Wildlife workshop for teens at Ellington Park

Ellington Park Photo Swift Aerial Photography

By James Bonthron

Ramsgate’s Ellington Park, in partnership with Changing Minds Kent (CMK) CIC, is offering local teenagers a chance to relax and put their creativity to the test in the wildlife garden in the park.

Taking place on Friday 16th February at 1pm, the wildlife workshop will involve participants meeting at the café, before going to the wildlife area. Once there, they will use natural materials scavenged from the area and use them to create bird feeders.

Ellington Park’s Activity Officer, Kirsty Peterkin, said: “The Friends of Ellington Park would like to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Thanet District Council, volunteers, community groups, schools and colleges, for helping to make Ellington Park such a great place for the whole community.”

The workshop is a collaboration between the park, artist Nova Marshall, and CMK CIC’s Connect Programme, which provides the opportunity for teens to try out a range of activities for free or at a low cost. The programme aims to be a way for 13–17-year-olds to learn new skills and build up their confidence.

CMK CIC, via a partnership with organisations across Thanet, does vital work to address the mental health crisis experienced by teenagers. The found that 1 in 6 people aged 5 to 16 experienced a mental health issue in 2020.

Head of Partnerships & Development (Community) at CMK CIC, Claire Parsons, said: “As a social enterprise dedicated to tackling health inequalities and supporting communities and workplaces to improve their physical, mental and emotional wellness, CMK (Changing Minds Kent) CIC aims to help change this statistic for the better by offering young people aged 13-17 years opportunities to get active, take time for self-care, build new connections, learn new skills, develop positive habits, build confidence, and boost their overall wellbeing through engagement with our CMK Connect Programme.

“By working in partnership with the Friends of Ellington Park to hold this workshop in the wildlife area, we also give young people the opportunity to take part in something that is good for the environment by using natural materials to create wild bird feeders, encourages them to connect with the nature around them and enjoy watching the birds as they revisit their feeders at a later date, and to feel a sense of belonging in their local community.”

As well as the wildlife workshop, there are a number of other activities planned for the half week term through the CMK’s Connect Programme, such as journaling, skateboarding skill sessions and dance workshops.

The link to sign up for the workshop is https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSck_euxGAgmSiVZ8eghgh5lwoIh5j6cuKjX7v4Yj3GCotDA_A/viewform