Planting day at West London Academy with Version One
On a sunny day in June, Version One’s PR Manager, Liz Ebbrell, took time out of her busy schedule to attend a Tree Appeal planting event, along with Professor David Bellamy. This gave her the opportunity to meet some of the grateful recipients of sponsored trees.
Liz said, "Spending the time at a school which is directly benefiting from donated trees has put a whole new perspective on Version One's green initiative.”
The event took place at West London Academy in Northolt, where five feature trees were planted in the school’s outdoor learning environment, Academy Fields. The planting was presided over by a hungry kestrel, which hovered above the site whilst everyone got stuck into digging! Its presence there was evidence that voles and other small mammals are residing in the grounds and will find shelter from these birds of prey in the existing and new trees.
As Professor Bellamy pointed out to the children, trees do something useful every second of their long lives and for Version One, the experience was a real eye-opener as to the rewarding benefits of tree planting.
Liz concluded, “I knew our company's involvement with Tree Appeal was worthwhile but, until today, I didn't have first hand experience of the organisation's great work. I can now remember children's smiling faces, the teachers' enthusiasm about the school's tree planting project and David Bellamy's passion for biodiversity - this is now what I consider Version One's work with Tree Appeal to be all about."
The Academy Fields planting site, where Version One helped to plant the feature trees, is set in over five acres of land, which has already undergone an extensive programme of tree planting and includes a large pond and a weather station. There are also two covered outdoor classrooms, with seating for sixty students. The location sits adjacent to the busy A40, but whilst walking around, it would be hard to feel further away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Environmental education is an essential part of the West London Academy’s curriculum. Many of their students live in the city centre and have limited access to gardens or other wildlife habitats. The school are committed to developing this safe haven for their pupils to explore the natural world and experience a hands-on approach to learning about the environment.
Joanne Chodzko-Zajko, Family Learning Tutor at the West London Academy said, “It is important to us to make the most of the space we have available. We’re lucky to have such extensive grounds but without the help of sponsoring companies like Version One, it would all just be wasteland. Tree Appeal and their partners enable us to enhance our outdoor space and create something really special for our students.”
Following the West London Academy tree planting, Liz Ebbrell joined Tree Appeal and Professor Bellamy for a visit to the premises of Computer Aid, a charity providing computers to developing countries. During the visit, Liz and Tree Appeal were lucky enough to meet the dedicated team of volunteers who ensure that all donated computers are completely data wiped and refurbished before they are sent to their new homes. Following the visit, Liz said, "Tree Appeal's work with Computer Aid is commendable. It's a fantastic charity and having had the pleasure of seeing Computer Aid's premises and hearing all about their extremely worthwhile work, I am proud that Version One is involved with shipping refurbished computers to developing countries."
The constant replacement of technology in Western society means that perfectly functioning computers very quickly become obsolete. These computers make a life changing addition to African communities, with each computer giving one hundred underprivileged children an invaluable grounding in computer skills.
By sponsoring these computers, Version One have made a significant difference to the lives of these African children, as well as dramatically extending the life of redundant PCs.
“The opportunity to work in partnership with organisations such as Version One and Tree Appeal means we can continue to make a massive difference to the lives of marginalised children and communities across the developing world. It is difficult to overstate the value and importance of the PCs that Version One are sponsoring, and they will all be of immense value in areas where educational resources are a scarce commodity.”