Every Sunday, North Manchester Youth Zone host Inclusion Group; a fun and engaging youth club for children and young people who have additional needs, who are invited to come along with their close friends.

Thanks to the funding from Ernest Cook Trust’s Groundwork was able to support the group with a series of environmental social action projects between June 2022 and August 2023.

Getting started

Groundwork’s youth workers joined existing Inclusion Group sessions for several months, providing adequate space and time for the young people to familiarise themselves with new faces and build up trust.

Once the team were well known they were able to introduce a series of  nature-based activities and invite young people to join a Green Influencer group.  The team used a series of pictures to gather what topics the young people were interested in, these selections were then created.

Environmental projects

The Green Influencers delivered a number of environmental projects, with support from Groundwork and North Manchester Youth Zone, including:

  • Weeding and making good some large raised beds in the community space across the road.
  • Sowing seeds
  • Building a bug house
  • Building vertical gardens using reclaimed pallets


The Green Influencers club (or ‘gardening time’ as it became known by the young people) became immensely popular with children who attended the Inclusion Group, including some young people who had the most profound needs. 16 young people took part regularly, all aged between 10-15.

The opportunity to use paints, tools and other materials also became a great highlight for many of the children. This variation of the Green Influencers programme demonstrated how beneficial nature based activities are for children and young people with additional needs

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