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 Isis Community 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.

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. We do not have 1 director or CEO but are managed by a team of managers (see meet our team above). 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 2020-2021

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. 

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. 

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.