Rooted in Woodcraft Folk’s aims and principles is nature and the environment. The charity encourages understanding, enjoyment and protection of the environment, locally and globally, and promotes responsible use of the planet’s finite resources.
Woodcraft Folk works daily to inspire the next generation to become environmental enthusiasts from supporting them to take part in climate strikes, to developing activism skills to help young people run climate action campaigns on issues they are passionate about, such as COP26 last year. The charity is also running a successful and inspirational Green Influencers programme.
Green Influencers is just over half way through it’s two year programme which 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.
Woodcraft Folk’s educational work as part of the project focuses on targeting areas across Leeds and Bradford during 2021 and 2022. More than 100 green influencers have been recruited so far.
The Scheme’s ambition is to help young people realise their potential to positively impact the environment through youth social action: habitat conservation, tree planting, litter picking and lobbying.
Young people learn new skills and gain experience and confidence as they take action on environmental issues important to them. Most recently, as part of the scheme, Woodcraft Folk took Green Influencers from Co-op Academy Grange in Bradford, to visit Meanwood Valley Urban Farm in Leeds, to learn about sustainability and the green economy as well as meet some alpacas!
Elaine Brown, Woodcraft Folk Green Mentor says:
‘These are a group where some students don’t usually get to go on school visits and to be involved in these kind of sustainable projects so we are really happy to be able to involve them with the scheme and Woodcraft Folk.
The Green Influencers Scheme aims to help young people who face social and financial barriers to realise their potential and positively impact the environment through youth social action”.
During the visit the school children met farm animals and learnt how volunteers and farmers look after them. They also worked as a team to plant saplings with deer guards, were taught about sustainable farm buildings and how the farm cleans their water with the help of plants.
Last week, Woodcraft Folk learnt of the news that they had received £5,000 in funding from the Ernest Cook Trust to create a new garden for Co-op Academy Nightingale in Harehill, Leeds. The garden will be designed and co-built by Green Inflencers who are 10-11, Woodcraft Folk and a local community garden charity called Hyde Park Source.
The Green Influencers scheme continues to work with school children from Richmond Hill Primary Academy and IntoUniverstiy, a charity that helps young disadvantaged people go to university. The scheme will also be working with Breaking Down Barriers, a cross cultural youth project to design and build a peace garden outside a community sports centre that is currently a derelict space.
This week Elaine will be attending the Green Mentor Conference.
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 (https://keelings.ie/) making the farm visit possible.