Share A Green Heart at Mires Beck 

CAFOD is an international development charity, and, according to the CAFOD website, they are also the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. 
 
They reach out to people living in poverty (including all religions and cultures), and campaign for global justice, so that everyone can live a “full and dignified life”. This charity has been particularly helpful recently because of the amount of people who have been made homeless due to COVID-19. 
If you are interested in getting involved with CAFOD, please go to their website and find out how to donate, campaign, volunteer, or download prayers. 
 
Every Valentine’s Day, CAFOD encourages everyone to start having conversations about how the things we love are affected by climate change, and how it affects all countries. 
 
Lockdown has slightly and temporarily improved our climate, but we are still having the hottest summers on record in the UK, with excessive rainfall in the warmer seasons, leading to erosion of the ground and flooding particularly on vital agricultural land. ‘Slow the Flow’ are working extremely hard with the environment agency to help the effects, but what can we all do to slow the emissions of greenhouse gases that are having such a negative impact on the planet. We know that we are all in every nation in big trouble with our climate, and we need to do something about it. 

What Could You Do To 'Show the Love'? 

There are 5 ways to show the love and make a difference to our climate: 
1. Make a green heart 
2. Use the green heart to start conversations about climate change 
3. Send a green heart to your local MP 
4. Set your green heart resolution 
5. Hold a ‘Show the Love’ event - when COVID-19 is over! 
 
To start these conversations about the effects of climate change, here are a few talking points from CAFOD: 
● Share stories of the impacts of climate change (this could include our hottest summers recorded, or no snow in the winter) 
● Give examples of what changes you are making/would like to make in your own life 
● Talk about the positive impact of everyone using their voice 

How to Craft a Green Heart 

Let’s make a green heart to start a conversation about how climate change is affecting the things we love! 
 
You’ll need: 
● Scissors 
● Needle and thread 
● Heart template 
● Small scraps of green fabric - a variety of plains, prints and different textures 
● Pressing cloth 
● Stuffing/lavender seeds 
● Short length of 6mm-wide green ribbon for hanging loop 
● Green buttons and beads 
● Iron 
 
Instructions: 
1. Cut out your heart template 
2. Cut a piece of fabric into a bigger heart than your heart template. You can glue pieces of fabric on top of this. 
3. Cover that with a pressing cloth, and press the fabric with an iron to secure it to the heart. Flip it over and press it with the iron again. 
4. Using 1 or 2 strands of embroidery thread, stitch over all edges of each different fabric piece. You can use different embroidery techniques for a crazy look, and can add beads or buttons. 
5. Use your heart template to cut out another heart from another piece of fabric. 
6. Stitch these 2 hearts together, but make sure what you would like on the outside is on the inside for now, and leave a gap at the side. 
7. Turn the inside of the heart outside, stuff with stuffing/lavender seeds, and stitch the rest of the gap up. 

What Do We Do At Mires Beck to Combat Climate Change? 

We at Mires Beck Nursery already do so much to reduce our carbon footprint. Our dedicated tree team (with the help of our amazing volunteers) have planted 2500 trees on our 4 acre field, you can adopt one of our planted Silver Birch trees as your family tree. We are distributing 150,000 trees produced on site this year to woodland projects through county partners lead by HEYwoods to help with the Government’s Green Action Plan. We are also working with local businesses planting to reduce the impact of their carbon emissions and are working to advise local parishes on planting schemes for new hedgerow. 
 
As part of our ongoing work at the nursery we are expanding our vegetable production this year for retail so that our customers don’t have to travel to the supermarket as much and can then buy them locally at the nursery as they come to buy their plants. This will help reduce their carbon footprint. Of course our wonderful perennial plants give the surety that your garden will help to benefit the climate each year they come back into life. 

What Are We Doing This Year to 'Show the Love'? 

For Valentine’s Week this year, we at Mires Beck Nursery will be painting 170 wooden hearts green, and putting the names of all of our staff, volunteers and absent service users on them to hang as our family tree at the nursery, though this ‘show the love’ we will send the message to everyone absent that they are being remembered by us and are still part of our amazing community. 
 
We will be releasing a video of this creation, hanging the hearts on the family tree, and joining in with the conversation of how climate change is personally affecting the things we are passionate about. 
All projects require fundraising and we are always looking for new sponsors and volunteers to help us realise the future aspirations to maintain the charity and help it to thrive. If you would like to help please contact us.  
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