Local environmental charity, Andover Trees United is celebrating after being awarded funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
The volunteer-led charity, which is celebrating its 10th year of community tree planting, works in partnership with schools, local authorities, businesses, specialist environmental organisations, artists and other creative practitioners to promote conservation and improve responsible access to natural wild spaces.
The charity’s main site ‘Harmony Woods’ represents a 10-year planting project, giving all the children and young people in the community the chance to turn 12 acres of farmland to the north of Andover into a natural urban woodland, increasing biodiversity and providing a wealth of opportunities for learning about the environment. By the end of March this year 10,000 trees will have been planted by 10,000 local young people.
2022 marks the start of the next chapter for the organisation as its new 5-year strategic plan ‘Branching Out‘ comes into effect and the ‘Reaching Communities’ grant from the National Lottery will primarily allow the organisation to appoint paid staff. The search for a Development Officer is currently in progress; a new Community Engagement Officer, Alex Walker and a part-time Administrator, Alex Marshall started work with the organisation this week. These paid roles will support the management team who run the charity, all of whom are volunteers, to achieve the charities aims and aspirations.
Wendy Davis, founder & leader of Andover Trees United, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, this grant means that we can put the organisation on a more sustainable footing. We will engage with more people in our immediate community, develop programmes around health and wellbeing, establish the current woodland base and classroom as a local field-study centre and identify and develop new planting sites. This will make a big difference to the local environment and people’s lives.”
The organisation also plans to purchase a crew van which will transform its ability to reach other communities, extend the range of its planting locations and support volunteers who do not have their own transport to get involved.
National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. The National Lottery Community Fund distributes a share of this to projects to support people and communities to prosper and thrive.
During the pandemic, in 2020 alone, The National Lottery Community Fund distributed almost £1 billion to charities and community organisations across the UK.
To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk