The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced a £40 million fund to help create jobs and support the environment. The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is available for a range of activities such as protecting species, finding nature-based solutions to tackling climate change, supporting conservation rangers and connecting people with the outdoors.
Middlesbrough Environment City has been successful in securing funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to deliver practical conservation opportunities helping bring people together from different communities and social backgrounds. Working with ACTES, The Other Perspective and Hemlington Linx, the Green Shoots Project is aimed at people from BAME backgrounds, refugees, asylum seekers and young people to help develop awareness of the town’s green spaces, connectivity with nature and understanding of the issues affecting our climate, wildlife and the habitats they depend on. The project aims to bring together people who are interested in building their own practical skills and knowledge based around conservation and wildlife habitats. It will empower participants with knowledge and opportunities to explore their own interests in nature while improving and enhancing the natural habitat around Middlesbrough in particular becks and streams passing through the town.
133 people have been reached through engagement using outreach techniques face to face, Zoom sessions and by phone. The project has signed up 38 regular volunteers, mainly made up of people from black, asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, with twenty-one practical-based volunteer sessions undertaken, as well as nine Nature Walks. Most volunteers have shown an increase in confidence, self-esteem, improved physical health and positive impacts to their mental health by been able to get out, connect with nature and participate in Green Shoots activities, a particularly important milestone given the year and a half we have all had to endure. All in all, the volunteers have provided almost 300 hours of manpower! We also have ten Kickstart trainees now in post, having completed a variety of training modules including First Aid and Manual Handling to give them a key start in the workplace.
The activities are varied and offer an opportunity for all involved to meet new people and learn about nature, the issues the environment faces and how we can play our part in helping through conservation but also opportunity to learn about different cultures, races, and religions from around the world, the trainees and volunteers have really developed a good rapport with each other. Overall, everyone who has been involved in the project has expressed positive comments and had a really good experience, helping to do more than just offer volunteer experiences but help connect people with other people while connecting them to wider area where they live.
Interested in Green Shoots and want to hear more? Become a volunteer and help make a difference. Get in touch today!
Contact Casper Scallen
Phone: 01642 579820
Contact Jade Harley
Phone: 01642 579820