Aldi Schools Outreach Project - connecting children to nature via our fabulous volunteers!
Can you name every flower in your garden? Do you recognise bird calls? Can you spot the difference between a frog and a toad? The sad truth is that many of these things that we take for granted, are not passed on to younger generations. We are at risk of losing some very important knowledge that will protect our natural environments from being lost.
Only 10% of children in the UK played regularly in natural places in the early 2000s compared to 40% in the 1970s. The RSPB has measured that only 21% of children aged 8-12 see themselves as connected to nature (based on a survey of 1,200 children). There is clearly a need to connect young people with nature and empower them to protect the natural world.
Our Schools Outreach programme is doing just that.
The RSPB has partnered with Aldi to connect thousands of school children to nature in their school grounds. Much of this is delivered by our amazing volunteers, who use their wealth of experience and enthusiasm to inspire primary school and early years children. Trained volunteers are heading out to schools in 15 cities across Britain. The 90-minute interactive outreach sessions, held on school grounds and are putting frogs, worms, birds and daisies back into childhood.
Discovering nature within the school grounds means that children can appreciate the wildlife that already surrounds them, which they may have already seen or heard! Empowered to identify bugs, birds and animals, children can then go on to explore more of their natural environment with a new found appreciation. A connection to nature has been shown to have a positive impact on physical and emotional health, as well as helping the next generation become responsible citizens of the future- protecting wildlife and nature for generations to come.
So far we have helped over 119,000 children connect to nature, and the goal is to connect more than half a million children over the three year period of the project.
To deliver this we need volunteers with a passion for nature and a wish to inspire young people. So if you enjoy interacting with children and would love to help us deliver these sessions, get in touch!
Many of the volunteers working on our schools programs have previously worked in Education. If you want to continue to inspire the next generation, volunteering for the RSPB programme gives all the rewarding satisfaction of capturing children’s attention, with no paperwork or marking in sight.
Wendy is a Schools Outreach Volunteer who supports the delivery of nature workshops to primary schools around Cardiff. “As a retired primary school teacher this [role] is ideal for me and I am really enjoying it. I am part of a team of young enthusiastic people, I am learning, and I am able to use my expertise and experience and hope that it contributes to the success of the project... I feel encouraged, inspired and appreciated by the children and by the R.S.P.B. staff I work with. There is no pressure but such a lot of pleasure.”
A background in Education isn’t necessary however. Volunteering for the Schools programme is also a great way to develop vital skills for a career in teaching, or simply to try something new. Volunteers from a wide range of work backgrounds and interests- impart their knowledge and motivate children to care for wildlife.
“Being a Conservation Biology student, I know how crucial it is to get a wide public engaged… I am so delighted to be part of the project as it gives me such a unique opportunity to turn some of my studies into a practice”. Pavlina, Schools Outreach Volunteer in Edinburgh.
“This experience has been invaluable, and I feel confident applying for jobs using the skills I have learnt during the time. I would highly recommend Outreach to anyone who was interested in working with children in an educational setting” Anastazia Schools Outreach Volunteer in Glasgow.
By Alyssa Parker & Bethan Jones
We simply could not deliver the number of school sessions without the amazing work of our volunteers. With their help, we are hoping to ensure our natural spaces are cared for and secured for everyone’s future.
To enquire about volunteering with this project in a city near you, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about our partnership with Aldi here:
If you are interested in having your free outreach visit to your school, find out more here: