community champions

Community Champion: Rebecca Cairns

Rebecca CairnsRebecca Cairns
Stirling, Scotland

How are you using OPAL to make a difference in the community?

Over the past year working as a Discovering Nature Trainee with TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) I have been working with community groups within the Inner Forth/Central Belt region in Scotland. My main role has been to engage with different community groups to encourage them to use and explore their local green spaces.  

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Community Champion: Marcia Rae

OPAL Community Champion - Marcia RaeMarcia Rae
Inverness, Scottish Highlands

How are you using OPAL to make a difference in the community?

I used the OPAL Water Survey to work with local schools in Inverness to assess the quality of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). There are 40 SuDS ponds in the city and we wished to assess their benefit to biodiversity in the urban environment.

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Community Champion: Kiani Perera

Kiani PereraKiani Perera
Wrexham, North Wales

How are you using OPAL to make a difference in the community?

I use OPAL by assisting Iwan - who is the North Wales Wildlife Trust's OPAL Community Scientist - with carrying out the six OPAL surveys, with schools around North Wales. I teach these young children about our environment and why it is so important for us to look after it.

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Community Champion: Nicky Hodge

Nicky HodgeNicky Hodge
Rhyl, North Wales

How are you using OPAL to make a difference in the community?

We are using the surveys to work with local kids and youth groups and all the local schools, give them a chance to get outside and learn something new. The surveys are a good way of doing that.

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Community Champion: Leanne Thomas Evans

Leanne Thomas EvansLeanne Thomas Evans
Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent

How are you using OPAL to make a difference in the community?

OPAL has given me resources, training and the knowledge to teach the groups that I am in contact with about the environment.  

I use the resources at the primary school where I work, in the local beaver, cubs and scout groups, at Forest School sessions and most recently at the local children’s park which is undergoing development.  

I also attend local events where OPAL is present to enjoy the activities with my family and further my nature knowledge.

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Community Champion: Ali Cush

Ali CushAli Cush
Inchinnan, Renfrewshire

How are you using OPAL to make a difference in the community?

We have been using OPAL to enhance the outdoor learning sessions Rangers deliver in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, and promote them to teachers as well as groups completing their John Muir Awards in the National Park. 

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Community Champion: Scott Gardner

Scott GardnerScott Gardner
Alloa, Clackmannanshire

How are you using OPAL to make a difference in the community?

I have been using the OPAL resources at local primary schools, youth clubs, and local green projects. This has benefitted all involved and has educated them to have a wider range of knowledge of the outdoors and what grows and lives there.

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OPAL's Community Champions

OPAL Community Champion jigsaw

Introducing our Community Champions - the people who join the OPAL network together.

The OPAL network encourages people to get back in touch with nature, by enabling them to explore and study their local environments.

Our success has been driven by the enthusiasm and commitment of the public – individuals who are passionate about what they do, and have an enthusiasm to share this with their community, especially in deprived areas.

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