Young people in Cornwall will soon have the opportunity to step up and create what is rightfully theirs: a healthy planet, a thriving economy and a brighter future, thanks to £1 million of funding from the Big Lottery Fund for Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Your Shore Beach Ranger Project. And the work starts now, as the charity is calling for young people to get involved and design their project logo.
Three months on from the Paris climate change agreement, the Big Lottery Fund is investing £33 million in more than 30 organisations to inspire and develop the next generation of environmental leaders. Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Your Shore Beach Rangers Project is one of these, receiving £1 million to work within Cornish coastal communities and with young people over the next five years, part of the Big Lottery Funds Our Bright Future movement.
Our Bright Future aims to tackle three big challenges facing society today; a lack of social cohesion, a lack of opportunities for young people, and vulnerability to climate change. Thirty one youth led projects across the UK are each receiving around £1m of funding to give young people the skills and knowledge to improve their local environments – from reducing marine pollution to minimising food waste. In doing so, young people will develop the confidence and resilience to become environmental leaders and influence decisions at local and national levels. This young, ambitious and capable movement is ensuring this generation’s voice is heard in the current debates around environmental improvements and a resource efficient economy.
In Cornwall, Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Your Shore Beach Rangers Project, working in partnership with Cornwall College, will be creating and supporting a network of local marine groups around the county where there is a need to foster better support for marine conservation in those areas, whilst also focussing specifically on young people by recruiting 180 Beach Rangers (local people aged 16 -24) to become active and long term members of Cornwall’s Marine Conservation Group cluster.
To achieve this the project will be running hundreds of events over the next five years, so that by 2020 we have engaged with nearly 2,500 school children, over 10,000 community members, and have successfully set up at least 12 vibrant community marine conservation groups from Bude to Penzance, Falmouth to Looe. As a result, people of all ages and abilities will have an increased understanding about our fantastic marine environment and be in a better position to protect it, whilst a network of young people will have improved their skill sets, in education and life, to enable them to progress into the future and become leading voices in this county on our environment.
Abby Crosby, Marine Conservation Officer at Cornwall Wildlife Trust says: “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. And here in Cornwall we need young people to start right now, by designing their own Your Shore Beach Rangers project logo to take this project into the future.”
The Trust are calling on young people, aged 11 – 24, to take part in their competition to design the project logo. Deadline for the competition is 18th April 2016, with entries being judged via social media. The winners’ logo will be used on all project material over the five years of the project.
But Our Bright Future goes a lot further than the impressive impacts seen by these individual projects. The programme is gathering strong evidence about how we can 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 Our Bright Future 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.
Dr Mark Nason, Head of Cornwall College Newquay says: “Our Bright Future represents a unique opportunity to enthuse and inspire a generation of young people in Cornwall and support them in developing the skills they need to thrive in the workplace. It does so through the environment, creating courageous and wise leaders empowered to change their circumstances and our world for the better.”