This June Veolia in partnership with the Council is launching a brand new campaign to supply schools with free fruit trees.
Each of the eight successful school will join Veolia’s network of national orchards which are being supported by the community action charity, Groundwork.
This campaign aims to improve the wellbeing of young people and nurture their skills to create a positive change to their environment. The maturing fruit orchards will become a source of healthy food for schools, whilst also helping to improve their local air quality and create new habitats for wildlife.
Schools can apply online at www.veolia.co.uk/veolia-orchard for their free fruit trees between Wednesday 8 June and Friday 8 July. Successful applicants will be informed from Monday 18 July with tree deliveries taking place during September and October. The trees will be accompanied by an information pack on how to plant the trees and harvest the fruit, making this a unique learning opportunity for pupils.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Environment, said: “We are delighted to support Veolia’s national orchard campaign here in Southend-on-Sea. Any opportunity to help educate local children on the importance of tree planting is something we as a council will look to support as it helps us increase the number of trees in the City – a key part of our Green City Action Plan to help us reach net zero carbon by 2030 and to increase our tree canopy City-wide. I would urge all of our schools that have sufficient outdoor space to apply to be part of this fantastic project.”
Pascal Hauret, Managing Director, Municipal at Veolia said: “We understand that not all communities have equal access to good quality green space, which is why we’re excited to partner with Groundwork for this new campaign. These orchards will give pupils a rare opportunity to learn how to grow and look after trees with the added benefit of providing an ongoing supply of fruit. We look forward to seeing the campaign take root in schools and reconnect them with the natural environment.”
Joe McIndoe, UK Partnerships Manager, Groundwork said: “Groundwork is pleased to support this competition to win an Orchard. Orchards have been in decline for decades so many young people are growing up without the pleasure of picking and eating fruit straight from the tree. We hope that schools put themselves forward to win an orchard, to plant and nurture their trees with their pupils, and get the chance to enjoy the fruit for many years to come.”
This campaign is being powered by Veolia's Sustainable Schools programme. For more information on how Veolia supports schools and to discover other partnership opportunities please visit www.veolia.co.uk/schools