There was lots of exciting island-hopping fun at the Riverlution River Fun Day on the River Don at Kelham Weir during the October half-term school holiday.
Delivered and curated by the Riverlution's River Stewardship Skills Scheme trainees, families gathered down by the riverside to enjoy fun-packed water-based activities and learn more about the river-based green career and green skills opportunities available in Sheffield as part of the River Stewardship Skills Scheme.
The River Stewardship Skills Scheme is a flexible training programme, delivered by the RSC’s Community Interest Company (CIC) Riverlution and sponsored by Gripple Ltd, providing trainee river stewards with a wide range of practical skills gained through carrying out work that genuinely benefits the natural world and improves the local area, like habitat creation and restoration, natural flood management and species monitoring. Leading to a formal qualification in Environmental Sustainability, the programme aims to inspire young people and support anyone who is looking to forge a green career in the environmental conservation sector.
The RSC as a social enterprise, aims to ‘give back’ through its Riverlution CIC, creating social impact and helping businesses and communities enjoy and engage with their ‘patch’ of the river. As trainees focus on work that benefits the local community, like creating or maintaining public access green areas, their outreach events provide somewhere for people to make friends, get outdoors and exercise, learn new skills and do work that connects them to the natural world.
A highlight of the day saw youngsters able to cross the River Don by pontoon to explore the small island below Kelham Weir where they could learn exciting bushcraft skills and have a go at kick-sampling to discover what might be lurking in the river beneath their feet.
The River Steward trainees also delivered an important message about how to be safe around our rivers and waterways as children explored the ecosystems and wildlife of the area.
Aspiring creatives also got hands on with nature-inspired arts and crafts, from leaf-rolling to bug-hotel and bird-feeder building from recycled materials!
Our River Steward trainees planned and delivered the community event as part of the Riverlution River Stewardship Skills Scheme which offers young people and those wishing to start a career in the environmental sector, the opportunity to gain practical experience of working in river ecosystems in and around Sheffield.
The River Steward trainees were joined by an artist from Ignite Imaginations exploring what 'We enjoy' about our rivers. This activity being commissioned by Efficiency North as part of an exciting project to create a series of artworks that celebrate their company values which will be displayed in a community exhibition in Sheffield City Centre later in the year.
The island collaboration also saw Kelham Island Museum celebrating the importance of our rivers through their exciting October half term family activity session - 'Let's Invent - Keep our Rivers Clean' and the River Stewardship Company, in conjunction with the Environment Agency and Kelham Island and Neepsend Community Alliance (KINCA) volunteers, host a ‘River Clean Up’ of the area with a generous haul of debris including wooden chairs and bicycle wheels collected from the riverside.
Chris Lucas, Riverlution Officer commented on the success of the River Fun Day:
The River Fun Day is a fantastic way for our River Steward trainees to showcase the wide range of skills they have been acquiring including the importance of water safety. Along with the ‘River Clean Up’ and museum-based activities, it’s a great opportunity to engage families and the local community in ways to become better connected to our amazing rivers in a fun and educational way.
Tasha Lyth, Sustainability Manager at Gripple Ltd expresses why they gave their support the River Stewardship Skills Scheme their support:
Supporting the River Stewardship Skills Scheme is a key element in Our Journey to Climate Positive. As well as our commitment to meaningful carbon reduction within our own operations, Gripple also have a commitment to our local communities to support Sheffield transition to a greener future. The training and up skilling from the scheme will deliver continuous value and we are thrilled to see the success the Stewards are having on this scheme which is equipping them with the practical skills and qualifications they need to forge a future in the environmental sector.
Green Careers Week takes place between Monday 7 and Saturday 12 November 2022 #GCW2022 #GreenCareers www.greencareersweek.com