We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded £100,000 from the ScottishPower Foundation to part fund Generation Wild, an initiative which aims to connect young people from disadvantaged communities with nature, to improve their mental wellbeing and create future generations of conservationists.
The funding, along with a substantial donation from a private charitable fund, will help enable the Generation Wild programme to work with thousands of children from schools in disadvantaged areas, their teachers and families, to develop innovative experiences to immerse children in nature and develop a life-long love of the natural world.
This will be achieved through a combination of free school visits to WWT wetland centres, specially designed wild experiences at wetland centres and in communities, follow-up family visits, teacher training and an award scheme. The results of Generation Wild will also be evaluated for academic research. This wide-ranging community, family and school approach is designed to help children that most need it benefit from meaningfully connecting to nature.We want every child to be able to experience passion for nature and to be inspired to protect wild spaces in the future.
Mark Stead, National Formal Learning Manager at WWT, said, ‘We are delighted to have secured this funding. My childhood was filled splashing in streams and climbing trees. Very few of today’s children have these experiences and we are in danger of raising a generation of young people that have become disconnected from the natural world. This disconnection is felt even more keenly among disadvantaged communities and at WWT we believe that nature is for everyone, irrespective of their background. This funding will help enable us to reconnect some of those in society who need it most with nature.”
Melanie Hill, Executive Officer and Trustee at the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “At the ScottishPower Foundation, we’re passionate about supporting causes that really make a difference for communities, are committed to fighting climate change, and dedicated to helping young people achieve their full potential for a brighter future. Generation Wild does all of this in innovative and engaging ways that will help some of the most disadvantaged children in society experience and care about nature.