Young people making waves to inspire positive environmental change in Hull
The project will help address the specific environmental concerns raised by young people living in coastal, river and estuary communities.
These areas are likely to be severely affected by climate change and are experiencing floods, raised sea levels and coastal erosion as well as challenges for people, coastal economies and local industry.
Evidence suggests that despite living in proximity to the ocean, many deprived coastal communities do not feel welcome in these blue spaces or connected to their immediate environments.
The Scheme aims to remove barriers to accessing the outdoors, while helping young people create deep, lasting and meaningful connections to the natural environment via their local coasts and rivers by giving them a voice to make a change in their community, and for the planet.
This has all been made possible by the project being match funded through The Ernest Cook Trust and the #iwill Fund.
The #iwill Fund is thanks to £50 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities.
By bringing together funders from across different sectors and by making sure that young people have a say in where the funding goes, the #iwill Fund is taking a collaborative approach, working with a group of organisations who all contribute to embed meaningful social action into the lives of young people.
Ambitious plans to improve the environment in and around the Humber Estuary in Hull will be spearheaded by young people, thanks to a new scheme which has brought funding into the area.
Child Dynamix was among 22 charities to successfully bid for funding from the Blue Influencers Scheme, and is being awarded £20,000 a year for three years.
The grant will help pay for the employment of a Blue Mentor whose role is to recruit young people to become ‘Blue Influencers’. These young people, aged 10 to 14, with the support of their Blue Mentor, will create and run social action schemes to improve the environment of their schools, neighbourhoods and communities.
The Blue Influencers Scheme is a ground breaking project from UK outdoor education charity The Ernest Cook Trust, with the ambition to support young people from underserved communities and those living in deprived coastal, estuary and riverside locations, by empowering them to tackle environmental and climate issues.
The £2.25 million Scheme is being match-funded by The Ernest Cook Trust and the #iwill Fund, and will run for three years. Its ambition is to engage more than 4,000 young people as ‘Blue Influencers’, as well as over 15,000 community members across England.
The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £66 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. The Ernest Cook Trust is acting as a match funder and awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund.
The Scheme is entirely youth-led, and even the selection of Child Dynamix, along with 21 other registered charities, was made by The Ernest Cook Trust’s Youth Advisory Board, made up entirely of young people aged 14-21. Additional funds up to £5,000 will also be available for specific projects, and it will again be the Youth Advisory Board members who approve these awards.
Ed Ikin, Chief Executive of the Ernest Cook Trust, said the Blue Influencers Scheme would lead the way in empowering young people to take action.
“Young people are often the most passionate about the environment and are very aware of the issues we face with climate change. The Blue Influencers Scheme will give them the funding, platform and tools they need to make positive changes to benefit their entire community” Ed Ikin, The Ernest Cook Trust
“We were pleased to select Child Dynamix to join the Blue Influencers Scheme and are excited to see just what the young people come up with. Having delivered similar projects in the past, we have a fantastic network of schools and organisations already waiting to get involved in Blue Influencers across the city of Hull – and alongside them, countless of inspiring young people wanting to get stuck in and make a positive change to their community. Positioned where we are, near the coast and on the banks of the Humber, Hull has an incredible natural diversity, but it is also at great risk of flooding due to climate change. Our Blue Influencers will aim to develop a greater understanding and raise awareness through a variety of youth-led activities and local action”.
“We are currently in the recruitment phase to bring our Blue Mentor on board and, following on from our previous successes under the Green Influencer Scheme, we are really excited for the opportunities this project will bring, and together, what we will achieve in the months and years ahead.” Suzy Rowe, ChildDynamix
The Ernest Cook Trust
A national charity whose sole objective is education. It offers children and young people the chance to learn from the land through hands-on outdoor learning activities. The Trust places education at its very heart by offering children and young people a chance to connect with nature and to take action on the environment in a meaningful and positive way.
The Trust awards around £2m per year in grants based on relevance and impact against organisational objectives. Grants are given to schools or charitable organisations for activities in the UK with a particular focus on areas where there are fewer opportunities to experience the outdoors.
As a host organisation, Child Dynamix’s has a Blue Mentor Suzanne Rowe. Suzanne is committed to providing inspirational outdoor activities and educational opportunities for young people, especially those young people who may not normally experience the outdoors.
Green Influencing in the community
Having run the Green Influencers Scheme for the last three years, we are now launching the Blue Influencers Scheme as its successor, below are some case studies from the Green Influencer work our Lead Nature Ranger completed in primary schools and academies.
We have a skilled and experienced team of Youth and Community Practitioners and Green Mentors who are able to support the development of Green Influencers in youth centres and schools. If you are from Hull and have an idea for an environmental project but you’re not sure how to get started or you’re a teacher from a school who has a number of pupils who would benefit from this type of project contact us and we may be able to help.