Last year, NUS’ Green Impact programme won a UNESCO award for Education for Sustainable Development. As part of this award we won some prize money, £10,000 of which we are giving out through microgrants to all current Green Impact participants. With additional budget, we hope there’ll be even more scope for creative and progressive ideas linked to the Green Impact criteria.
We’re pleased to announce that in January we agreed to fund 29 applications - with £5,800 - across students’ unions, universities and community organisations. Thank you very much to all applicants; we’re delighted to see so much inspiring grassroots activity, and to be able to help fund it thanks to our UNESCO prize. Do get applying sooner rather than later – when the £10,000 is gone, we will have to close the fund!
We've funded some fascinating sustainability projects. Here are just a few to get your green creative juices flowing:
A hospital allotment
We’re supporting University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust to develop their Marlborough Hill allotment. The allotment already composts food waste, leaves, and has raised beds for anyone to grow food. The Trust’s sustainability officer, Alexandra Heelis, applied for the grant to fund signage to direct, inform and explain what’s going on in this hub of green activity. Staff, the public and patients will all benefit from the signs, which she hopes will raise awareness around waste disposal and ultimately encourage more sustainable practices. In addition, the outdoors, plants and gardening have a positive impact on health and wellbeing for patients and other visitors!
A bee-friendly space
Ravensbourne Students’ Union is going to redevelop its rooftop Green Space into a bee-friendly area to increase biodiversity. Our grant will help the Union purchase necessary materials to build a nice home for solitary bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem. The team will also buy resources to support a campaign around the redevelopment of the space, in order to raise awareness about the crucial importance of pollinators.
A medicinal garden
Queen’s University Belfast is creating a medicinal garden. The unique initiative will involve four Green Impact teams (!) on the University’s Health Sciences site. They will populate the garden with plants of medicinal interest by coordinating with health researchers. Think: lavender, ginger, thyme, chamomile, echinacea, milk thistle, sage, garlic and witch hazel! Alongside the plants will be information displays, to link them to the corresponding research on campus and to explain their importance in medical and biomedical education.
A Keep Cups campaign
The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Trust is reigniting their initiative to roll out reusable cups rather than the typical kind that aren’t currently recyclable. They plan to give away the reusable cups as prizes for sustainability competitions to encourage a domino effect of positive actions!
More information on how to apply for a microgrant can be found here.