National Star volunteer wins green award
By Sarah Wood
National Star volunteer Ade McKie has won a national green award for inspiring young people with complex disabilities to learn more about sustainability.
Ade has been named winner of the Sustainability Hero Award in the Green Impact National Awards.
The 58-year-old from Cheltenham is a familiar sight around National Star's Ullenwood campus, inspiring students and staff to engage with nature, gardening and all things sustainability.
David Ellis, chief executive at National Star, said: "Ade's enthusiasm is infectious, and we are so pleased that his efforts have received national recognition. His commitment to sustainable issues and his passion for the environment inspires the students here."
Ade started volunteering at National Star four and a half years ago. During that time, he has created a quiet area for students and worked with them to grow sunflowers and plant spring bulbs.
Passionate about sustainability, Ade has supported students to collect green waste from their raised beds to produce compost and sweep up leaves to make leaf mould. They produced 0.75 tonnes of compost last year, which was put back on the beds to increase microbial activity and return nutrients, while the leaf mould promoted mycorrhizal fungi, helped water retention, and provided food for worms.
Ade McKie said: "I have a disabled twin brother and to see what the team at National Star do every day, compared with what I saw growing up, blows my mind. The staff and students are the real heroes.
"If I can influence more people to do simple everyday actions, such as more recycling, composting, creating natural habitats and reducing the use of artificial fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, then everyone can benefit. My motto is 'nature wastes nothing, nor should we'."
For the first time, Green Impact is holding international awards, with partners in Australasia and Europe. Ade, along with other UK winners, has been shortlisted and stands a chance of winning this prestigious international award.
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