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Following a Loving Earth workshop in February, a staff member at the Aurora Centre approached us to ask whether their students could participate in the project too. With the Loving Earth Project open to all in Merton, we were delighted to welcome the participation of some of the students from the Aurora Centre in Spring 2021.

The Aurora Centre is within South Thames College Group and provides young adults with complex needs functional skills for independent living, communication and work with one of the work streams being Creative Arts, led by Sarah Amos.

As you can see, the students at the Aurora Centre have contributed significantly to the exhibition, with panels exhibiting a variety of textures, colours and techniques along with important statements and stories about how they relate to the environment.

“This project has enabled our learners to explore the wider aspects of the world and our impact on the environment around us. We have explored topics on deforestation, litter, food waste, air and sea pollution, global warming and outdoor spaces we like to enjoy with friends and family. We have learnt a wide range of skills from communicating our views to others, researching ideas using ICT, designing our textile panels on paper to create initial ideas, developing new sewing techniques and mixed media effects to create these wonderful pieces.”


“The project has allowed learners to increase their fine motor skills when sewing and grip when using scissors; it has expanded their vocabulary for colour recognition and has helped them to develop their communication skills when sharing ideas with staff and peers. Learners have been working together and individually, it has truly felt like a team collaboration across both sites of Aurora provision.”


“One of the most rewarding elements of this project is the process of creating and sewing. This process has enabled a calm and relaxing atmosphere for learners to work in, to be creative and to be proud of their achievements. As a community, we are very proud of our exhibition pieces.”

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'Sand and Rubbish' by Nathalia Edmund

I like going to the beach with Mum and Dad. I feel happy when the sky is blue and the sun is out. I really like swimming in the sea. It makes me feel sad when I see bottles and bags on the beach because it is dirty. I cannot sit on the sand. The bottles and bags go into the water, the fish think the bags are food. The fish are unwell. Put rubbish in the bin!

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'Ocean Rubbish' by Mohammed, The Aurora Centre

Pollution makes me feel bad. Fish gills get blocked and they die and I feel sad. Fish help how? We could block pollution with barriers. Turtles eat plastic bags so they have bags in their stomach, this is shocking. Some turtles can be operated on to remove the bags but everyone needs to stop throwing away plastic bags. I love watching TV about beautiful coral reefs, but they are changing from bright, colourful to grey and pale. This makes me feel shocked and sad. I have seen on TV that some people help the coral grow by moving some and helping it grow big and colourful again and I love to see the bright fish swimming near the coral. Rubbish in the ocean drops to the bottom and is eaten by the animals, we must stop throwing rubbish in the ocean.

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'Park with my sisters' by Virginia, The Aurora Centre

I like going to the park with my Mum and my sisters. I don’t like when there is rubbish left in the park. Please put your rubbish in the bin.

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'Ice Cream on the Beach' by Francesca, The Aurora Centre

The sky is blue at the seaside. The seaside makes me feel excited. The crabs make me happy. The people are putting bottles in the recycling bin. Some people leave bottles on the beach, this makes the beach look a mess. The rubbish goes into the sea, it makes me worried because the turtles are eating it. I want to be kind to you turtle, I am going to put my rubbish in the recycling bin.

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'Fire' by Otis, The Aurora Centre

The sun is burning the forests because they are starting to dry and the kangaroos are dying because of the smoke and fire. The sun is getting hotter because of global warming. I was shocked at the flaming distress everyone is causing. To help I can use clean fuel and walk happily.

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'Palm Oil' by Michael, The Aurora Centre

Palm oil comes from palm trees; palm trees come from the forest; cut down the trees with a stick; the monkey lives in the forest; the monkey is called an Orangutan; the Orangutan falls off the tree; the Orangutan could die; the trees are cut down because we want to use palm oil; palm oil is for cooking and in the foods we buy.

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'Our Future World' by Cosmin, The Aurora Centre

I like to go to the park to play football and ride my bike. I like the park to be clean.

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'A Walk in the Park' by Patrick, The Aurora Centre

I like to walk in the park to have a look at trees.

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'Finding Nemo' by Morgan, The Aurora Centre

I chose to create a picture of Nemo as I enjoy watching the film Finding Nemo.

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'Plastic in the Oceans' by Dylan, The Aurora Centre

I don’t like to see people using plastic bags. I get very worried when I watch videos of polluted lakes and oceans. I worry about the plastic pollution.

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'Our Future World' by Bobby, The Aurora Centre

It’s a big bus. I bus to College every day.

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'Our Future World' by Moses, The Aurora Centre

I draw plants around the tree in the garden. The trees help the plants to grow with people’s help too.

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'Our Future World' by Tegan, The Aurora Centre

My picture is of happy and sad fish.

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'Our Future World' by Callum, The Aurora Centre

I like to see fish in the sea. I like to swim in clean water.

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'Our Future World' by Gerta, The Aurora Centre

I like my picture. A rainbow and butterflies.

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'Swimming with the Fish' by Jamie, The Aurora Centre

I like fish and I did see a colourful fish when I went on holiday to Spain.

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'I Like Recycling' by Cecil, The Aurora Centre

When I am at College I like to tidy up. That is why I chose recycling for my art project.

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'Healthy Eating' by Danny, The Aurora Centre

I chose fruit because I like to eat fruit. I eat an apple and banana every day for my snack.

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Animals

Toby thinks that during the Lockdown it was very peaceful. There were no cars or planes. We discussed that it was good for the environment and nature not to have so many cars on the roads, because they pollute our environment.