Welcome to Flo’s

Flo’s the Place in the Park is a community hub in Florence Park. We are a place for people from all walks of life. Our aim is to build better opportunities for the community to work, eat, play, learn and connect with each other, reducing inequalities and supporting  the environment.

We do this by responding to local needs and by running community businesses that sustain the local economy and help a wide variety of people to thrive. 

At Flo’s you can find a Cafe, a plastic free refill shop, a nature based nursery, the Florence Park Midwives, lots of activities for families, rooms to hire, events and community impact projects on the themes of Food, Family and Nature. We are active and founding members of the OX4 Food Crew, and have incubated new diversity led social enterprises , as well as bringing disused spaces back into community use.

Getting to Flo’s - The Place in the Park

By Bus
Nearest Bus Stops
Marsh Road
1 (Oxford Rail Station – Blackbird Leys)
5 (Oxford City Centre – Blackbird Leys)
5A City (Oxford City Centre – Blackbird Leys)
Marsh Road stop is a 6 minute walk from Flo’s – The Place in The Park
The Jolly Post Boys
46 City (Oxford City to Great Milton)
the Jolly Post Boys srop is a 6 minute walk from Flo’s – The Place in the Park
Freelands Road
3 (Oxford City Centre – Rose Hill)
3A (Oxford City Centre – Templer’s Square
3B (Rose Hill to Matthew Arnold School via City)
Freeland’s Road Stop is a 13 minute walk from Flo’s – The Place in the Park (via Cornwallis Road)
Cycling and Scooting 
Flo’s – The Place in the Park is on Rymers Lane which is a designated Quiet Way for cycling and walking. You will find several bike parking racks in Florence Park and on our site.
We encourage our visitors to consider the environment when choosing how to get to Flo’s – The Place in the Park.

Our values and core purpose

Our purpose is to:

  • Community ownership: a hub run by the community for the community (anyone can become a member of Flo’s
  • Community assets: making socially and environmentally just use of space
  • Finance working locally: supporting social enterprise and the circular economy 
  • Community wellbeing: delivering and hosting services  that help  people feel better 


Our values:

Hope and opportunity  –leadership and learning that harness the energy of the community and inspire hope; resourcing and resourced by local enterprise, creating alternatives for working, eating, shopping, childcare, healthcare

One team, many voicesStaff, managers, trustees, volunteers, members, consultants, tenants, community all contribute and shape what we do, how we do it and where we go next 

Wellbeing and nature – slowing down; enjoying the outdoors and all that the park has to offer; caring for planet, environment and other living things in all that we do; fostering a sense of belonging, and rootedness to where we live and work 

Community engagement  – welcoming all members of the community, regardless of age, culture,  race, sexual orientation, health, social background or experience; strengthening community through embracing difference; generating new ways of working and organising

Governance

People, Place and Participation Ltd. (PPP) is the charitable community benefit society that runs Flo’s. We are a membership organisation and are accountable to our members- anyone can become a member. We are governed by our board of Trustees and led by our Director and Managers team. PPP is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and we have charitable status awarded by HMRC. PPP has a trading subsidiary known as Flo’s Trading, which has its own board of directors. PPP is governed by the Organisational Rules. Our most recent set of accounts can be read here: Signed Accounts 2021-2022

Group Accounts March 2023
Final Trading Accounts March 2023

The journey so far

PPP Ltd was founded as a Charitable Community Benefit Society in 2018 after a successful campaign to keep the decommissioned children’s centre building in community use. Flo’s – the Pace in the Park was born, initially with the support of Aspire a local charity and we opened our doors in September 2018. Since that time Flo’s has grown to a thriving hub managed by the community for the community- we are governed by our members and a board of trustees and aim to respond to local needs.  Three years on (two of which have been pandemic years) the centre has grown to employ 30 people and  80% of our funding comes from successfully incubated enterprises – the cafe, refill shop, room hire and nursery. The Cafe and shop are now run by a wholly owned subsidiary  – Flo’s Trading. 

