A group of Xaverian College staff and students have joined forces with In Our Nature, an exciting programme to help create a greener, healthier and more connected Manchester, to rewild Park Crescent, Rusholme.
On a sunny Saturday last month (March 2022), the group met to plant fruit trees, berry bushes, wildflowers and more, bringing nature and beauty back into Rusholme. Over the coming months they will also be supporting numerous other initiatives to help make further environmental improvements across the area.
The In Our Nature programme has been developed in response to the needs of Manchester’s diverse communities. The aim is to, ‘engage, empower, support, enable and inspire Manchester communities to take action to reduce their CO2 emissions by 50% over five years and increase their resilience to the changing climate, at the same time as helping them to achieve other local priorities’.
The programme will support the target set by Manchester to be a zero-carbon city by 2038 or before – 12 years earlier than the national 2050 target. To achieve this citywide, emissions will need to reduce by 13 per cent every year until 2038.
Year 12 students Nicole Astbury, Isabelle Tiernan and Catherine Wadsworth completed their GCSEs at Loreto Grammar School before joining the College. They saw the programme as an opportunity to connect with nature, learn new skills and give back to the community.
Catherine said: “Green spaces are a happier and healthier place to be. I love helping others and it is great that there are creative programmes like this bring us together and help make our city greener.”
Nicole and Isabelle added: “We have never done anything like this before, but we really enjoyed it – it was such a fun day! We can’t wait to get involved again.”
Umair Ahmad, progressed to the College from Abraham Moss Community School and is now in his final year studies. Umair has been volunteering for several years, most recently as a Student Ambassador and Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Champion at Xaverian.
Umair said: “We all have a role to play in tacking climate change. I would love to see more greenery in Manchester, but a lot of effort needs to go into generating sustainable local environments. Being involved in this programme is just one of the ways I have been able to contribute.”
Other students commented on the importance of ensuring there are vibrant and relaxing spaces across the city for generations to come and how calming the day was after a busy week of study.
Many communities across Manchester are starting to think about how to address the climate emergency and tackle climate change. The programme will focus on the areas of Hulme, Moss Side, Rusholme, Newton Heath, Miles Platting, Levenshulme, and the Northern Quarter.
Simon Channel, Vice Principal – Student Support at Xaverian, said: “The College has been at the heart of Rusholme since the early 1900s and we have always remained committed to supporting the local community. As educators, we can play an important role in driving change and influencing behaviour, which is why we place significant importance on contributing to programmes, such as In Our Nature, which ultimately helps transform lives in the Greater Manchester area.”
The National Lottery has awarded a development grant to the programme through its Climate Action Fund and has been developed by six core partners, Manchester Climate Change Agency, Hubbub, Manchester City Council, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester, Amity CIC and Commonplace.
As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers exciting opportunities to over 2500 students. To find out more, visit xaverian.ac.uk – Explore Your Future!
To find out more about In Our Nature, visit zerocarbonmanchester.commonplace.is – Together we can make a huge difference!