In December 2022, over 35 members of the Khizra Mosque & Community Centre in Cheetham Hill attended a WWF screening of David Attenborough’s A Life on our Planet.

Following the screening community members commented:

‘This is something we have to take seriously’

‘How sad and I never thought of it this way before, we need to take action’

The community expressed a high level of interest in environmental issues and, through facilitated discussions with the Groundwork team and Manchester City Council Neighbourhood Officers, came up with several ideas on how to help tackle climate change in their local area, including the installation of living walls and green roofs.

After the screening, twenty-two of young women from the Khizra Mosque & Community Centre joined Groundwork’s Young Green Leaders programme, gaining skills and confidence to take environmental action. With support from Groundwork Youth Worker John, plus youth workers from the Mosque, the young women set into motion a plan to build a giant living wall on the side of their mosque. The new living wall would cover a concrete walled area just at the entrance to the car park at the mosque. Turning a dull grey wall into a lush, green screen that you see now on first entering the mosque.

Although driven by the young people, the whole community worked together to build the wall and transform the grounds, planting over 150 evergreen plants.

The 22 young women involved in the project also achieved an AQA in Understanding Climate Emergency and Delivering a Social Action.

Groundwork GM also bought some tools for the Mosque so the young women could continue the transformation of their grounds.