Skip to content

Celebrate Wales Climate Week with Insight into Climate Action

Providing the opportunity for adults with learning disabilities to learn about climate change in an accessible way is vital for us as a society. We cannot reverse the effects of climate change without including everyone in the conversation.

Our flooding walk allowed our participants to learn more and share their thoughts on what individuals and the government can do to help. Our litter-picking volunteering session got participants to take action and make a difference. And finally, our hedge survey gave our participants the opportunity to record scientific data to help the environment.

Inclusivity is so important to us at Innovate Trust, and creating new, innovative sessions helps us achieve this.

Insight into Climate Action

This week is Wales Climate Week, and our Skills and Wellbeing team wanted to celebrate the great work our participants have recently achieved! We are lucky enough to have a project dedicated to fighting climate change; our Insight into Climate Action project has been very successful.

Insight into Climate Action aims to include adults with learning disabilities in the fight against climate change. Educating each other and taking action against climate change is essential. We have been providing a wide range of training sessions and volunteering opportunities tailored to adults with learning disabilities.

Flooding walks

One of many sessions was our flooding walk around Ynysangharad Park. A large number of people attended the session, with lots of engagement. Participants discussed their experiences of flooding where they live, including when Treforest Day Centre flooded. 

All of our participants had been affected by flooding in some way. It was great for our participants to meet as a group to talk about flooding and share their experiences.

We looked at the River Taff, which runs alongside the park, with participants noting how high the water level was. Our participants knew that when the river gets too high, it can burst its banks and cause flooding in the park. We then looked around at the hills and mountains where this water comes from. 

We discussed slowing water flow down these hills by planting more trees. Trees have many roots that can soak up water, meaning we will have less water going straight into our rivers. Our participants all agreed that planting more trees would be beneficial

What about concrete?

Another action we can take to prevent flooding caused by climate change is reducing the amount of concrete where we live. We explained this to our participants with a practical demonstration where we poured water on concrete and grass. The water on the grass drains away much faster, showing how effectively plants and Sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDs) prevent flooding. SUDs are becoming more common throughout Wales, with many around the Cardiff area. 

We asked our Rhondda Cynon Taf participants if they thought it would be good to have more around Pontypridd, they all agreed.

Meanwhile, in the Vale of Glamorgan, we have been using our participants’ enthusiasm for competitions. We hosted our own litter bingo session at Porthkerry Country Park. This was another well-attended session with many new, eager participants taking part. We walked around the park with our litter pickers and our litter bingo sheets, feeling motivated to tackle the environmental issue of litter and plastic pollution.

This session was well planned, right down to the recycled plastic prizes! Unfortunately, or perhaps, fortunately, none of our participants achieved a full line on their bingo sheets. However, one participant did win a prize for the most unusual find; a dead ray next to the sea! Maybe it died due to the effects of plastic pollution and climate change.

Encouraging responsible behaviours such as picking up after ourselves and even picking up after those less responsible can help the environment. We gave the litter we collected to Keep Wales Tidy, an organisation dedicated to disposing of waste responsibly and recycling wherever possible. Our participants enjoyed being positive role models to others, and we hope others lead by their example.

An inclusive learning environment

And finally, in Cardiff, The Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taf, we have been completing hedge surveys. Hedges are crucial to preventing climate change. 

Our participants enjoyed completing their spotting sheets for various plants and animals found in and around hedges. We discussed the importance of hedges and why recording data on them was essential. One participant enjoyed this activity. He completed it twice! Once at Cosmeston Lakes in Cardiff and again at Forest Farm in Cardiff. We encouraged him to think about what he found in these locations and to compare the two. Scientists often compare these sorts of data, so it was beneficial for him to practise this and feel that his hard work is acknowledged.

This activity was also great for those with higher support needs. Our participants could look at the photos or read the names of the species depending on what they preferred. We also put samples of the species we found in magnified containers for those who couldn’t get so close to the hedges due to their mobility support needs. Some participants needed a lot of sensory activities to stay motivated, making this activity ideal for them. 

A few of our participants were lucky enough to have many hedges in their back gardens to study. Providing sessions in people’s homes when they find it challenging to get around many of Wales’ parks allows them to be involved in these conversations.

Other news

A group of people with disabilities at Cardiff Central train station speaking to Transport For Wales staff News

Sustainably moving forward with One Planet and Transport for Wales

Innovate Trust's One Planet project has been working with Transport For Wales to provide educational visits to improve individual’s understanding of the rail network. Many ...
Read more
A person supporting an individual. Both are happy. Careers

Thrive at work, thrive in life: our commitment to your wellbeing

We offer our employees access to IMPACT Counselling, a free and confidential service designed to empower you and equip you with valuable coping mechanisms and ...
Read more
one planet participant holding up a world day for health and safety at work easy read leaflet News

Environmental health and safety with One Planet

Listen to the article Innovate Trust’s One Planet project is ...
Read more
stress in the workplace? Careers

Stress management in the workplace

Stress is a normal reaction to everyday challenges, but too much can affect your health. At Innovate Trust, we understand the importance of achieving a ...
Read more
Dr Chris Thomas profile photo, sitting relaxed in white shirt, looking at camera News

LGBT+ History Month with Dr Chris Thomas

This LGBT+ History Month our friend and Consultant Geriatrician Dr Thomas, spoke with us about LGBT+ inclusion in the NHS and his partner's Dementia friendly ...
Read more
Lleswyl 2024 Save the date. Friday the 23rd of February 2024. 7pm until 10pm News

Lleswyl 2024: Top musical talent, transported from the festival field to your front room!

For one night only, Daring to Dream are broadcasting world-class musicians to homes around Wales. Lleswyl is the go-to at-home festival experience.
Read more
Award winners on stage at the understanding disability awards 2023 News

Celebrating our success at the Understanding Disability Awards 2023

We are thrilled to share our immense pride in the ...
Read more
Take charge participants sat at tables giving feedback News

A spooktacular feedback session with Take Charge

On the first of November 2023, Innovate Trust held a ...
Read more
LGBTQ+ group taking photos News

Making our own LGBTQ+ history

25th of October 2023, one for the history books? We ...
Read more
Emma smiling with a certificate from Rhondda Cynon Taf, attending a session about voting with a learning disability News

Tackling voting turnout for people with Learning Disabilities

Voting is a fundamental right, and everyone should be able ...
Read more