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An Update From Our Environmental Committee!

What Is Our Environmental Committee? 

Back in the summer of 2020, SVC established a dedicated Environmental Committee, a space where we can dedicate time to improving our practice in environmental working. The committee is currently made up of SVC staff, trustees and volunteers, who come together once a month to compare and discuss ideas, and suggest new improved ways of working. 

With this, our newest environmental project came about - ‘Going Green Together’ - a project funded by WCVA, delivered in partnership with Innovate Trust which aimed to bring the community together on a shared vision of a safer and greener South Wales. The project enabled one-off volunteering opportunities as well as regular sessions, both online and in-person, to fit around all schedules. This maximised the connection amongst students, community members and volunteers. 

Since June last year, we have completed an extraordinary 1385 hours of volunteering engaging with 160 different volunteers covering a range of activities both online and outdoors with a range of different organisations. Not to mention all types of weather braved!

What Have We Achieved?

  • Regular Friday Conservation sessions at St Fagans museum tending to the secret garden with our Innovate Trust volunteers.

  • In partnership with Down to Earth, redeveloping the Health Meadow at Llandough hospital.  This is a 6-week sustainable development project of 7 acres of woodland working to clear land, design and plant a health meadow to benefit the wellbeing of patients and staff at the hospital. 

  • We have hosted many litter picks across Cardiff and Barry with both community, student and Innovate members. 

  • Lichen surveys and bird watches in the parks around Cardiff educating ourselves on our local ecosystems and connecting with outdoor spaces.

  • Hosting open meetings for our Environmental Committee to encourage open discussion on topics and assessing the way SVC works.

  • We have hosted a ‘Back to the Future’ event for open discussion on sustainability amongst our Innovate volunteers and promoting sharing of seeds for growing our own plants.

  • We delivered upcycling workshops such as making macramé plant hangers from old t-shirts and opening discussion on fast fashion.

  • Tree planting across Cardiff with a range of different organisations.

  • Flexible volunteering in the form of online citizen surveys ranging from penguin populations, sea level records, bird watching and algae density in oceans.

  • Zero Carbon Britain Training attended by SVC staff, trustees and volunteers, delivered by  the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) focusing on how SVC can improve the way we work, and our future plans for our environmental initiatives. 

We’ve had a busy 10 months since the development of the ‘Going Green Together’ Project. Working with a range of partners across Cardiff such as Innovate Trust, Cardiff Park Rangers, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Coed Caerdydd, Hodge Bank, TerraCycle UK and WCVA. 

What Are Our Future Goals?

Our aims in the future are to continue our monthly Environmental Committee meetings which are open to all, to create an open space for discussion and questions on environmental ways of working. From this, we aim to focus further on our environmental strategy as a charity to ensure we are optimising our environmental efficiency from additional training and policy development. Most importantly, we hope to continue to bring people together in their passion for the environment by hosting a range of different activities suiting all needs and abilities. 

What Do Our Volunteers Have To Say?

Sophie Smith, our Current Chair for our Board of Trustees and a founding member of the Environmental Committee, said: ‘Volunteering on GGT was a lovely way to meet like-minded people and connect with others. I also loved having the opportunity to be outdoors with others and learn about other areas of environmental aspects I didn’t know about before, such as lichen growth and bird populations. The option to sign up to one-off events really suited my available free time and allowed me to volunteer around my other hobbies and work’. Christopher Reynolds also added that it is a ‘great way to feel involved in [his] local community’. 

Want to get involved?

If this is something that appeals to you, or you have any ideas on environmental projects, or would like to find out more, please email Sophie at chair@svcymru.org