1st October 2020

PROTECT: Dundee students raising funds to support protection of local spaces

Work to protect parks and green spaces for good in Dundee received a boost recently thanks to the fundraising efforts of students at the city's Morgan Academy. Hundreds of pounds were raised as part of an initiative led by the school's Interact group and as a result Fields in Trust Scotland Manager, Colin Rennie - himself a former pupil at the school - recently attended to receive a cheque for £1,425 which will support our work locally.

Led by senior pupils, the Interact group, which is linked to Rotary, identifies charitable causes each year and works to generate income to support them. Following a presentation to students at the beginning of the 19/20 academic year, Fields in Trust was chosen as one of two charities to benefit from fundraising efforts over the course of the year.

Student Vitória Ribeiro explains why the group felt it important to support Fields in Trust's work: "The environmental issues we are currently facing as a society are a great worry for the 25 members of the group - this was the biggest motivator in the selection of the Fields in Trust charity as a focus. The protection of green spaces locally is a particular focus as we have seen first-hand the replacement of previous parks and fields being turned into housing estates and buildings. This is a scary and upsetting concept as we would hate to see more local green spaces affected, especially those we hold dear - such as those with childhood memories attached to them".

Fields in Trust currently protect six parks and green spaces across Dundee, including the near-100 hectare Camperdown Country Park as a Queen Elizabeth Field, the iconic Dundee Law as part of Centenary Fields in memory of those who gave their lives in World War I, and Drumgeith Park under the Active Spaces programme. As part of Active Spaces, new outdoor gym equipment has recently been installed at the park, which is surrounded by some of the most deprived communities in terms of health, housing and income in Scotland.

New outdoor gym equipment (pictured prior to social distancing guidelines) at Drumgeith Park in the north east of Dundee has recently been installed thanks to Fields in Trust's Active Spaces programme, funded by the London Marathon Charitable Trust. The equipment helps residents in a challenged part of the city make the most of the health and wellbeing benefits the park provides.

Drumgeith Park

Indeed, Dundee as a whole is an area with a high strategic need for park and green space provision which is protected in perpetuity. The city falls shy of meeting a minimum standard for provision, as measured by its GSI Score, placing it well below the figure for Scotland as a whole, whilst its level of provision per person is also significantly below the Scottish average. Almost a third of the city's population fall into the most challenged socio-economic categories - groups our Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces research find value parks more highly - and over half of households in the city live in flats, making them more likely to rely on publicly accessible local parks as their places to get outdoors and experience the positive physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits of green space.

Fields in Trust Scotland Manager, Colin Rennie, thanked the pupils for their fundraising efforts and explained how the donation will benefit communities locally: "It was great to be back at my former school and it was inspiring to hear about the tremendous work that pupils, supported by teachers, are contributing to local charitable work.

"Fields in Trust is delighted to receive such a generous donation which will be put to good use as we plan to engage with Dundee City Council, with our strategic focus on protecting green spaces for communities in Dundee that are least active and face a range of health challenges. During the coronavirus lockdown, parks and green spaces have been vital as places to exercise, de-stress and meet friends and neighbours and green spaces will be a part of our recovery".

A big thank you to all the students at Morgan Academy for their amazing support! You can explore spaces already protected with Fields in Trust in Dundee using our Fields Finder, whilst if you'd like to find out more about supporting our work through fundraising at your school, workplace or in your community then there's plenty of inspiration available here.

 


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