Young people in Leicester will be inspired to follow in Greta Thunberg’s footsteps thanks to funding from The Ernest Cook Trust national educational charity.
Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust has received funding to support the employment of a 'Green Mentor' who will enable young people to lead the way as ‘Green Influencers’ on social action projects in their communities.
The pioneering Green Influencers Scheme is a project match-funded through the #iwill Fund, which is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and Department of Culture, Media & Sport who are each investing £25million seed funding to support young people to access high-quality social action opportunities.
Young people from across Leicester and the surrounding areas, aged 10 to 14-years-old will be encouraged to become Green Influencers. They will work together, to action a wide range of measures that protect and enhance the local environment and tackle climate change. The scheme will give young people an opportunity to create meaningful and long-lasting connections with the environment, whilst learning through hands-on outdoor activities.
Hannah Keys who will take on the role of the Green Mentor for Leicester, said:
"We were delighted to receive the funding from The Ernest Cook Trust which will enable us to help and inspire young people from across Leicester to support their communities with environmental projects.”
“It is a great opportunity to empower young people and promote effective and sustainable youth social action. We are excited about the future because we know this will make a real difference to our communities.”
Over the next two years, under the Green Influencers Scheme, The Ernest Cook Trust will pay Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust £18,000 annually to fund the Green Mentor post. They will also kick-start the programme with further financial support to ensure they instigate lasting change right across their communities.
The Ernest Cook Trust has awarded grants worth a total of £720,000 to 36 host organisations, which will ensure the young environmental activists will be at the forefront of youth social action projects that will benefit schools and communities across England.
Dr Victoria Edwards OBE, Chief Executive of The Ernest Cook Trust, said:
“The Ernest Cook Trust’s new funding programme will empower young people in Leicester to follow in Greta’s footsteps and positively engage in environmental social action projects. The pandemic has a huge impact on the communities the Trust supports but by campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, the Green Influencers will create long-lasting benefits for everyone.”
The initiative also gives participants a valuable opportunity to develop leadership skills. Nine people aged 14 to 20 are members of the Scheme’s Youth Advisory Board. They have steered strategic decision-making and will help select grant awards for Green Influencers projects.
For information about the Green Influencers Scheme visit The Ernest Cook Trust website.