Volunteer with us

Knowing the benefits that nature has on mental health and wellbeing, ICOS established and sustained a relationship with the local community around the Backhouse Park.

Together we are creating a vibrant and family-friendly park in the heart of Sunderland.

Through our work we deliver workshops, events, training, and volunteering opportunities under the East Rangers Project.

Thanks to amazing volunteers like you, Backhouse Park has gone from being abandoned to a lively place where the local community enjoys coming to.

Volunteering roles include:

  • work at the park – clean ups and maintenance
  • event organising
  • event staff
  • participate in volunteering campaigns for environmental issues
  • photography
  • social media
  • creative minds


  • Rewards and recognition
  • Volunteer certificate after 30 hours
  • References for your future employer
  • Mileage and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Refreshments during the events
  • Making new friends
  • Growing your confidence
  • Developing new skills
  • Spending time outdoors for your well-being

What we have achieved in the last two years until now:

Community Clean-ups – 89 seasonal activities to maintain the park. 

Litter picking – 81 volunteering sessions. 

  • 381 adult volunteers and 424 children took part in weekly clean-ups. 
  • 4771 volunteering hours were delivered. 
  • 6685 kg of litter, refuse and green waste was removed from the Backhouse Park and St. Michael’s Ward.
We delivered workshops and awareness sessions:
  • 5 Bird watching walks for the public
  • 4 Bird watching walks for scout group
  • 1 Evening Bat walk
  • 5 Environmental sessions for home-schooled children
  • 16 people completed the Ranger training

We organised community events: 

  • 100 years of Backhouse Park 
  • Jubilee Celebration 
  • Refuge Week (two years in a row) 
  • Teddy Bear Picnic 
  • Let’s plant 100 trees together
Fairy Trail
The project had 3 different editions. Trail improved and enhanced Backhouse Park, it also received positive feedback from the local community.

We worked with: Salvation Army, ESPA College, St Aidan’s Academy, Scouts, Asylum Seekers, Durham Wildlife, Friends of the Backhouse and Barley Mow Park, St Anthony’s School, Home-schooling Parents, Birdwatch North- East, Sunderland Growing Together Network, Newcastle University, Sunderland University, Groundwork North-East, Sunderland Symphony Orchestra, Hendon Regenerative Culture Garden, Northumbria Police Cadets, MEARS, Reinvent with Love, BAM Nuttall Ltd, Ashbrook School, NE Ambulance Service

Interested? Get in touch:

Daniel – 07783 433674
Agnieszka – 07563 357064