Community planting day

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:02:00 BST

Each year the University’s School of Education, Environment and Development awards small amounts of funding for social responsibility projects linked to the work of the School’s activities. This 'Big Block of Cheese' funding is based on President Jackson’s use of a large block of cheese in 1835 to facilitate open access to the White House for people who traditionally did not get his attention.

One example of a project is with the Manchester Institute of Education, who have undertaken research showing how the University could work as an ‘anchor institution’ with its neighbouring community in Ardwick. Residents were asked to pitch ideas into this fund for activities that could help improve their area and as a result, a Community Planting Day was organised over the summer.

The funding for the Community Planting Day enabled local residents to improve an unloved green space by planting wildflowers and plants.

In addition, 40 bird houses and bug hotels were made from reclaimed wood. These were then given to local children, Medlock Primary School, members of Fruits of Live After School Club and staff from the University, to decorate. Residents young and old got involved in the day and worked with local businesses and community groups.

Local resident Choel Cartwright said: "We would like to thank the University of Manchester for the opportunity and all community groups and businesses involved. The project was simple in concept but the effects will have a long lasting impact and enjoyment for wildlife, locals and commuters alike. The area has already attracted bees and butterflies and inspired local residents to help wildlife in their gardens."

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility, said: "the University has been working with local residents in Ardwick on an increasing number of projects over the past 12 months, all arising from research in our Manchester Institute of Education that asked residents how we could work together to improve their area. This project is a great example of how, by listening to and partnering with local residents, we can deliver projects that have local benefit and impact built into them from the start.”