On 6th April young people from SASH joined St Nicks’ volunteers and trustees to improve the community woodland at St Nicks Local Nature Reserve, supported by staff from both charities. We were pleased to welcome the Lord Mayor, Cllr Barbara Boyce, together with individuals, businesses and other charities who support both organisations. The Lord Mayor even brought her dog Maisie along to help!
SASH is a York based charity which prevents youth homelessness through providing a safe place to stay in a volunteer’s home. SASH works throughout York, North and East Yorkshire and provides an escape to homelessness for over 300 young people aged 16-25. The charity was also one of the first organisations to sign up to our business recycling scheme so we have close links and wanted to do something together. This joint event proved to be a great success.
For SASH taking part in activities such as this helps their young people to develop key skills including team working, confidence and giving back to the community, which help increase their independence. St Nicks benefited from having a cracking team which got lots done on the day while having a good time outdoors. A win win situation for everyone involved, as demonstrated by the following quotes.
Beth, 19, one of the young people supported by SASH, very much enjoyed her day (you can read more here): “I planted my first ever tree, along with my second, third and fourth! It was good fun. I only live round the corner and didn’t know St Nicks existed. I’ll definitely be back.”
Maria Gill, our Volunteer Coordinator thanked everyone who helped: “It was great to work with volunteers from SASH. Everyone was enthusiastic and got stuck in to rescuing a struggling hedgerow, removing the encroaching nettles and dock, planting additional blackthorn and ash trees and pruning back neighbouring conifers. Hedgerows are an important but declining habitat in Britain. By planting new hedgerows we are providing not only habitat for wildlife such as low nesting birds and small mammals but we are creating green corridors – connecting natural areas and wildlife populations. Through planting a variety of tree species and wildflowers around them, we are continuing to increase the biodiversity and enrich the habitats at St Nicks.”
The Lord Mayor and others attending the day were also given a tour of the nature reserve, hearing its journey from a landfill site to the thriving green space it is today, supporting over 600 species with over 20 UK priority species currently on-site.