The annual BBC Children in Need fundraising day is upon us. What have you done to raise funds?
It’s easy to think that the young people supported by this fantastic charity are in other, more desperate, places in the UK, but there are vulnerable and disadvantaged young people living on your street, they’re in your city and are being supported by a project that works in your neighbourhood.
Pat yourself on the back! One of the projects that the BBC Children in Need money that you raised pays for is Froglife’s Green Pathways project in Peterborough. We work with teenagers whose lives are made more difficult by, for example, disability, deprivation, drink and drugs abuse or learning difficulties. It also supports the City’s most vulnerable young people who have fallen onto a road that leads to unemployment, antisocial behaviour and crime, guiding them in a more positive direction.
Green Pathways works on practical, outdoor, conservation-linked activities and projects in community gardens, local nature reserves and parks across Peterborough. We deliver outdoor therapy to hundreds of young people improving confidence, social skills and behaviour along the way, as well as increasing their knowledge and enjoyment of the outdoors and providing them with new transferable skills.
Froglife’s Conservation Youth Worker Rebecca Neal, the project officer for Green Pathways says: “I am so lucky to be part of this work. Being outdoors has such a therapeutic effect on people; it’s great to see how well young people respond.”
A current group who have been engaged in Green Pathways since the start of term, come from NeneGate School; a special school for young people with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. They have held a newt, learned how to manage amphibian habitat with saws and loppers, built dens and climbed trees. Last week they visited Green Backyard to do some wildlife gardening and cook outdoor pizza.
At the end of a similar project, a lecturer from Peterborough Regional College said “This has been an amazing experience. It was wonderful to work as a group and see the students supporting each other.”
So if you were wondering if it’s really worth putting your hand in your pocket for another charity event. It is. Absolutely and without doubt.