By Dr Caroline Jessel
The greatest challenges the world currently faces are the climate and biodiversity emergencies. The work of Dandelion Time reconnects children and their families with nature and enables them, as part of therapeutic healing, to develop a new relationship with nature and with each other based on respect and a deeper understanding of mutual interdependence.
Our children are our future. Dandelion Time exists to give children a more hopeful future. Their future, along with the future of all living things, is at grave risk from Climate Change. We know that we only have just over 10 years to make major changes in the way we live to secure a viable future. The past few weeks have seen unprecedented wildfires in the Amazon, a devastating hurricane in the Bahamas, record ice melting in Greenland and a record drought in Australia. Climate change is happening now.
In recent months children all over the world have been on strike from school on Fridays, inspired by a teenage girl, Greta Thunberg. She invited adults everywhere to join the strike on 20 September.
Dandelion Time joined the movement to raise awareness of the urgent need for change throughout society. However, we didn’t down tools for a whole day. Why? Because we believe that our work is helping to address the climate crisis. Firstly, our therapeutic approach is founded on respect and nurture of the natural environment. We have thought deeply about the importance of nature in our lives and manage our land and animals in accordance with the best current advice to promote soil health, biodiversity and protect natural processes. We have always been conscious of the need to minimise use of fossil fuels, having installed a biomass boiler and multiple energy saving adaptations. We also recycle assiduously and produce excellent compost from our organic waste. We eat mainly our own or very locally sourced produce and source ethically everything we buy.
Having now supported over 1,000 families to make changes in their lives to improve resilience and recover from trauma, we know that re-connection with nature has played a vital role in their return to a more hopeful future. Each one of these families will now have a greater appreciation of the role that nature plays in their lives and will be more likely to fight in whatever way they can to save it from destruction.