Entertainment stars donate prizes to fund new nature project

Press release
Friends of the Earth launches #BringBackNature competition to help fund an innovative programme to create vibrant green spaces in nature-deprived communities
  Published:  07 Jun 2023    |      3 minute read
  • The Co-operative Bank has already pledged £25,000 in match-funding to boost donations to the prize draw to kick off a multi-year partnership with Friends of the Earth

Music, sport and TV stars – including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Sir Andy Murray and Phoebe Waller-Bridge – are donating exclusive prizes to raise money for the expansion of the Postcode Gardeners project, an innovative scheme to restore biodiversity in the country’s most nature-deprived communities.

Research from Friends of the Earth finds that 1 in 5 people in England live in nature-deprived areas, including a staggering 1.6 million children under the age of 12. 

The Postcode Gardeners project was developed to increase access to nature in urban areas, and the health and wellbeing benefits it brings. The initiative matches professional gardeners with communities to support people to connect with each other and transform where they live, by sowing wildflowers, creating wildlife corridors, planting vegetables and bringing nature back to neglected public areas.

Following successful pilots of the Postcode Gardener scheme in Hackney, Bideford and Chester, the environmental group is launching its #BringBackNature prize draw. Hosted by Crowdfunder, the prize draw will help to scale up the scheme and fund vital work to connect communities, improve people’s health and wellbeing, and protect our planet.

Launching today (7 June), the prize draw features some of the UK’s biggest names in sport and entertainment, who have generously donated ‘money can’t buy’ prizes. From signed tennis gear from Sir Andy Murray to a Let it Be box set signed by Sir Paul McCartney, stars are coming together to support some of the UK’s most nature-deprived communities.

Pop icon Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who has donated a jumpsuit that she wore to her much-loved kitchen discos during lockdown, said:

‘‘As a parent, I have been lucky enough to see first-hand the positive impact that being out in nature can have on kids. Some of my fondest memories growing up were when I was out and about playing outside, and it's heart-breaking to think that so many children are unable to have such experiences.

''I'm so happy to be part of Friends of the Earth's prize draw, and I hope my kitchen disco outfit raises much needed funds, to help many families create new memories, whilst helping their local wildlife to thrive.''

Fans of TV cult classics Line of Duty and Fleabag will be excited to hear that they can donate to be in with a chance of winning scripts and books signed by their creators, Jed Mercurio and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

There are also prizes on offer from some of the UK’s most loved musicians. Radiohead’s famous OK Computer album cover art print created by Stanley Donwood is available to win, and a working synth used for Hot Chip’s early albums could become a prized possession for any budding musicians out there.

Supported by Friends of the Earth and The Co-operative Bank, Postcode Gardeners will work street-by-street to green their neighbourhood and bring communities together to transform where they live.

Miriam Turner, Co-Executive Director at Friends of the Earth, said:

“We’re thrilled to have so many exciting prizes on offer and so thankful to all the artists and sport stars who have donated to our Crowdfunder to support Friends of the Earth’s work.

“Our Postcode Gardeners project has huge potential to bring back nature and restore biodiversity in urban areas. This neighbourhood-level initiative is not only about supporting plants and wildlife to flourish, it also has the power to reconnect communities, bring back the magic of nature for children and improve local people’s health and wellbeing for generations to come.”  

Nick Slape, Chief Executive Officer at The Co-operative Bank, said:

“We’re proud to support this Crowdfunder and the wider Bring Back Nature campaign. It’s great to see so many celebrities offering such amazing prizes, it shows a passion for nature that is widespread.

“We’re committed to taking steps to reverse the decline in biodiversity, and with the support of our colleagues, customers and all who support this Crowdfunder, we will create meaningful change in communities across the UK together.”  

Be in with a chance of winning by donating just £2 https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bring-back-nature.


Notes to editors:

Images of the Postcode Gardeners projects and prizes are available on request.

Postcode Gardeners projects are co-created by communities and professional gardeners. By rolling out the scheme in communities across the country, Friends of the Earth hopes to provide a long-term, financially sustainable solution to maintain urban greenery and reconnect people with nature and each other. By combining gardening at a ‘postcode level’, providing expert advice from professional gardeners and involving communities and young people, it’s hoped the green spaces will thrive for generations to come. 

*Full list of prizes:

  • Sir Paul McCartney – personally signed Let it Be vinyl box set
  • Sir Brian May – signed photo and copy of his book, Queen in 3-D: Bohemian Rhapsody Edition
  • Fred Again – a pair of tickets to see Fred Again headline Connect Festival
  • Lewis Capaldi – a pair of tickets for Lewis’ sold out Edinburgh gig on 1 September.
  • Jed Mercurio – signed Line of Duty script: series 1 episode 1 ‘A Disastrous Affair’.
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge – signed book: ‘Fleabag: The Scriptures’
  • Stanley Donwood – exclusive artwork print of Radiohead’s Ok Computer album
  • Hot Chip – Casiotone 405 synth used for all of the band’s early albums
  • Arsenal FC – football signed by full 22/23 men’s first team squad
  • Sir Andy Murray – signed tennis shirt
  • Russell Howard – a pair of tickets to Russell’s sold-out Birmingham show
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor – jumpsuit worn to her iconic kitchen discos during lockdown
  • Laura Mvula – signed Pink Noise vinyl  
  • Valley Fest – a pair of festival tickets
  • Starry Skies – 2 adult and 3 kids festival tickets
  • Shambala Festival – a pair of festival tickets

Prize Draw Terms & Conditions are available here.