Ambitious about Autism Saplings project wins Community Engagement Award
The Saplings project at TreeHouse School in Woodside Avenue is an outdoor space providing children and young people with autism an opportunity to learn more about the natural world and develop new skills.
Thanks to the hard work of a number of local and corporate volunteer groups – the patch of land next to the school site in Muswell Hill has been transformed into thriving outdoor learning environment in recent years.
The project, spearheaded by the charity Ambitious about Autism, recently won the BIG Biodiversity Challenge’s community engagement award – at an awards ceremony in central London held on September 12.
Julia Lampard, who leads work of the Saplings project for Ambitious about Autism, said:
“Our Saplings project would not have happened without the enthusiastic engagement of both local and corporate volunteers who have helped fund it and build the infrastructure. We are delighted this dedication, coupled with the hard work of our amazing pupils, has been recognised through this award.
“As a result of the project pupils are learning valuable work-related skills and a respect for the natural environment. The location of the site adjacent to a busy pathway has been a bonus in generating discussions with passers-by about the work
She added: “Our vision for the future is to focus further on the site biodiversity - particularly frogs, newts, pollinators and insects. We shall expand our pilot social enterprise ‘seed to sell’ growing and selling organic vegetables to staff and neighbours and aim increase community engagement further.”