Young people are full of bright ideas and they are often environmentally aware. In response to this, we have partnered with the Community Foundation and #IWill Lottery funding to develop 'Grand Ideas' - a competition designed to give young poeple aged between 10 and 20 the chance to develop an idea which will improve their local environment.
English Martyrs Catholic Voluntary Academy, based in Oakham, is the first winner of the competition, with their Grand Idea: ‘Nature 4 Life’.
‘Nature 4 Life’ focuses on upgrading a wildlife area in the school grounds. Each student from the group brought their own idea to the mix: one planting native trees and shrubs, while others improved access to the pond, built nest boxes for a variety of species, worked on developing interpretation on the site, and finally, construction of a gazebo area to enable natural history lessons to be taught outside, surrounded by nature. A student from the following year has been nominated, to take over responsibility for the project in the future, ensuring the benefits of the project are long term.
Mat Cottam, Manager of Rutland Water Nature Reserve, said;
“The thing which impressed me most about ‘Nature 4 Life’ was the team work, partnerships, and ambition of the project. The group undertook to match the £1000 from Grand Ideas with £1,500 which they were raising from a variety of other events. This has included a sponsored litter-pick around Oakham, and getting corporate sponsorship to assist with designing and selling a re-usable ‘Nature 4 Life’ shopping bag.”
Jeff Hodgson, English Teacher, and Key Stage 2 Lead at English Martyrs said;
“We are really excited to have been awarded £1000 towards our pond development. It will augment our fund-raising efforts and help us to develop our pond and nature area so that our children have an outdoor classroom where they can learn about ecology, study plants and animals first hand. We would like to thank the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, Community Foundation and #IWill, for their generous support and encouragement.”
Do you have a Grand Idea?
English Martyrs’ projectis a great start for the Grand Ideas competition. We are now eagerly awaiting the next round of entries.
If you work in a community group or school, or are aged between 10 and 20 years of age and are interested in entering, please contact Sarah Hatherill, Grand Ideas Community Engagement Officer for more information at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07706 136 133.