1 June 2011

Green Pathways for Hundreds of Young People

Froglife is celebrating the achievements of our Green Pathways project as it comes to an end this summer. Funded by BBC Children in Need for the past three years, Green Pathways has helped 2630 vulnerable young people learn more about wildlife and enjoy the great outdoors.

Young people exploring a pond they helped create
Results have been remarkable, finding that those labelled as difficult, aggressive or withdrawn can transform themselves into willing learners if they are given opportunities beyond the classroom.

Funding for Green Pathways comes to an end this summer, and we are busily applying for money to develop the project further and to roll it out into other areas. We have worked with 34 referral agencies in Peterborough over the past three years all of which are keen to continue working with us and feel that the service will be missed:

“To have this facility in the local area has been something which has been lacking in recent years and considering the benefits to Peterborough and our students it will be sorely missed”.

Referral agencies have reported an increase in participant’s confidence, self-esteem and a development in social and physical skills:

“We have witnessed an increase in children’s determination, concentration and respect for the natural world”.

Oversubscription to Green Pathways throughout its three years illustrates how valuable a project that helps young people re-engage with learning can be. The disappointment expressed from referral agencies regarding the closure of Green Pathways provision has been astounding :

Getting creative and messy outdoors
“This facility has improved the children’s confidence and determination …. Disengaged children have reintegrated themselves with social groups and formal learning through …. Green Pathways sessions. It is such a shame that it must come to an end”.

Both soft and hard outcomes have been generated through the project, ranging from reintegration into formal learning to completion of Silver Youth Achievement Awards and Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Highlighting Froglife’s creative and practical approach to science teaching, Green Pathways has taken part in the British Science Association’s National Science and Engineering Week. Our ‘Under the Surface’ event won Best Science Event in 2010 and we came Highly Commended this year in the Outstanding Contribution category for our display featuring a giant toad lollipop lady.

The project has also received a lot of publicity appearing regularly in Peterborough Evening Telegraph and also on BBC 1’s breakfast news and ‘The One Show ‘. Visitors to the scheme have included Julia Bradbury from Country File and Mike Dilger, natural historian and wildlife presenter.

Our unique emphasis on wildlife conservation has enabled us to offer something inspiring and exciting to young people that is often outside their normal sphere of experience.

Froglife would like to thank everyone who has supported and participated in the Green Pathways Scheme. We hope that the project will obtain funding for the future so that we can continue progress and develop the good work that we have carried out over the past three years. It has been a real pleasure to work with so many fantastic young people and engage the conservationists of the future

Watch this space for future updates!

You can find out more about Froglife’s education work here

You can donate to support our education and conservation work here

Photos by Laura Brady

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