Skip to content

Spring has sprung!

Take Charge at Innovate Trust

Spring has sprung! Covid-19 restrictions are set to end, the days are getting longer and life is looking up! The Skills and Wellbeing team have been harnessing all of this positive energy by providing some much-needed outdoor activities.

We have been liaising with Coed Caerdydd who are fantastic at working with our participants! Look out for the Coed Caerdydd flag when you’re in one of Cardiff’s parks. Their aim is to improve biodiversity in the Cardiff area with their 10-year programme to increase the number of trees in Cardiff, supporting the city’s One Planet climate change strategy.

We wanted to provide our participants with this excellent opportunity to learn about sustainable development, help fight climate change and to be a part of their excellent tree planting and teamwork skills!

We have attended a large number of their tree planting sessions across Cardiff with our participants and have planted thousands of trees between us.

To further facilitate our participants’ understanding of why these sustainable development-themed activities are so important, we have provided our participants with the opportunity to learn about biodiversity in a group Zoom session. Our fun, interactive session, titled ‘Boosting Nature Biodiversity Quiz’, covered the importance of preserving wildlife and improving biodiversity. This cemented our participants’ understanding of the need for sustainable action like Coed Caerdydd’s tree planting programme.

This session also provided our participants with the opportunity to think for themselves about ways they can help promote biodiversity. Our participants noted that they thought litter picking and tree planting were great ways to achieve this. It’s important that our participants realise why they are taking part in these kinds of activities.

Our participants all have work limiting health conditions and are currently unemployed. This makes them one of the most disadvantaged groups of people within our community. Providing them with the opportunity to improve their soft skills and to learn about sustainable development is excellent for their wellbeing. Take Charge is an Active Inclusion project which aims to provide people with the opportunity to move closer to employment and demonstrating these kinds of skills helps people to do this.

Another advantage of litter picking and tree planting, in terms of wellbeing, is the feeling of achievement our participants often report to us after they’ve completed some physically demanding, outdoor work. Getting out of the house and being at one with nature is so beneficial for everyone. In fact, “Give to others” and “Be Active” are two of the NHS’s recommended ways to improving wellbeing.

These supported activities allow our participants to get some exercise and to meet new people. Teaming up with organisations such as Coed Caerdydd and Keep Wales Tidy give our participants the highly valued opportunity to mix with their community and to feel less segregated. Forming new connections with other likeminded individuals helps our participants to feel included and respected within their community.

We will be working with Coed Caerdydd in the future and have been providing them with feedback so we can improve our participants’ experiences with tree planting. We are always looking to increase accessibility and sharing feedback between organisations helps facilitate this. As this is a 10-year plan and we hope to have many more successful volunteering sessions with them in the future.