Woodcraft Folk are pleased to join 40 other organisations in the Ernest Cook #iwill Green Influencers Scheme. The project launched in January 2021 supporting young people ( aged 10-14) to run their own green social projects in Leeds and Bradford.
The Green Influencers Scheme is about helping young people realise their potential to positively impact the environment through youth social action.
In 2021 Elaine Brown our Green Mentor worked with over 90 young people or Green Influencers. In Leeds with Rosebank Primary School (Burley), Co-op Academy Nightingale (Harehills), Richmond Hill Academy (Richmond Hill), IntoUniversity Leeds East (Harehills) and IntoUniversity Leeds South (Beeston) and in Bradford Co-op Academy Grange and we look forward to working with Co-op Academy Southfield soon.
There were many different projects from making air pollution detectors, bird feeders, seed bombs, bulb planting, litter picking to a trip to a microgreens farm to learn about sustainable food and where our food comes from and litter picking on the beach and writing to and interviewing local MPs about climate change and local sustainability problems.
This helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn new skills, spend time outdoors and gain experience and confidence as they take action on the issues important to them.
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. We also received extra funding from Keelings (fruit growers) and Westlands (peat free compost).
Woodcraft Folk are really happy to announce that the Green Influencer scheme has been extended by 6 months meaning that Elaine Brown our Green Mentor will be able to engage lots more young
people in youth social action and connect to nature.
In the summer the Green Influencers in Leeds was very busy. We were lucky enough to be
awarded with £10,000 of extra funding from the Ernest Cook Trust to help the young people
achieve their green action projects.
In 2022 the Green Influencers at Coop Academy Grange were awarded £5000 to create a new school garden (the school has never had one). They planned their garden, came up with ideas for the funding application and then with the help of Hyde Park Source (a local community gardening charity) they built their school a beautiful garden with a tent for reading, balance beams to play on and lots of raised beds for vegetables and flowers. They also had financial support from Keelings (a food producer for Co-op) to fill the garden with plants to connect children to where food comes from.
The other big project from the summer of 2022 was with Breaking Down Barriers a cross community youth group in East Leeds who planned a built a community garden on a derelict concrete yard with £5000 of funding from the Ernest Cook Trust and support from Hyde Park Source on how to create a brand new garden. The group worked over the hottest days of August to transform the space and had a fantastic community garden opening with lots of brilliant feedback on how the garden can be used as a community hub.
Elaine has now worked with around 160 young Green Influencers and is getting started on
working with Co-op Academy Beckfield in Bradford in the Autumn of 2022.