Another successful year for our Environment Grant, as we get ready to announce this year’s awardees. We received so many applications from such a diverse range of projects and we loved reading about the incredible work that is going on in our communities, but it did make it tough for our CSR Team to choose. The grant is awarded to local projects that align with our values, further the environmental profession or raise awareness of environmental issues. And this year we are proud to be supporting four fantastic organisations that share a single vision of making where we live, work and play a better place for all.
Our first awardee is Croxteth Park Volunteer Group, which provides volunteering opportunities for the community through a series of Wildlife Recording Sessions. They also won Outstanding Environmental Project in the 2020 Echo Environment Awards. More consideration is being placed on evidence and data within local planning and decision-making, generating a need for the recording of biodiversity. Croxteth Park Volunteer Group plans to offer bi-monthly recording sessions for volunteers and local school children using the iNaturalist app, which will feed into local, national and global databases. One of the outcomes of this project will be to ensure species that are ‘in danger’ or decreasing in numbers are accurately recorded to provide good empirical data recording. They also hope to get more children out of the classroom and into their local parks and greenspaces. They believe by getting children involved, they can create a legacy that will protect the planet for them and future generations thereafter.
Our second awardee is PLACED Academy, an education programme delivered by PLACED, a social enterprise working with young people and communities. This autumn, PLACED will run a free Environmental Academy for 37 students from diverse backgrounds throughout the Liverpool City Region. By putting the built environment at the core of the programme, PLACED helps to create empowered young citizens who know their views matter and can shape the places in which they live. The Academy will help develop their self-belief, skills and knowledge. This will bring many benefits to the environment as students will become more aware of the opportunities to design towns and cities for the benefit of people’s health and wellbeing, to enhance biodiversity and reduce the impacts on climate change. The programme will comprise online and face to face sessions, including hearing from professionals, design workshops, mentoring, site visits, youth-led engagement, skill and design workshops. The expectation is that many will choose further study and continue to a career in the built or natural environment. The grant from TEP will help to ensure all participants have access to the same materials and the best opportunity to develop and record their ideas.
Our third awardee is Kirkby C of E Primary School, who are looking to facilitate Forest School style sessions for all their children. The school plans to transform a neglected woodland area to provide a safe space for children to learn. Nature provides countless opportunities for discovery, creativity and problem-solving. Interacting with natural environments allows children to learn by doing and experiment with ideas. In nature, children think, question, and make hypotheses — thereby developing inquisitive minds. The whole woodland area has become a haven for birds, plants, foxes, hedgehogs and insects. By working with experts, the school wants to protect the natural environment and teach children and young people how to re-connect with and respect nature.
Our fourth awardee is Friends of the Upper Wye, a volunteer group formed to defend their local river, The River Wye. The Wye is suffering from severe pollution and the effects of climate change. Many factors are influencing the poor health of the river including intensive agriculture, the discharge of human sewage, industrial spillages and the increased frequency of severe flooding events. Algal blooms are damaging irreplaceable ecosystems and killing the river from the bottom up. The group aims to better understand these complex problems and to offer practical solutions that anyone can get involved with. They plan to recruit local volunteers to monitor the Upper Wye and its tributaries, identifying key pollutants and their sources. They can then use this data to persuade those contributing to the pollution to improve their practices and to influence local authorities, statutory bodies, and the government to safeguard the river. The long-term goal is to restore the ecological health of the river for local communities, for visitors to the region and for all the invertebrates, fish, mammals and birds that also call it home. They want to make sure it is enjoyed and flourishes for generations to come.
If you are interested in applying for an Environment Grant, submissions will open again in spring 2022. To learn more about the projects and for further updates, follow us on social media and our website.