What we achieved in 2019

At the end of nearly every session, our project coordinators are buzzing with tales of nature connection, fun or touching moments and personal achievement. 

From the little moments to the high-level organisation statistics, we are delighted by what we have achieved:

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young people took part in our programmes
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hours of programme activity
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training sessions held
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awards earned across The John Muir Award, D of E and JASS award schemes
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adults taking part in volunteering, training or conservation tasks
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…of trees planted, biscuits consumed and hot chocolates drunk around a fire

Our Impact

Whether the aims of our participants relate to personal development or environmental change, the Green Team are committed to evaluating and reviewing our programmes to ensure that we support them as effectively as we can:

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of Green Volunteers felt they had a greater appreciation of the natural world after the programme
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The average self-esteem score for Thrive participants after a project run with CAMHS* – an increase from 8.9 at the start
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of Green Angels were observed to have improved teamwork skills
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of young people taking part in Green Schools enjoyed the programme
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of parents of Green Explorer particpants ‘strongly agreed’ that their child had learned something – the other 36% ‘agreed’
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of young people on Green Shoots demonstrated improved emotional and mental wellbeing

*CAMHS is the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and Self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale

Feedback

Feedback – we really value what people tell us about our programmes:

An example of our work

Here is an overview of a Thrive project we ran with pupils from St. Andrews High School and CREW – a harm reduction and outreach charity. It gives a flavour of how we help connect young people to nature, others and themselves:

The programme took place at Muiravonside country park, involving a group of S3 and S4 pupils who faced substantial issues in their lives and who didn’t engage meaningfully with the school. 

Each session involved a conservation task, such as tree-felling, in the morning with students trained and trusted with the use of sharp and heavy tools. Through each task the students were given an understanding of the value of these tasks for wildlife and the environment. 

The conservation task was followed by a peer-led session around a campfire focussing on risk taking behaviours and coping strategies. These sessions provided a safe space to share and support individuals around personal experiences such as substance abuse and issues at home or school. 

In the afternoon, the group focussed on nature skills such as fire lighting, food foraging and crafts as well as enjoying time alone in nature for mindfulness.

Each of the young people completed wellbeing self-assessment forms, with all of them recording significant improvements over the duration of the project. One pupil with truanting issues in school, but a 100% attendance record on the project said: 

“It gave me more confidence and my ability to work as a team increased…I loved being outside. It’s better than school for me – I’m not claustrophobic but outside is so free”

Group of young people on the Thrive project carrying out conservation tasks

The sessions were attended by staff from St Andrews High School who were able to hear first-hand the young people’s thoughts, feelings and concerns. The High School Partnership Officer stated:

“It’s been such a great project. It’s just been so magical. This project has made such a difference. I’m feeling emotional as today is the first day that J and C have spoken, and I have worked with them for years.  And J smiled, I have never seen him smile.”