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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Dales trust leads partnership to inspire tomorrow's green leaders

A Dales conservation charity has been chosen as a key partner in a major national campaign to inspire and develop the next generation of environmental leaders.

A group of youngsters learn the traditional art
of dry stone walling in the Dales.
The Big Lottery Fund is investing £33m in more than 30 organisations to launch a five-year Our Bright Future campaign to tackle climate change, social cohesion problems and a lack of opportunities for young people. The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust will lead a partnership of young local people and organisations across the area.

The move is announced today (Tuesday 15 March), three months after the Paris climate change agreement.

The Yorkshire Dales is receiving £820,000 from the Big Lottery Fund for Green Futures,a five year programme that will support and develop environmental opportunities for young people across the region.
The Green Futures partnership aims to enthuse and inspire 4000 young people, aged 11- 24, to connect with their Yorkshire Dales and its catchment. A range of initiatives will raise awareness of environmental issues, develop knowledge and skills, and provide exciting hands-on opportunities for young people to get involved and make positive environmental changes, now and in the future.

Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust programme manager Gail Smith said: “Through Green Futures we hope to engage, empower and support young people, to help them connect with their local environment. By providing practical opportunities, information and leadership skills we hope to inspire a new generation of green role models in communities across the region, who are well equipped to face environmental challenges in the future.”

On a national level, Our Bright Future is gathering strong evidence about how to support the development of the environment and young people using a resource efficient and sustainable green economy. More than a hundred organisations are contributing to the wider movement by sharing evidence, learning and knowledge which will soon start to inform the choices made at local, regional, and national levels in the UK.

Our Bright Future is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and run by a consortium of eight organisations which is led by The Wildlife Trusts. The partnership has more than 40 years of combined experience in managing social and environmental grant programmes totalling nearly £300 million, and has a proven track record of working with and empowering young people in communities of all social circumstances.

Stephanie Hilbornem chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: "Our Bright Future is an innovative movement for change. The programme supports young people to develop the skills needed to thrive in the workplace and it does so through the environment. We want to see a generation of courageous and wise leaders empowered to change our world for the better.”

Peter Ainsworth, chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “The environment is where we live. Our Bright Future is designed to unleash the ambition of young people across the UK to make a personal and collective contribution to making our environment brighter, happier and more resilient to threats like climate change and the waste of natural resources.

“This initiative over the next seven years aims to join up the social, economic and environmental benefits that will come from enabling young people to shape their own future and others that follow them.”

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