As 2021 draws to a close, we have been reflecting on the past year and everything our 220 Community Champions have achieved. We are so thankful for their passion and dedication to making Merton a greener, healthier, and happier place to live and work. Our mission is to mobilise Merton’s community to respond to the climate emergency and empower people to improve quality of life without compromising our planet. Our Community Champions are at the heart of this mission and, this year, we are excited to announce that they have completed a record 5000 volunteer hours! Thanks to this incredible achievement, we are proud to have been awarded RUNNER UP for Breakthrough Charity of the Year at the Merton Best Business Awards.
Click the links below to see our highlights from each of our 4 themes and scroll down to read about our wider actions.
Wider Community Action for People and the Planet
Throughout the year we have highlighted how being sustainable doesn’t detract from quality of life, but rather adds to it! Through connecting Merton residents around creative and rewarding activities and projects, we hope that our work demonstrates the wellbeing value that climate action can bring to a community. No project better highlights this value than Loving Earth: A Legacy of Lockdown in which 111 participants conveyed their feelings about the environment and hopes for the future post-lockdown using a textile panel. The panels were displayed in a 2-week exhibition at Centre Court Shopping Centre to celebrate the creative talents and important environmental messages of Merton residents.
Our Community Champions also regularly come together and discuss all things green and sustainable at our green group meetups: Green Coffee, Green Drinks, and, most recently, Merton Green Parents restarted by Community Champion Hanna. Read the group's latest blog, 'Merton Green Parents on how to celebrate a low-waste holiday season', HERE!
The Power of Nature
Alongside encouraging sustainable behaviour change, our Community Champions sought to highlight the remarkable mental, physical, and social benefits of connecting to nature through articles on Forest Bathing and the Healing Powers of Nature.
“Nature is healing and I truly believe that spending time in green spaces grounds us. It allows us to breathe and take pause, something necessary in a world that can often leave us feeling out of control. It allows us to reflect on how fast we are moving, reminding us to slow down if only for a second”.
Kuzivakwashe - Sustainable Merton Community Champion
We hope that these highlights from our Community Champions have been inspiring! We would like to say another massive thank you to each and every one of them for their contributions to Sustainable Merton.
If you’d like to join our growing team of Champions, visit sustainablemerton.org/champions