The importance of getting children and young people engaged in the outdoors at a young age is well known, especially in an inner-city environment, and at the Green Gym in London we are embracing this ethic. At the Belsize & Adelaide Green Gym, the team of leaders are promoting the practical volunteering sessions (every Sunday from 11am to 2pm) to young people aged 14 and over in the local area by attending local schools fairs and volunteering boards; advertising on National Volunteering databases; promoting it as part of the Duke of Edinburgh experience; and as follow up to the Challenge project. Since the project began back in April 2013, 17 young people aged 14-18 have attended the project, all picking up a practical skills and knowledge of London's hidden green spaces, and four have even become regular volunteers attending over three sessions!
In Southeast London a very different project is working to engage 14-18 year olds. Partnering with Lewisham Youth Offending Service since in April 2011, Lewisham Green Gym delivers food growing sessions every Saturday to engage young people who are on conditional cautions or court orders. Practical food growing sessions are designed to stimulate and support effective participation and learning by young people, and so work to prevent and reduce their re-offending. Over the past two and a half years Lewisham Green Gym has worked with over 90 young participants. Food grown on the allotment this summer has been donated to a local family centre to provide fresh and healthy produce for cooking lessons and meals for deprived families, and has been sold at local markets to raise over £300 for charities to benefit Lewisham's young people.
To get involved with Belsize & Adelaide Green Gym contact GG-Camden@tcv.org.uk