young offenders; teenage parents; or have experienced domestic violence and abuse. The remainder is adults who face significant challenges as a result of critical injury and trauma; leaving the criminal justice system; drug and alcohol misuse; long-term unemployment; mental ill-health; homelessness; isolation and disengagement with society.

We reach 3,600 people a year across Birmingham, of which between 300-400 receive intensive one-to-one support from our team of outreach workers to engage in community volunteering.  Through our programmes, we seek to enable our clients to integrate into their local communities, improve mental and physical well-being, develop positive social networks, and increase transition to education and sustainable employment. 

At Bidgley Power, we motivate, inspire and enable people who are most excluded from society to participate in community volunteering as a way of helping them to develop the skills, confidence and motivation to turn their lives around


Aston Villa FC

Villa Park is one of the oldest and most famous stadiums in Europe. Even the name has a special ring to it, so much so that Hollywood megastar Tom Hanks imagined it being located on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The actual location of Villa Park, in the Witton area of Birmingham, may not be as aesthetically pleasing - but for many people it is equally romantic. As Simon Inglis observed in his excellent 1997 book Villa Park, 100 Years, ‘There are football grounds and football grounds. Then there is Villa Park.’As a lifelong follower of the boys in claret and blue, Inglis’s view is obviously biased, although it is shared by thousands of football supporters whose allegiances lie elsewhere. Wembley may be the spiritual home of English football, but Villa Park is a close second. The club’s home since 1897, the ground sits in the shadow of the Jacobean stately home Aston Hall and has evolved over the years into a magnificent all-seated arena with a capacity of more than 42,000.  And it has done so without ever losing its charm. 

There are football grounds and football grounds. Then there is Villa Park.

Simon Inglis


Aston Hall

Aston Hall is a magnificent Grade I listed 17th century mansion house and one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings. Full of architectural and historical delights from its breath-taking Long Gallery to the battle scars of Civil Wars, Aston Hall is one of Britain’s finest treasures steeped in 400 years of history. Situated in a beautiful Green Flag public park on the north side of Birmingham, Aston Hall was one of the last great Jacobean houses. Built for Sir Thomas Holte between 1618 and 1635 it took 17 long years to complete. The Holtes and their heirs lived in the house until it was sold in 1817 and the Hall then became the home of James Watt junior, son of the famous engineer until 1848. A visit to Aston Hall is always an enthralling experience. You will be following in the footsteps of royalty - King Charles I spent the night here and Queen Victoria visited on more than one occasion. The surrounding parkland, including the beautiful Lady Holte’s Garden, provide a calm oasis in a busy city. With a reputation for being one of the country’s most haunted buildings, the Hall is also famed for its tragic tales of tight-rope walkers and spooky stories of mysterious ladies.

Arrive curious, leave Astonished!

You can help us make a change for the better.

“People working together in a strong community with a shared goal and a common purpose can make the impossible possible.”

Tom Vilsack

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