Get Out There! and Celebrate!

On March 8th at Ravenscourt Glasshouses The Mayor, Councillor Belinda Donnovan, will be joining Hammersmith Community Gardens Association and guests celebrating 100 local people gaining new environmental skills as part of the  Get Out There! Project.

This is the culmination of 3 successful years working on sites in Hammersmith and Fulham including Wormwood Scrubs, Ravenscourt  Park  Wildlife Area and Sulivan School Wildlife Garden and visiting nature reserves and green spaces in and around London improving chalk grasslands, heathland, woodlands and meadow habitats.

70 trainees completed the course and gained certificates and in addition 2 Volunteer Project Assistants and 8 Volunteer Trainee Mentors have stayed part of the project gaining valuable skills for their CV’s. In total the project has contributed over 5000 hours of volunteering!

In addition to celebrating the achievements of this project and all of those who took part there will be willow crafts, children’s activities, guided bird and bat walks and more! Feel free to drop by when you can or stay for the whole afternoon! Ravenscourt Glasshouses are located next to the cafe in Ravenscourt Park.

Anna Guzzo, Get Out There! Coordinator says: ‘People from all walks of life are getting out there, learning new skills and enjoying the wildlife that is all around us. Get Out There! is a great way to meet new people, keep fit and escape from city life.’

The project is funded by Natural England through Access to Nature, as part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme. This course provides local people who are at risk of homelessness and/or long term unemployed with skills and knowledge in practical conservation management.  Trainees learn about different habitats, how to manage and care for them and the species that can be found there through hands on learning.

The success of this project is well recognised and has received continuation funding for another year. Going into its 4th year, the Get Out There! project will continue to work with adults from the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham through weekly practical conservation management volunteer days. These days will also include a series of seasonal guided walks. The project will also be running a series of training sessions over 6 months that are aimed at GOT! Graduates who are interested in becoming GOT! Volunteer Leaders.

‘After being a trainee I became a mentor to help new trainees on the courses. I am actively participating and learning old skills (new to me) such as hedge laying and scything. It’s amazing how it makes me feel so much better about myself. I was referred to GOT by my careers advisor from the local mental health team. This is revitalising my CV and making it relevant to what I want to do. Life was about 2/10 before and is 8/10 now. It’s making such a difference to me.’ – Mark, Get Out There Volunteer Trainee Mentor.

The project also delivers nature trips away for local families, visiting sites such as Burnham Beeches and Epping Forest, exploring the woodland environment at different times of year.  Children enjoy hunting for minibeasts, climbing trees and enjoying seasonal highlights.

For more information about this project visit our Get Out There! page.

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