‘Go green’ and get connected

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A new Sheffield charity is hoping to improve the lives of ethnic minorities in the city, by encouraging them to ‘go green.’

Sheffield Environmental Movement is being set up to provide education programmes and information to help people - including black, asian, minority ethnic people and refugees - improve their wellbeing and extend their lives.

It will do this by reconnecting them with nature through outdoor pursuits and raising environmental awareness to encourage everything from volunteering for ‘green’ projects or acquiring an allotment to coarse fishing and environmental pottery.

Migration, urbanization and socio-economic factors are three of the main reasons people from these minority groups become disconnected or severed completely from the natural environment.

The work is being delivered in line with the 2010 Government White Paper ‘Strengthening connections between people and nature.’

Maxwell Ayamda, managing director of Sheffield Environmental Movement, said: “Only a tiny fraction of the city’s BAMER population are currently taking advantage of the health benefits associated with being connected to the natural environment.

“The environmental movement remains almost exclusively ‘white,’ despite past initiatives and projects – we’re aiming to change that with SEM. We want to encourage constructive dialogue with existing environmental groups.

“Our charity is all about giving people the practical skills to ‘re-connect.’ We want to help people become more empowered and lead to them independently accessing and participating in the natural environment for leisure and also contributing to environmental heritage and citizenship.”

Visit www.semcharity.org.uk for details.