Kent Community Foundation Celebrates World Environment Day
Having recently launched an environmental strategy, Kent Community Foundation is using World Environment Day to highlight the financial support that is available for community projects that help to protect and promote the environment.
World Environment Day is celebrated worldwide on 5 June and encourages everyone to consider how they can improve the planet by making small changes, including planting trees, creating community gardens, and cleaning rivers and coasts.
Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “Our new environmental strategy is designed to help safeguard our county’s natural habitat and green spaces for every community to enjoy today and in years to come. The World Environment Day objectives to encourage everyone to consider how they can improve the planet by making small changes, including planting trees, creating community gardens, and cleaning up rivers and coasts fits perfectly with our strategy to fund this type of community project.
“Over the last twenty years we have funded many projects which help to protect the environment and address social issues. Our new environmental strategy will enable us to award grants to more projects supporting local community action like The Friends of The Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond, Sunflower House and Sheppey Matters.”
The Friends of The Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond were awarded £1,500 to restore the Westbrook Steam and increase the diversity of plant life which in turn will support a wider variety of invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
The Folkestone Sunflower House Project received a grant of £3,000 for to assist their Town Sprucer project purchase additional PPE during the pandemic. The Town Sprucer project works with job-seeking volunteers to build confidence and reduce social isolation, through clearing litter, removing graffiti, cleaning road signs, cutting back overgrowth, and clearing walkways and cycle paths.
Alex MacLaren, The Folkestone Sunflower House Project, said, “When the pandemic hit, we had to shut down the Folkestone Town Sprucer project for safety reasons. But with funding support from Kent Community Foundation, we restarted it very quickly - this meant our more vulnerable volunteers benefited massively from a sense of purpose at a time of crisis, and the town of Folkestone had a team of dedicated people making it cleaner and safer at a time when masks and wipes were being discarded all over the streets. Without Kent Community Foundation’s backing it would’ve been much more difficult to access the PPE and litter pickers that we needed. Thank you!”
Sheppey Matters received a grant of £3,464, for their "War on Waste" environmental project. This initiative saw Sheppey FM Youth spearhead an ‘Environmental Awareness’ project for young people to tackle the local issues of environmental pollution with educational workshops and beach clean-ups.
Julie Nicholls, Sheppey Matters and Sheppey HLC, said, “Before the pandemic lockdown we had twelve young people attending the workshops and progressing their Silver Level Arts Awards. Their chosen topic was tackling Local Environmental issues. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that they all felt passionate about improving the environment and they personally set up new initiatives based on ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.’ They organised beach cleans and litter picks and the recycling of batteries, ink cartridges, used stamps and crisp packets (for the local air ambulance). They collected cans for the Rotary Club and plastic bottle tops for a local school (which are melted down to make craft mats). We truly feel that we have enlightened these young people and that they will carry this environmental awareness and ethos through to their adult lives.”
Josephine McCartney, continued, “If you belong to a community group that is trying to make a difference to your local environment, please do get in touch with us as by funding projects supporting local community action we can make a big difference to the Garden of England now and for the future.”