Countershade Community Interest Company is a new Social Enterprise based in Birmingham/Sandwell, West Midlands, but who work nationally.
We teach environmental awareness through a process of Art Education.
We engage with communities as small groups or individuals by hosting public as well as private events. We work in schools and cover many areas of the curriculum. We also host corporate events and can help companies form their Corporate Social Responsibility policies.
Countershade CIC is the vision of Creative Director Stephen Whitehead, whose work as an artist, educator and environmentalist brings together Art and Ecology to create unique and inspirational projects.
The primary function of our work is to develop and deliver questioning and creative educational projects and events, dealing with environmental concerns and our relationship to nature.
These enquiries will reflect and support scientifically based educational information. However our practical creative approach is specifically designed to increase the participants' personal empathy and relationship with nature and not just increase their academic knowledge. It will therefore be creatively based. We will also collaborate with other arts, educational and environmental organizations to deliver work and to extend the time-scale, sustainability and benefits of the work.
The outcome for participants is that they will have a greater understanding of their impact on the environment and relationship with nature. The aim is not only attitudinal change but measurable behavioural change.
The secondary activity of the charity is to use "Green diplomacy" to develop links and understanding between different communities across Europe.
The cross-cultural exchanges will involve communities, individuals and N.G.O.s across Europe sharing their involvement in the projects and events. The activities will have particular emphasis and draw inspiration from the issues involved in the conservation of the European Greenbelt and support the communities in the 24 countries that share the borderland.
The outcome for participants is that they will have an opportunity to build long-term relationships with communities in other countries, gain a greater understanding of the cultural and ecological diversity and interrelatedness of Europe and will be able learn from others best practise,- developing a common green cultural link.
In addition to process based and personal work of participants and in furtherance of the aforementioned objects, but not otherwise, the charity may undertake the following initiatives:
Participation will be open to all individuals, groups and communities in geographical Europe, but with its main priority the countries and regions of the European Greenbelt. Groups of social and economic disadvantage will be prioritised where funds permit.
All activities of the charity will be designed and executed to minimise its carbon footprint; e.g. All travel, where possible, will be on public transport. Care will be taken on the type and quantity of materials used on any activity.