On Tuesday 30th November, we celebrated an evening at Eden Portsmouth in Gunwharf Quays which showcased the work of ten young people and their families who have won the John Muir Award, a national award given to those who have volunteered towards outdoor pursuits. This includes activities to help the environment but mainly the evening showcased their work at a local care home called Winscombe in North Boarhunt, near Fareham. This was only made possible by the incredible support given to the charity from Siân Jones, the South Downs National Park Authority’s Families Outreach Officer.
Project Leader James Donougher said “The young people and their families had been busy over the past year growing crops and herbs for the residents at the care home, as well as attending Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Through a company called Autek, they created 360 degree videos to make rural areas such as the walk up Butser Hill more accessible for those with high levels of anxiety. Further work will be focusing on other popular rural locations and hopefully making public transport to rural locations more accessible using a series of interactive videos”.
The evening also celebrated a street art project which is currently being displayed at the care home. The young people used eco-friendly spray paints on the walls of the flower beds with the assistance of local art-based charity Artscape.
The young people attended the award’s evening to be presented with their certificates, as well as the South Downs National Park Authority and some of their associates to help Enable Ability staff and the charity’s Trustees present their certificates.
The evening had speakers stress the importance of getting involved in the current environmental push, focusing on how to play our part if you have a disability or making it accessible for everyone. The evening celebrated the successes of young people aged 13-25 years old who have done exactly this over the past year, despite the huge challenges they have faced through the COVID-19 pandemic.