Manchester Environmental Education Network (MEEN) is the latest to receive funding from the Alpkit Foundation. MEEN supports teachers, organisations and individuals in promoting environmental education and sustainability. They first began as an informal organisation in 1994, run by teachers wanting to bring environmental practice to the classroom. MEEN is now an independent charity, providing a range of services including training sessions, events and conferences focused on sustainability within schools and educational providers.
MEEN’s latest project is to work with 6 East Manchester primary schools, delivering ‘Workshops for Wildlife’ to improve their local biodiversity. They will be working with the children on how to improve habitats for the local wildlife. Each school will then run a workshop themselves for the general public, friends and family. It is hoped this will increase awareness and interest in environmental issues.
Raichael, from Manchester Environmental Education Network, explains why the project is being undertaken. “We regularly run sessions where young people teach their peers and adults about Climate Change. This has proved a huge success not only for the young people but also for the adults involved. In the last phase of this work, and as a part of our ongoing evaluation, we asked pupils for feedback and also to make suggestions about what we might do next. The results were clear: we should run a similar project only this time to help educate people to look after our local wildlife. Ultimately the local wildlife will benefit - but there is so much more on the journey! The pupils will learn a lot from demonstrating their learning and skills, and the project will act as a prompt for families to create suitable spaces for wildlife in their own gardens and localities.”
The Alpkit Foundation is helping to provide equipment needed, such as bird and bat boxes, materials to make mini-ponds, tools, and other necessary resources for the workshops. MEEN are then able to source a small budget for each school, so they can continue to make practical improvements to their grounds and locality.