Nature on your Doorstep
A volunteer for ActivLives described their experience of working with the charity like being ‘reborn’. Local people are given the chance to get involved in conservation projects and to learn new skills. A disused allotment site in the heart of Ipswich has been transformed thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The vision was to provide a community resource to get people of all ages out into the fresh air, doing something active such as growing and harvesting their own food.
The Nature on Your Doorstep programme created opportunities for over 400 local residents to learn about environmental conservation and wildlife. This ambitious undertaking also developed wild areas of the community gardens, including: wildflower meadows, ponds and a heritage orchard; developed opportunities for beekeeping, bird watching and species identification; and encouraged locals to make their own gardens or green spaces wildlife friendly.
In order to ensure a broad range of activities with participants from diverse backgrounds, ActivLives liaised with their local Men’s Shed, National Citizen Service, Pupil Referral Units, Refugee Support Centre and the RSPB.
One volunteer, who helped construct accessible areas, said:
"I have been reborn. I am now learning how to live a normal life and socialise with people. From the moment I met the team I felt comfortable, at home, and welcomed. I don't feel judged. I enjoy it all, every day is different - groundwork, landscaping, weeding, planting ... and not forgetting watering!”