The Green Leaders programme was one of 31 projects funded through the £33 million Our Bright Future portfolio managed by Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts on behalf of the National Lottery Community Fund (previously Big Lottery Fund).
The programme was developed in response to a range of challenges facing young people and local communities in the context of on-going reductions in public spending. These cuts have included stringent reductions for local authority youth services and to management of parks and green spaces. As well as reducing formal youth work provision, these cuts reduce the opportunities for young people to socialise in safe environments and affect the wider public and environmental amenity of public green spaces. The programme was set up with the understanding that there was a need for communities to ‘step-in’. It was felt that young people should be at the heart of this, acting as custodians and champions for their local environment and being empowered to build aspirations and capabilities.