At NILE we are committed to minimising the impact of our activities on the environment. Our Green policy sets out our objectives and the individual measures we are taking to achieve them.

One of our aims - to engage in local, national and global community efforts to minimise climate change - has propelled us to team up with The Papillon Project, a local organisation that works with students and teachers at Norfolk secondary schools to set up allotment projects, growing plants and vegetables.

We were particularly drawn to this educational charity due to its role in promoting sustainable living and environmental awareness for young people, with the added benefits of teaching them valuable life skills, improving their mental health and engaging local communities.

This summer at NILE we were twice visited by the founder of the Papillon Project, former secondary school history teacher Matt Willer, who gave some inspiring talks to our course participants (language teachers from around the world), about the charity’s journey from inception to its current status as working with over a quarter of Norfolk secondary schools!

Matt’s talks particularly emphasized the importance of community participation and empowerment, and the economical practice of reusing and upcycling materials, as being key factors in the sustainability of such projects.

The teachers were also invited to participate in the project’s international exchange programme, which links Norfolk schools with those overseas to share about what they are growing, and their approach to their respective school allotments.

In light of all of this, we are delighted to announce that, for every course participant that travels to Norwich by plane or other non-environmentally friendly modes of transport, NILE has committed to donating to the Papillon Project.

Our donations so far have helped to provide materials such as seeds, small plants, compost and gardening gloves, as well as contributing towards the salary of a newly employed apprentice - a much needed pair of green-fingered hands as the charity’s scope grows.

We hope that our donations will go some way to contributing to offsetting NILE’s environmental impact.


How are our donations having an impact?

UPDATE, March 2024:  We're very happy to hear that our donation from the last quarter is going towards Cocoon boxes, which Poppy and Harriet have been filling with plants, potatoes, seeds and other gifts for the schools to start going after Easter. It sounds like a brilliant team effort between the staff and volunteers whilst Matt is on paternity leave.

UPDATE, September 2023: It's great to hear that the funding will go towards the charity's work next term - Matt is going to help 3 schools in the Great Yarmouth area, whilst the expanding team of growers - Harriet, Graeme and Poppy -will be supporting all the other schools around Norfolk. Thanks to Matt for the 2 brilliant and inspiring talks he did for our teachers this summer.

UPDATE, May 2023: We're delighted to hear that Matt and Poppy have just put together this year's Cocoon boxes, and that our contributions have helped with the cost of these.

UPDATE, March 2023: Our donations will be put towards the new spring growing season; they will send schools a Cocoon Box, containing seed potatoes, seeds, small plants, children's gardening gloves and a second-hand gardening book, at around Easter time to get the students off to a good growing start. It sounds like an exciting time to have a school garden project!

UPDATE, November 2022: A new apprentice has joined the Papillon Project, so our donations have been put towards their salary. Welcome Poppy!

UPDATE, July 2022: The Papillon Project have reported that our donations have helped pay for materials on school allotments over the spring and summer. This covered seeds, small plants, compost and gardening gloves.

Find out more about The Papillon Project:

Contact Miriam Anderson, NILE’s Green representative and Student Support Officer,