Why BEN?

 BEN Strategy

 MC & Structure

 Offices & Staff



  What BEN will do
  Visits & activities
  Invitation to take part
  Portfolio of programmes
  Portfolio outcomes






 Annual Report

 BEN Rainbow



 BEN Publications




 Training Pack



What BEN will do

BEN will:

  • Organise taster visits for ethnic community groups that are new to the countryside as well as those that wish to learn about the wide range of destinations in the countryside and the activities that they offer
  • Offer training and support so that groups can gain the awareness and skills to run safe trips, with the Rainbow Group Award setting a standard
  • Link groups to information and funding so they can independently run programmes of outings and educational activities in the countryside and near to where they live

BEN takes the view that:

“There is no such thing as a pure environmental project.
A so-called pure environmental project is one that has neglected its social, cultural and economic context.
BEN works with an integrated approach, combining social, cultural, environmental and economic elements in all its projects”

Many groups find that outings:

  • Increase their quality of life by simply giving enjoyment
  • Improve health because so many activities are physical, and support well being because they provide social contact, particularly for isolated people
  • Provide new interests and hobbies around wildlife and nature, and stimulate young people to think about jobs in the environmental sector
  • Give a sense of adventure and a new confidence
  • Build awareness of aspects of life that link to the natural environment and their daily lives such as issues of fresh food, pollution and litter, transport, climate change, making their local environment more wildlife friendly or simpler greener and more attractive

The BEN Rainbow Site Award

The challenge for environmental and heritage organisations - a welcome in the countryside:

  • Acquire the knowledge and skills to work effectively with mainly urban based ethnic minorities
  • Provide resources and activities that are socially and culturally relevant
  • Address issues of governance and representation
  • Address organisational image
  • Work in partnership with others to acquire the resources to address barriers of the cost of equipment and transport
  • Open up opportunities for the care and protection of the countryside to release the vast missing contribution of ethnic minorities

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BEN will train and support provider organisations (organisations with natural environmental sites and programmes of activities) to gain the skills and knowledge to welcome ethnic groups to their sites and adapt activities and services according to the needs and wishes of ethnic groups. Sites that reach a good standard will be recognised with the BEN Rainbow Site Award.

The training and developmental support provided by BEN will include:

  • Facilitated contact with ethnic groups
  • Introduction to cultural awareness, and the needs and concerns of ethnic groups
  • Skills and knowledge to develop appropriate facilities and services and to build an effective working relationship with ethnic groups
  • Training will be a combination of intellectual and experiential learning through supported work with ethnic groups and ‘learning circle’ seminars that promote the sharing of good practice and reflective learning
  • Site-specific policy and infrastructure development

BEN Rainbow Site Award (draft criteria):

  1. Capacity to provide an appropriate welcome to ethnic groups
  2. Ability to adapt activities, services and facilities to respond to the social and cultural needs and wishes of ethnic groups
  3. A site-specific diversity policy, strategy and action plan
  4. Infrastructure to build and maintain a working relationship with ethnic groups

Assessment will involve the opinion of of 3 ethnic groups that have visited the site

In summary, BEN hopes to:

  • Support ethnic groups to access the full range of sites and activities on offer in the countryside
  • Create positive images of ethnic minorities as they become visible and familiar in the countryside
  • Link groups to information and activities to enjoy, learn about and care for the natural environment
  • Run the Rainbow Group Award to support and train groups to gain the knowledge, skills and resources that they need to continue organising outings and activities independently
  • Run the Rainbow Site Award to open up more and more sites that are able to welcome ethnic groups in a culturally aware way.


Introduction | What BEN will do | Visits and activities | Invitation to take part | Portfolio of programmes | Portfolio outcomes


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BEN UK Office
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LL55 4EU

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