Starling Bank will exclusively sponsor National Trust’s nationwide ‘Summer of Play’ programme. The three-year partnership will see an estimated 1 million people benefit from improved access to nature.
Around 6,000 school children will take part a year in nature workshops, which are aimed at improving young people’s access to and connection with nature, taking place across more than 157 National Trust locations. Free individual day passes to National Trust sites will be redeemed through Starling Bank’s refer-a-friend scheme, offering new audiences the chance to visit a property or place in the care of the National Trust.
The partnership will benefit adults as well as children and young people. After 95 per cent of adults stated that accessing nature is important to their mental health, it is clear that improving this access for those who face barriers is critical.
Funding from Starling Bank will also be used to deliver projects that help halt the decline in wildlife and protect our wild landscapes. Projects include taking action to restore peatlands in the UK, with the aim of restoring up to 37.5 hectares of peat over three years.
Currently, 80 per cent of UK peatlands are in a degraded state but these hugely important environments provide a rich and diverse home to rare and threatened wildlife, represent one of our most important terrestrial carbon stores, and play a vital role in water regulation and flood management.
‘A sustainable future on a thriving planet’
Victoria Floyd, head of corporate partnerships at the National Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be launching this partnership with Starling Bank. Corporate Partnerships are a hugely valuable income stream for charities like ours, enabling us to deliver more in partnership than we ever could alone. Together we will restore vital peatlands, help children and young people both enjoy and learn how to protect the natural world around them and enable Starling customers to explore the places in our care.
“As Britain’s first digital bank, Starling believes in a sustainable future on a thriving planet, something that is core to our work here at the National Trust. We’re excited to work with Starling over the next three years to deliver on this shared ambition, protecting and improving access to nature, beauty and history for everyone, forever.”
Rachel Kerrone, brand and marketing director at Starling Bank, said: “Starling Bank is committed to doing its part in looking after the planet, from sustainable packaging and recycled debit cards to having eco-friendly offices.
“We’re on a mission to carbon neutrality, and our partnership with the National Trust means we can invest in more sustainability projects across the UK, such as restoring peat – one of the most important terrestrial carbon stores.
“We’re also passionate about our programme to bring nature to children facing barriers to access, whether that’s because of low-income backgrounds, having additional needs or living in highly urban areas. Finally, working with the National Trust we’re opening up many historic places and green spaces in its care to our customers through our refer-a-friend scheme.”