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Green Influencers heads to Marsden & recently secures £5,000 grant!

As part of Woodcraft Folk’s Green Influencers project – which focuses on encouraging young people to engage in youth social and climate action and connect with the outdoors – Elaine (the charity’s Green Mentor), took a youth group on a very special day trip to the Pennines over the Easter break.

20 young people from the Breaking Down Barriers Youth Group based in Harehills, Leeds, went to Marsden by bus and train to go canoeing with the Canal and River Trust and to try some litter picking and hiking.

The trip was a big adventure for many in the group as some of the youngsters hadn’t been on a train before. There were refugees in the group and a mix of different ethnicities and cultures so the day offered the opportunity for the young people to get to know each other in a new environment and make memories in nature together.

The group took part in two engaging sessions. One group connected with nature through hiking, tree climbing and den building where they noticed how different the air tasted in Marsden from the city! The other group took part in a session with the Canal and River Trust, where they went out on the water exploring in big canoes and tried their best to keep dry!

Elaine, Woodcraft Folk Green Mentor says:

“It can really difficult for disadvantaged young people to spend time in green spaces so it was very special for the members of the group to have a day out. Lots of new friendships were made, new experiences were had and everyone gained lots of confidence and canoe skills”.

Green Influencers is over half way through it’s two year programme and joins 36 other host organisations to form the Ernest Cook #iwill Green Influencers Scheme. Together, they seek to support and engage young people (10-14 years) in participating in green social projects.

It has been a busy few months for the Green Influencer scheme which has seen the young people involved making sea art from recycled materials, Richmond Hill students contacted their local MP about environment issues and youngsters from Co-op Academy Grange, travelled to horticulture business Dawndew, to learn about growing food and running a business. Elaine has also recently found out that the Green Influencers scheme has secured a £5,000 grant from The Ernest Cook Trust which will see youth participants aged 10-11 years from Breaking Down Barriers, designing and making a peace garden for their local community with help from community garden charity, Hyde Park Source.

You can follow the Green Influencers adventures on social media via platforms Instagram and Twitter.

The Green Influencers Scheme is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport are each investing £25 million seed funding to create the #iwill Fund. The Ernest Cook Trust is acting as a match funder and awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund. The Co-op Academy school projects are also being supported by match funding from Keelings (

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