Our Bright Future
Our Bright Future is an ambitious and innovative partnership led by The Wildlife Trusts, which brings together the youth and environmental sectors. This £33 million programme funded by the National Lottery through The National Lottery Community Fund is formed of 31 projects across the UK. Each project is helping young people aged 11-24 gain vital skills and experience and improve their wellbeing. At the same time, they act as catalysts for delivering change for their local environment and community; whilst contributing to a greener economy.
What's different about this programme?
Youth led: Young people selected the projects. Youth representatives sit on the Steering Group. Each project has representatives on our Youth Forum, who help to shape the direction of the programme.
The programme is greater than the sum of its parts: Knowledge sharing and learning between the 31 projects is encouraged and regular networking is a key part of the programme.
Robust evidence: An independently commissioned evaluation is taking place. The good practise and lessons learnt will form the evidence base to challenge decision makers across the UK and stimulate new thinking.
The 31 projects
Ranging in scale, from a local focus to a national level, the Our Bright Future projects are based around the following key themes:
- Environmental action
- Environmental campaigning
- Vocational training
- Sustainable enterprises
- Youth leadership and influencing opportunities
The projects are led by a variety of delivery partners from the youth and environmental sectors. Eight of them are Wildlife Trusts:
- Cornwall Wildlife Trust (Your Shore Beach Rangers)
- North Wales Wildlife Trust (Our Wild Coast)
- Shropshire Wildlife Trust (Growing Confidence)
- Ulster Wildlife (Grassroots Challenge)
- Avon Wildlife Trust and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (Natural Estates)
- The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside (Myplace)
- Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (Tomorrow's Natural Leaders)
- Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (Milestones)
What is Our Bright Future campaigning for?
More than 300 young people answered the question; ‘If you could change one thing for you and the environment, what would this be?’ The three key changes from the responses are around the following themes:
Ask 1: more time spent learning in and about nature
Ask 2: support to get into environmental jobs
Ask 3: Government, employers, businesses, schools and charities to pay more attention to the needs to young people and the environment’
Based on these themes; Our Bright Future is calling for Government to:
- produce guidance to schools stating that at least an hour of lesson time per day should be spent outdoors
- fund a new Future Jobs scheme that would allow the environmental sector to support young people into environmental conservation, horticulture and other careers
- appoint a Minster for Youth to coordinate Government work to support young people and help them engage with politics
- introduce a Youth Advisory Board in every Government department
- remove barriers to youth engagement, for example by increasing accessibility of consultations