Volunteer Officer, Sophie Jones, tells us about her experience helping young people connect to nature, and how this helps in the fight against climate catastrophe. This article was featured in South Leeds Life, to tell people about the work we do at TCV Skelton Grange.
For the young people who come to TCV Skelton Grange on a school visit, we don’t focus on the fears and risks of climate catastrophe. Instead we focus on having fun with nature and encouraging them to get outdoors. If they learn to love their natural surroundings, we can hope they will be inclined to look after them.
I was motivated to start doing voluntary work in Leeds after completing some for my university degree at Leeds Beckett, it feels great to give back to the local community.
The work we do at Skelton Grange is definitely influential in some children’s lives. Unfortunately, a lot of children these days don’t spend as much time outside as they should, but many of them come and learn a lot about bugs and nature, leaving with massive smiles on their faces.
In my experience I find that kids aren’t playing outside as much anymore. A lot of the children can be quite reserved at the start of the day, perhaps due to not spending as much time finding worms and making mud cakes as I did. However, as the day goes on, they do come out of their shells and get really engaged with the activities.
Although we have returned our small patch in south Leeds into a haven for native wildlife and biodiversity, this is only a small part of the action needed to avert climate catastrophe. Despite the work we do, much more needs to be done across the city, country and beyond. However, I believe education is the way forward in getting this message across.
If you’re interested in getting involved with TCV at Skelton Grange, there are many ways you can. You can apply to be a volunteer and help-out with day to day running of the site, or like my role, apply to become a volunteer officer and lead educational or conservation-based sessions. If getting down and dirty isn’t your thing then we welcome you to come and visit us, or make a donation so we can continue our work.
Originally written by Sophie Jones for South Leeds Life Sophie was writing about some of her experiences on the Grass Roots project delivered by TCV at Skelton Grange Environment Centre and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.