We were reminded of the power of nature to connect and inspire us when we gathered last week in Highfields to celebrate the creativity of a group of students from North Cambridge Academy. Council leaders, environmentalists, school leaders and colleagues listened to three young students talk about why they valued spending time being creative in nature.
A Space to Connect and Inspire
It was such a pleasure to visit Highfields and meet these brilliant young people talking so passionately about why they had valued spending time being creative in nature. The City Council is very keen to find new ways to tackle the challenges our young people face and support our schools and communities. This innovative work by Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination and Cambridge Acorn Project with support from the City Council’s bio-diversity team is a great example of that.
Robert Pollock, Chief Executive, Cambridge City Council
This small pocket of land tucked away in Arbury has no public access and is managed by the City Council for educational purposes. CCI, along with Colleges and Brunswick Nursery, have been working with the bio-diversity team to learn about the impact on local children and young people of having creative time in the outdoors on a regular basis.
I feel so privileged to be able to support these young people to explore this extraordinary space throughout the seasons. We have watched them grow in confidence and curiosity to tell their own stories and to find spaces they feel comfortable in out here in this small pocket of wildness. It is so important that we give them time to connect to themselves, to each other and to the natural world. Seeing too how they relished the opportunity also to lead workshops with younger children was brilliant. I felt so proud of how confidently they worked with me to curate the final exhibition and lead conversations with environmentalists, teachers, and council leaders.
Hilary Cox Condron, CCI artist
Creative work from this project had been curated by Hilary to design four new hangings to join the ever-growing Fantastical Forest collection. Thanks to support from Education Services, the trust that has supported this work, we were also able to present NCA with their own hangings to be displayed in school. Cambridge Independant published the article below.
Read more about our work with Cambridge Acorn Project and Fullscope here. This work continues in 2023/24.
Photograph top from right: Guy Belcher (Cambridge City Council Bio-diversity Officer), Rachel Wade (Councillor), Sam Carling (Councillor), Robert Pollock (Cambridge City Council Chief Executive), Hilary Cox Condron (CCI artist), Evonne Austen (Cambridge Acorn Project therapist), Jan Collings (NCA Family Liaison Officer), Jacob Turner (Cambridge Acorn Project), Martin Campbell (Executive Principle, Meridian Trust), Amanda Morris-Drake (CCI volunteer), Louise Walker (Education Services), Dr Roz Wade (Zoology Museum), Rowland Thomas (Education Services).