The Conservation Volunteers at Skelton Grange in Leeds believe that looking after green places isn’t only about caring for nature, but about caring for people as well.
Since 1992, we have used the natural environment to offer a range of education, job skills and recreation opportunities for people of all ages. Skelton Grange welcomes over 6500 people a year, including young people joining environmental education and play activities, and adult trainees and volunteers leading education sessions and conservation and biodiversity projects. This enables them to widen their experience & aspirations, reduce social exclusion and build confidence, develop skills for further training or employment, and partake in positive activities which promote lifelong learning and cohesive communities.
Very simply, every year we engage thousands of people of all ages with their local environment where they make a positive difference to their community.
The centre is a long standing partnership between The Conservation Volunteers and National Grid, with support from Leeds City Council. We are also fortunate to be in receipt of a five year grant from the Big Lottery supporting our access2nature project which aims to improve the life prospects and wellbeing of people in Leeds facing disadvantage, by providing positive social, learning and volunteering opportunities based in the natural environment. This is in response to two decades of building up our expertise in this area and gives us the opportunity make a real difference to many more people’s lives.
National Grid has a network of environmental education centres across the UK, all sited on land owned by the company adjacent to substations. They are centres of excellence for environmental education and have been developed in partnership with local authorities and environmental charities. The environment centres help to meet National Grid’s commitment to operating as a socially and environmentally responsible business, through mitigating the impact of substations on rural environments. They also help by improving the environmental status and biodiversity of the land on which we operate and demonstrating community investment by providing work for staff and volunteers.
As well as our partners and key supporters above, we are grateful for the kind and generous support of many organisations and individuals who make our existence and work possible. We have received funds from Biffaward, WREN, Leeds Inspired, Yorkshire Water, Cemex Community Foundation, Caird Peckfield, First Direct, the Holbeck Charitable Trust, the Kalar Trust, the Four Winds Trust, Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust, the Woodward Trust, Clara E Burgess and Radio Aire Cash4Kids, John Spedan Lewis, Jimbo’s Fund, First Transpennine Express & the Forestry Commission, Tesco Bags of Help and Efficiency North as well as individual donations made through Localgiving.com