15 Aug

The Paper Garden powered by Global Generation – growing environmental responsibility and connections at the Printworks

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The Paper Garden powered by Global Generation – growing environmental responsibility and connections at the Printworks

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With technology becoming increasingly consumed by young people and children’s health within the capital being an ever-growing concern in recent years, there is a continuous need to provide an opportunity for the younger generation to engage with the environment and each other. Global Generation is an environmental education charity helping meet this need, by working together with local children and young people, businesses, residents and families to support healthy, connected and environmentally responsible communities.

Over the past two years Global Generation has been working with local people and organisations in and around Canada Water, to establish a programme of activity tailored to local needs and interests, with the aim of enhancing our connection to the natural world and using it as foundation for growing community.

Much of its work has been in delivering practical and reflective educational workshops and classes, involving design, making, gardening, cooking and storytelling. Albion, Redriff and St John’s and St Joseph’s Primary Schools, along with Bacons College, Bosco and COLA, are just a handful of local schools that are taking part in the ongoing programme which British Land fund.

Further, Global Generation also regularly hosts other community events such as its reoccurring Family Day, which has a different nature-based theme for each event, with families from the local community invited to take part in different activities. The most recent of these Family Days, on Friday 26 July, was fully booked with 25 members of the local community taking part in making bird boxes, sowing seeds, making clay pots and weaving bird feeders from willow.

These activities primarily take place within the ‘Paper Garden’, an indoor maker space, classroom and a food growing area, as well as outdoor garden. Almost the entirety of the Paper Garden space has been co-created by attendees to Global Generation’s workshops and events. These workshops celebrate the history of the Printworks as a major publishing house, including through the creation of a yurt that was constructed by weaving together the original architectural plans for the site and creating sculptures made of paper, leaves and clay.

This year’s programme culminated in the annual summer solstice celebration in June which focused on local wildlife and saw children share poems they had written, while parading from the former Dock Offices to the Paper Garden. (Click here to read Global Generation’s own blog on this year’s event).

Alongside its workshops and classes, a fundamental element of Global Generation’s work is its youth leadership programme for 11 to 18 year olds – known as ‘the Generators’. Those who volunteer as a Generator take part in a minimum six-month programme where they develop creative skills and learn to work together with others, with many going on to become mentors to young students.

In Canada Water we have Generators from seven different schools within the community. Spaces do become regularly available, so please do contact emma@globalgeneration.org.uk if you would like to register interest.

Since being founded in 2004 in King’s Cross, Global Generation has created over 10,000 opportunities for local children and young people, seen 150 young people graduated from its Youth Leadership programme and helped a further 100 young people achieve its Horticulture and Businesses BTECs.

Jane Riddiford, Global Generation’s Founding Director said: In the first two years, we’ve developed our indoor workshop and outdoor garden. More importantly, we’ve grown the rituals of community building, coming together for seasonal celebrations and growing, cooking and eating together. What we do isn’t all shiny and perfect, but there’s a heart to it, and British Land recognises that.”

To sign up to Global Generation’s emailing list and find out about their upcoming events and workshops, click here.

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