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Youth Council and Youth Campaigning Group at The Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside Wildlife Trust (LWT)

By Eleanor Lampard, Youth Advocacy Officer

Logo: The Wildlife Trusts Lancashire, Manchester & N Merseyside

About the Lancashire Wildlife Trust

We are part of the Wildlife Trusts movement, the UK's leading conservation charity dedicated to all wildlife. We are your local charity, working hard to improve your local area for wildlife and for you.

July 3rd 2021. The Youth Council’s Quarterly meeting at Brockholes Nature Reserve with Steve Garland Chair of LWT Trustee Board (Alan Wright)
July 3rd 2021. The Youth Council’s Quarterly meeting at Brockholes Nature Reserve with Steve Garland Chair of LWT Trustee Board (Alan Wright)

The Trust manages over 2,000 acres of some of the region's most precious wild places in the form of 37 nature reserves and 20 Local Nature Reserves. These provide places where wildlife can thrive and people can relax and enjoy the wealth of our natural heritage.

The LWT Youth Council

Our Youth Council is a group of young people aged 13 to 25 years old that live in Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside (LWT). They are passionate about protecting the local environment, inspiring social action and creating positive change. The Council works to build a rich and biodiverse future for our area, where nature's recovery is the priority, because as one Council member stated “Nature's future is our future.”

The Council ensures that the voices of young people are at the core of the work of Lancashire Wildlife Trust, so that we truly represent our communities. We increasingly want to see the voices and ideas of young people shine through in our work.

The Youth Council is funded through Our Bright Futures an innovative partnership led by The Wildlife Trusts which brings together 31 projects across the UK. Our Youth Council is now in its third year and is thriving.

Lunch break in the woods before Himalayan Balsam pulling (Eleanor Lampard)
Lunch break in the woods before Himalayan Balsam pulling (Eleanor Lampard)

See our page here: Youth Council | The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside (lancswt.org.uk)

What does our Youth Council do?

The Youth Council members volunteer their time to engage in several different activities to raise awareness about the challenges we face to our natural environment and how we can make a positive difference. This year the Council have been involved with:

Campaigning

  • No Mow May - encouraging land managers, councils, MPs and friends and families to support the campaign to allow grass to grow and help increase insect numbers in their local areas.
  • They engaged with The Wildlife Trust’s National ‘30 Days Wild’ campaign producing two videos (collectively watched about ~1800 times over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube). This campaign encourages an act of wildness each day for June to get people outside and in nature.
  • They are actively working on the #peatfree campaign to educate and raise awareness of the importance of going peat free.

Advocacy

  • Within our Trust the voice of young people matters considerably and they are invited along to participate in formal governance meetings including the conservation committee which manages all our reserves, Trustee Board meetings, communication and marketing meetings.
  • Our Council advocates for young people's involvement in leadership and improving wellbeing through nature by speaking at events such as the Common Purpose Lancashire 750 leadership course.
  • We hope to take a more active role in youth empowerment leading up to COP26.

What do members gain by being on the Council?

  • Campaigning training and social media training.
  • Taking part in practical conservation opportunities and gaining awards such as John Muir and AQA's.
  • Experience for their CVs.
  • Meeting like-minded young people and being a part of a group to direct their efforts in engaging with nature’s recovery, campaigning and social action.
  • Affiliation with LWT and opportunities to learn from experts in their field.
  • Confidence and team building skills.
Youth Council member Tasha getting involved in the Peat Free, Now Mow May and City Nature Challenge (Tasha Savage)
Youth Council member Tasha getting involved in the Peat Free, Now Mow May and City Nature Challenge (Tasha Savage)

Youth Campaigning Group – Applications Live

Join us! This is a new project for 2021 for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. LWT are starting a Youth Campaigning/Positive Action Group where young people aged between 11-24 years old can join together as an online community to learn and engage with nature, wildlife and the climates recovery.

The young people participating in this group will be a part of a growing movement to engage more young people in nature and wildlife through online environmental awareness campaigning. Helping to inspire others to take notice of our natural environment and take steps towards protecting it. No previous knowledge of nature nor the environment is needed - just the enthusiasm to learn and take positive action. We will be providing, resources, online training, an online youth forum, skill building sessions and LWT support.

Goal: To inspire actions at a local and national level to protect nature and engage in solutions to combat climate change. Young people’s voices and ideas need to be part of the discussion.

Youth Campaigning Group Application | The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside (lancswt.org.uk)

Setting up your own Youth Council

The top three tips we can suggest for setting up your own Youth Council are:

  1. Take the leap and just do it! Start small and work on only a few activities or campaigns and do them well.
  2. Find your allies within your organisation, the more people on board the better but some may need a little more persuading.
  3. Allow the young people that you recruit, the opportunity to not only be heard but be listened to. Ensure their ideas are taken seriously, adapt them if necessary but allow them to take the reins.

This year we recruited a Youth Advocacy Officer and an Assistant Digital Communications Officer to help further the development of our Youth Council and to reach more young people. This has been extremely useful in supporting the development of our Youth Council and new Youth Campaigning Group.

Logo: mYplace

Follow us on:

Logo: Community Funded Our Bright Future

Twitter: @myplace2gr0w // @Lancswildlife

Facebook: MyPlace2gr0w // The Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Instagram: myplaceproject // Lancashirewildlifetrust

Email: elampard@lancswt.org.uk or youthcouncil@lancswt.org.uk

Phone: 07562 903036

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