Inspiring children to grow
According to recent research*, only 8% of British children (aged between 4 to 8 years) have ever picked an apple. The same research also found that 59% of children have never climbed a tree and 51% were unable to identify a bumblebee.
‘Believe in Tomorrow’ started life as a community campaign to help change this worrying trend.
Our mission was quite simply, to get more school children reconnected with nature.
Throughout the spring and summer of 2019, children from five inner city primary schools attended gardening workshops and together we created an award-winning show garden for the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival. It was the first ever fully-crowdfunded RHS show garden, and it showed that when communities come together (and children have the chance to get their hands dirty) great things are possible.
The campaign didn't end there however. Since the show we've been relocating the garden to all the schools that helped create it, giving the children and their communities permanent access to their own green spaces and all the health and mental wellbeing benefits that go with it.
And there's so much more to come...
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow
Using the show garden as a pilot we have proved that it is possible with community support and professional guidance to alter the way schools incorporate natural spaces into their learning. Children aren't losing touch with nature because they don't appreciate it. They simply don't have enough access to it, and the people surrounding them don't have the gardening knowledge or confidence required to unlock it.
We are now trying to fund an ongoing future for this project in which together we can give more children access to their own natural spaces that they've helped create and a lasting legacy for their community by providing support, training and tools for their parents and teachers.
Where your money will go
The initial Crowdfunder campaign created £15,000, but now we want to spread our message even further by helping more schools and communities get reconnected with nature.
Every extra penny can be spent on either materials or training that the schools require, but each school is different. Your support and the funds we raise will help us go to more schools, talk to them about what they need, and then put a plan in place to help make it happen.
£50 for a compost
This would enable a school to set up a compost for all their veg and waste paper from their classrooms, the dinner hall and the school office.
£80 for a bulk bag of soil to start any raised bed going
This would buy and deliver a tonne bulk bag of compost to a school. They could use it with tires, pallets or tins to create all manner of gardening beds to start them off planting seeds.
£150 for a children's gardening workshops for a whole class
This will be for a class of children to either have a session in their school or go to a local community space to learn more about nature and plants. (A special shout out to the Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses who will be helping run them.)
£200 for a years supply of plug plants
This delivers a whole years supply of plug plants to a school so that they can start growing and harvesting their own vegetables.
£450 per outdoor teacher training session
This will pay for a training session for a group of teachers showing them how they can use their own outdoor spaces to teach parts of the curriculum outdoors.
£1,000 to create a resource pack to share with each school on how to run a season in outdoor education.
Your money will also help produce an educational resource pack to hand out to parents and schools, giving them helpful tips and inspiration for simple outdoor activities they can do with their children.
£1,500 to run a gardening club for a whole year
To buy enough tools and materials to run a gardening club for a whole year.
£2,000 to build a new pond in a school
Slightly dependent on the location and brief but for just £2000 we could build a pond in a school opening up a whole new area of learning opportunities, especially needed for inner city children who have no access to open water near them to explore not only insects but simple engineering problem solving like how things float.
There's still the opportunity to become one of the project's main sponsors. If you want to talk more about this, or would like more details on the commercial reach and benefits of being involved please contact Seonaid Royall directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the team
I'm Seonaid - I live in Brixton and run a garden design company called Sprout Up. I love helping urban families, primary schools and nurseries get the most out of their outdoor spaces. I also run a regular gardening club for Brixton school children, so I've seen firsthand just how much they can benefit from spending more time in nature.
I'm being supported by a growing list of community gardens, schools and local businesses. The project's main objectives are to bring inner city children closer to nature and to demonstrate that educating them about the great outdoors is a responsibility we all share.
*The 'Get out and Grow' campaign, commissioned by Sudocrem