Wesleyan Foundation has donated grants totalling £74,000 to three charities dedicated to fighting climate change.
The Climate Action Grant launched earlier this year with the twin goals of protecting and improving the environment and combatting the effects of climate change.
Wesleyan invited organisations from around the UK to apply for grants to support their environmental projects, and can now announce that the three successful charities receiving support are:
- Borders Forest Trust: A conservation charity working to restore native woodland habitats across Southern Scotland, an area with one of the lowest percentages of native woodland in the UK. Wesleyan’s donation will support the charity’s flagship project Reviving the Wild Heart of Southern Scotland, planting more than 52,000 trees and plants covering 3,250 hectares in the Talla-Hartfell Wild Land Area.
- Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust (LHCRT): A volunteer-led charity dedicated to the restoration of the historic Lichfield and Hatherton Canals. The donation from Wesleyan will provide the LHCRT with the funding to restore 500 metres of the canal and provide flood protection and carbon reduction.
- The Small Woods Association: The Small Woods Association has been working with Wesleyan since 2020 on the flagship project Wesleyan Woodlands, planting more than one million trees and creating woodlands across four sites in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The new Climate Action Grant will help fund the 'Into the Woods' project in Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire, which works with vulnerable individuals who may be struggling to manage their mental health, isolation or long-term unemployment, teaching them about sustainable woodland management. Alongside the social benefits the project will also support biodiversity through the use of coppicing and the production of biochar.
Dan Gamson, Group Sustainability Manager at Wesleyan, said: "As a mutual, we have a long history of doing the right thing for our customers and communities. Protecting the natural environment is important to us and is a key element of our Sustainability Strategy.
"Following alignment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we’re proud to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to tackling climate change by launching the Climate Action Grant. The charities chosen to receive the grants are doing incredible work in their local environments and addressing wider global climate issues. All three projects aim for long-term change whilst also supporting their local communities to prosper and thrive."
Julia Allinson, Development Officer at Small Woods Association, said: "We are delighted to be working with Wesleyan to deliver this amazing work. The 'Into the Woods' project not only provides positive social activity for the most vulnerable, but also assists with carbon sequestration, ultimately benefitting environmental and biodiversity gain."
In 2017 Wesleyan launched Wesleyan Foundation as part of its commitment to supporting great causes that are important to its members and the communities in which they live and work. The Foundation has since donated over £5 million and supported more than 440,000 people across 500 different UK charities, community groups, research projects and social enterprises.