This new award, administered by Norfolk Green Care Network, is to recognise projects or organisations that have already begun work to expand opportunities for children up to the age of 16 years inclusive to be able to connect with nature in ways that will benefit their health and wellbeing. The £1,000 award will be awarded to recognise the work done and to provide direct help to take this work forward. The Award will run for an initial period of three years, commencing with the first award being made in October 2023.
Bishop Graham says,
“Being out in a wood, spending time with my bees, or walking along a beach gives me much-needed time out to recharge my batteries and immerse myself in God’s wonderful creation. Jesus noticed the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. In our current society, many children and young people live lives disconnected from nature.
“I want to actively encourage organisations and community groups to help them reconnect with nature to boost their wellbeing and mental health. It will also help them to be inspired to protect nature now and in the future. I hope there will be many innovative applications for this first Bishop of Norwich First Nature Award!”
Kit Sanderson, aged 15 years, who spoke at the launch of the First Nature campaign says,
“It’s well known that nature connection positively affects young people’s mental health. It can help build communities, provide hope in the darkest of moments and provide the respite we all need from the anxieties of the modern world. Nature should be for everyone, but for so many it is inaccessible. We need to break down the barriers and ensure young people can enjoy nature on their doorstep in their own, individual way.”
Nigel Boldero, Convenor of Norfolk Green Care Network, says,
“I am really grateful to Bishop Graham for sponsoring this award, which will help to highlight the importance of growing opportunities for children and young people to really notice nature and get actively involved through gardening, conservation and other environmental action – this can not only help our planet but also human health.”
This award is part of a wider First Nature campaign. The vision is that all young people in Norfolk will have improved awareness and access to high-quality opportunities for experiencing, connecting with and understanding nature. This engagement will help to build their resilience, mental and physical wellbeing. They and their families will be inspired to enjoy and care for natural environments.
The deadline for nominations is Saturday 30 September visit the First Nature website for full details and to complete the application form. Please download and share the poster, by clicking here. Please contact email@example.com if you have any queries.
The Norfolk Green Care Festival will have a number of nature connection events that might be of interest to children and young people. You will find the full programme here. The Festival runs from Saturday 22 July , with a launch event at the Plantation Garden in Norwich on that day between 12 noon and 4pm, which will have around 20 stalls for organisations and projects involved in nature connection as well as refreshments. The Festival runs for the following two weeks.