You can find out more about Flo’s by listening to a podcast from our friends at MakeSpace Oxford. They interveiew two of our team back in Summer 2023 for thier mini series, ‘Glimpses of a Possible Future’. Listen now on Spotify

Our impact

Our work reaches a wide range of people from different backgrounds. You can read more about the impact we are having in our impact reports below. 

Read our 2022 Impact Report in magazine format

Building history

Flo’s is housed in a beautiful purpose built building designed by Lana Al Shami. Owned by Oxford City Council, the building and has a long history of serving the local community. In its early days it was a family centre was run from the site in temporary buildings and in 2007 Oxfordshire County Council secured Sure Start funding and a brand new building was built in 2008- this is the beautiful building we now have. The county council has long-term tenure of the building and up till 2017 ran the Children’s Centre that served a wide range of families people in the local area. 

The children’s centre offered families with young children services provided by many different agencies. The announcement of its closure in 2016 due to budget cuts was deeply saddening for many, and one which posed serious challenges for families, parents, carers and children living in the area. 

Following several months of negotiations, and expressions of interest, the local campaigners formed a steering group to support the vision for a locally-managed project initiated by the Nature Effect Community Interest Company.  Led by local charity Aspire, the community group  developed their  business plan to create a community-run, enterprise-funded centre that would continue to support families and be sustainable in the longer term. 

The group of local people set up the community benefit society People Place and Participation Ltd. and in October 2018, the former children’s centre’s doors were re-opened as Flo’s The Place in the Park. 



Thank you to all of our supporters

Thank you to all our supporters who have helped to make it possible to open Flo’s.

It has been an enormous community effort, and would have not happened were it not for these fantastic people giving generously of their support, ideas, time, skills, money, belongings, friendship and more.

All our shareholders, members, steering group past and present and trustees – for making it happen.  There are too many to mention but see the “our team” page for details. 

All our grant funders to date (we are very grateful!):

Oxfordshire Community Foundation

St. Michaels and All Saints Trust

The Big Lottery Fund

CAG

The National Lottery Community Fund

Trust for Oxfordshire Environment (TOE)

The National Lottery Social Enterprise Support Fund

Power to Change

Cooperatives UK

Oxford City Council

Oxfordshire Country Council

Brendan Rolle-Rowan – Plainlaw Solicitors – for fantastic pro-bono support on the leases – a gargantuan piece of work the size of which no one imagined beforehand.

Dan Wadsworth (Jessops and Cook) – for going beyond the extra mile with the building project management – and general enthusiasm and support

Brian and team from DH Builders – for doing a good job and keeping a sense of humour.

Craig Jennings from Bojen Electrical – for a doing a great job and endless patience.

Chris Bell and team from Oxford City Council greenspace team for support.

All our volunteers – you know who you are – too many to name!

Stig – for fantastic pro bono design work, patience advice and support.

Ethex – for support with the community shares scheme.

Councillors: Cllr Tidball, Cllr Evans, Cllr Simm, Cllr Henwood  Cllr Sanders for support at many levels.

Wynter Blathwayt of Gyroscope for the probono design and hosting of our beautiful website.

Maurice McCartney (Fresh Management Solutions) for early business planning advice and support.

Sarah Steele from Old Station Nursery Group for all kinds of advice and support.

Oxford Wood Recycling – for cost price wood for our community wall.

Susie Dadd for design and loan of her lovely trees for the opening.

The Isis Midwives Team – for being great subtenants, very patient and continuing their excellent service to the community throughout.

Will Pouget – for being inspirational, patient and having faith – as well as setting up the delicious cafe with expertise, lovely staff and minimal fuss.

Phil Pritchard (Oxford City Farm) for loan of the pressure washer and generally being a good egg.

To staff (employed and freelance) who have all worked way beyond their hours and gifted their time and enthusiasm – you know who you are too!