Connecting with nature and SEEd

Parents and baby penguin

I first found out about SEEd from a student at Reading University who had previously been an intern here, and had found it a great experience. I was immediately intrigued, as I have a particular interest in helping the environment; I had previously volunteered at a wildlife centre in Malawi, where I discovered a love for nature. Therefore, SEEd caught my interest, and I wanted to learn more about what they did.

I was warmly welcomed into SEEd as an intern, and given a variety of interesting work that has allowed me to find out a lot about SEEd’s role and the many advances it has made for the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) movement. I very much appreciated the fact that the work I was given was tailored to my interests, and enabled me to learn a lot!

SEEd’s work in advocating for environmental education is vital in helping society to become more sustainable. They try to ensure that children are educated for sustainability from the start, which I think would have the greatest impact; after all, it is as children that our values and attitudes are formed. Therefore, it makes sense to get children interested in protecting the environment from earlier on in their lives. Learning to value nature at a young age will hopefully make the children retain a concern for the environment into adulthood and throughout their lives.

My internship with SEEd has given me an insight into how the charity tries to encourage ESD, and supports other organisations working towards the same goal. SEEd acts as a vital link between different organisations and individuals, helping to build a network of interested parties. When I was given the task of updating the member’s page on the SEEd website, I found out how many different organisations are working to protect the environment in some way. The sheer number of charities dealing with environmental protection was astonishing! This made me realise how important connecting these groups was; after all, if more of the organisations shared their insights and collaborated on projects, they would be able to achieve so much more than they could on their own. Just imagine what all of those groups could manage if they all worked together towards a common goal!

 I have also learnt a lot about the many resources that are available for educators to use in teaching people about sustainability. There are a wide variety of interesting videos, games, books, lesson plans and other materials covering a range of topics. There is actually a very broad pool of useful resources. This showed me that the content is all there; the only hard part is to find it, which is where SEEd comes in! This led me to realise how useful SEEd’s website is; it provides a way to find these various resources in one place, making the educator’s job much easier and allowing schools to further ESD without requiring too much hassle.

Working at SEEd has also given me valuable knowledge about the running of NGOs, and what makes them successful. Unfortunately, my time at SEEd has now come to an end – but I have learnt a lot from my time here! The experience has been brilliant, and has inspired me to further my interest in sustainability. SEEd has shown me that even small NGOs can make a large difference, and achieve real change!

 Sophie Pike

SEEd summer intern