Posted By:
Self Help Africa

9th Feb 2022

An initiative spearheaded by development charity, Self Help Africa Northern Ireland, that could remove more than 20 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year for decades to come, has taken root with the first 14 trees of an ambitious target of one million being planted in St Columb’s Park, Derry~Londonderry.

Denny Elliott, Head of Self Help Africa Northern Ireland, was joined in the tree planting by Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke; a group of services users from Praxis Care and staff from Foods Connected.

Speaking about the initiative, Denny said: “A tree planted anywhere helps people everywhere and I’m delighted that we are starting to plant the growth of this initiative right here in my hometown.

“This campaign provides businesses across the Province with the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint in a cost effective way with their investment in trees also benefiting rural poor households in Africa.

“For a development charity working in agriculture, tree planting has always played an important part in the work, as trees are a key part of the mix of activities on small-farms, where they provide a source of food, income and much more.”

Alderman Graham Warke, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: “This is a fantastic initiative from Self Help Africa which will have huge positive benefits for our environment and I’m excited to be involved in the planting of the first trees here in St Columb’s Park.”

Natalie Thorpe, Marketing Manager of Foods Connected, said: “Foods Connected is overjoyed to partner with Self Help Africa Northern Ireland in facilitating the planting of trees at St Columb’s Park. A core thread of Foods Connected ethos lies in sustainability and service, giving back to our local communities. We are committed to reducing carbon emissions and doing good for our community. Therefore partnering with Self Help Africa Northern Ireland on this tree planting initiative allows us to accelerate our targets and offset our carbon emissions. This is something that as a team we are incredibly passionate about and proud of.”

Speaking about helping plant trees in St Columb’s Park with self Help Africa Northern Ireland, Rosemary Doherty of Praxis Care, said: “The service users at Praxis Care CONNECTS Service were so moved by the Self Help Africa Northern Ireland presentation that they wanted to do something to help the environment. Inspired by Denny Elliott to do something locally, they began litter picking in St Columb’s Park. Having the opportunity to plant trees in the park and to do something in their own community is the icing on the cake. We would like to thank Self Help Africa Northern Ireland for this opportunity.”

Daniel Donnelly, Praxis Care service user said: “I’m excited about planting more trees it makes me happy to help keep the environment clean. I take part in litter picking at St Columb’s Park and this makes me feel good to be doing my bit.”

Self Help Africa Northern Ireland is seeking support from retailers, small manufacturers and other businesses to participate in the scheme which provides companies with the opportunity to offset the carbon they generate by planting trees.

If you are interested in finding out more about offsetting the carbon footprint of your business with Self Help Africa Northern Ireland, please contact Denny Elliott on tel 07799 346997, by email at or visit: