Carr Gomm’s community development programme works hard to encourage and promote inclusion through its community projects and activities including growing and gardening. We work with individuals to help them navigate and access different activities available within their community.
The John Muir Award, the main engagement initiative of the John Muir Trust, is a UK-wide environmental award scheme, which encourages people of all backgrounds to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places.
In October 2016, Carr Gomm and The John Muir Award joined together to deliver a project in Craigmillar that would encourage families to get to know an area, understand its features and to take care of and enhance their environment.
Karin, our community project worker, and Ben from Edinburgh and Lothian Greenspace Trust, embarked on a year-long Level 1 Programme with a group of families.
Over the year, the group took part in various activities in and around Craigmillar Castle Park, including planting wildflowers and mapping local woods to help the public navigate them more easily.
The group were delighted with their achievement, so much so that the older children went on to complete the Level 2 qualification.
They visited community gardens, planted native wildflowers to encourage butterflies, studied birds and built bird boxes. They were thrilled to receive their certificates on a beautiful day here in Craigmillar.
Grace Davis, one of the children who took part in The John Muir Award, said:
“Since starting the John Muir Award I have been thinking more about ways to keep wild places clean and tidy. I organised a beach clean-up as part of the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign and we cleaned up a stretch of beach along the John Muir Way. I wanted to do this because it is a beautiful beach and I want to help protect the wildlife and also keep the beach safe for other children to enjoy. I now regularly go to help clean the beach and keep it safe and clean for everyone to use.”
It’s easy to see how much enjoyment Grace and the other children gained from taking part in The John Muir Award. It has clearly impacted on their lives, making them more aware of nature and the importance of caring for the outdoors.
The John Muir Award is just one of a portfolio of activities Karin undertakes through Craigmillar Community Grows, supporting local organisations and community gardens to build skills, confidence and self-esteem and making Craigmillar a better place to live.