Tree planting charity teaches children about putting down roots

An organisation based in Lockerbie which supports children from troubled backgrounds has found a new project which they believe will help both their young people and the environment.

Common Thread provides residential care for young people, aged 8 to 18, who’ve suffered trauma, abuse or neglect. They also run two schools.

They’ve been given dozens of tree planting kits from Carlisle-based charity Greener Every Day.

Those involved say that being outdoors and having something to care for will boost mental health and confidence.

Common Thread says the task will also help displaced children put down roots in their new homes, metaphorically and literally.

Common Thread hope they can plant seeds of confidence in the vulnerable young people they care for. Credit: ITV News

“Because we focus so much on healing environments for our children we try to also link them in with the outdoors,” says Arlene Kyle, Common Thread’s Managing Director,

"Because the evidence tells us that outdoor education and work can be really healing for children who’ve suffered trauma abuse and neglect.

“So when the children come to us they get a welcome pack to help them feel at home and as part of that we include sapling seeds for planting trees so the children can put down roots symbolically as well as actually in the home, so they plant their trees in their new home in their garden.”

More than 40 children have now planted their own oak trees. The special kits, which include everything you need to grow your own tree, have been put together by Greener Every Day.

There’s also a poem written by Louise Dougan, who works with both organisations, and who came up with the idea of the kits.

Credit: ITV News

“We thought it would be a great idea to form a relationship with Common Thread and see if there was anything we could do to help disadvantaged children in the area,” said Cezary Flak, the founder of Greener Every Day.

“So, after many discussions we designed these tree growing kits.

“I think it’s very important to introduce nature to children at a young age so they can develop a relationship, a bond and a mutual respect which will hopefully help cancel out some of the climate change problems in the future.”

Cezary added that because of the success and positive feedback they’ve had with the kits they’re going to organise future projects.

They intend to hold educational talks in the schools and homes which Common Thread run, to talk about climate change, importance of sustainability and how to protect the world around them.