The Centre for Ecological Learning (CEL) is in a contradictory situation. On one hand, our projects are richer and more far reaching than they have ever been since we began 10 years ago. But on the other hand, the Board of Directors is considering folding the organisation due to lack of funds.
Why don’t we want to do that? Because this is what CEL does:
*Beetle Buddies – nature connection for pre-schoolers and parents
*Young Naturalist Club – nature connection for children and pre-teens
*EYE/Youth Against Plastic – nature connection camps and leadership training for teenagers
*Bellingen High School Food4LYF – gardening program for students who choose gardening as a sport
*ReWilding Eco Outings – nature connection experiences for organisations such as North Coast Settlement Services, with teenage refugee boys
*School camps – personalised for schools such as the Chrysalis Steiner School transition camp
*Waste Not Bellingen – a volunteer community group who is currently working with the Bello Winter Music festival to move towards a zero waste festival.
*Deep Ecology – community despair and empowerment workshops for adults
*Bellingen Shire Learning Alliance (BSLA) – CEL is lead partner of this network of community groups that run the Bellingen Sustainability Centre, as well as the Bellingen LeaF (Learning Festival) that runs in conjunction with Bello Winter Music.
*Coffs Coast Regional Science Hub (CCRSH) – CEL is the lead partner in this new initiative that is a network of government and community organisations from Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, and Nambucca who are working to connect the community with science for a sustainable future.
*Public Speaking and presentations – for instance, CEL mentor Andrew Turbill will be presenting at the Happiness and Its Causes Conference at the Sydney Convention Centre in June.
These initiatives involve hundreds of people each year, from all ages and from many different communities.
One of our supporters described CEL as a “many armed octopus”. This is true, but right now the octopus needs a stable head. We have estimated that if we can raise about $30,000 for 2018-2019 CEL activities and administration, this will enable us to move into the next stage of long term sustainability. In other words, we need to invest in CEL in order for it to thrive.
Over the last ten years, EYE/CEL has won more than $370,000 in grant funds – but grants have all but dried up for all environmentally or socially active organisations in the current political era. It’s a sad but true fact that we now have to rely on individuals to help groups like CEL continue our really important work in this world.
Okay – so how can you help? You can…
*Be part of the Save CEL Fundraising Group – all skill sets welcome!
*Make a donation to CEL via GiveNow – all donations are tax-deductible.
*Become a Sponsor of CEL – contact us for more details
*Spread the word…. to anyone who may want to make a donation or become a Sponsor.
*Contact us with any ideas or suggestions – we are all ears!
Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you – we are happy to answer any questions or have a chat about any of the above. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0423 362 844.
For the earth, and for the long life of CEL.
On behalf of the CEL Board of Directors.