Hana Brierley is the Founder and CEO of Cut The Mustard Club, a not-for-profit CIC that offers inclusive outdoor experiences for children. Cut the Mustard Club inspires disadvantaged and socially marginalised young people to find their spark by inviting them to take part in outdoor extra-curricular activities. Hana wants to focus on wellbeing through nature by encouraging youngsters to participate in healthy recreational pursuits. It has been proven that green environments reduce levels of depression and anxiety and enhance our quality of life. However, access to green spaces varies depending on socioeconomic background. The most economically deprived families have fewer opportunities to reap the benefits of time spent outdoors and this is contributing to rising levels of mental and physical health problems in young people. For the typical British young person, less than 5% of their time is spent outdoors. Access to nature holds infinite possibilities; children gain cognitive, emotional, physical benefits as well as an increased ability to concentrate, improved academic performance, reduced stress and aggression and reduced risk of obesity.
The Shackleton Award will enable Cut The Mustard Club to pay for start-up costs associated with renting land and purchasing gardening equipment. The first project for school groups to take part will begin in January 2022, at an organic nursery in South Gloucestershire. Participants will learn more about nature through a series of bespoke workshops where they will be taught many skills such as how to plant, prune, hoe, nurture and grow plants. Hana hopes this project will have a long-term impact on all young people who embark on a journey with Cut The Mustard Club, enabling them to discover, grow and achieve.