New ‘Green Influencers’ Programme for Greater Manchester

Young people in Greater Manchester will be inspired to follow in Greta Thunberg’s footsteps thanks to funding from The Ernest Cook Trust national educational charity.

Groundwork Greater Manchester has received funding to support the employment of a ‘Green Mentor’ who will enable young people to lead the way as ‘Green Influencers’ on social action projects in their communities.

Community planting

The pioneering Green Influencers Scheme is a project match-funded through the #iwill Fund which is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and Department of Culture, Media & Sport which are each investing £25million seed funding to support young people to access high-quality social action opportunities.

Green Influencers aged from 10 to 14-years-old will spring up across Greater Manchester after Groundwork Greater Manchester was among 36 host organisations awarded grants to support the employment of 40 Green Mentor posts.

Together they will turn words into action with a wide range of measures to protect and enhance the local environment and tackle climate change.

Bronte Edwards, who will take on the role of Green Mentor for Groundwork Greater Manchester, said:

We were delighted to receive the funding from The Ernest Cook Trust which will enable us to help young people from across Greater Manchester to support their communities with environmental projects.

We’re honoured to be a host organisation for the Green Influencers Scheme which is being rolled out across England and we’re excited about the future because we know this will make a real difference to our communities.

What is really special about Green Influencers’ Scheme is that it will give young people a chance to lead the way and offer the chance to learn through hands-on outdoor activities.

We’re sure that young people across will get in step forward and join the scheme so we can work together to make sure it has a really positive impact on our communities.

Over the next two years, under the Green Influencers Scheme, The Ernest Cook Trust will pay Groundwork Greater Manchester £18,000 annually to fund the Green Mentor post to kick-start the programme with further financial support to ensure they instigate lasting change right across their communities.

The young environmental activists will be at the forefront of youth social action projects that will benefit schools and communities across England after The Ernest Cook Trust awarded grants worth a total of £720,000 to host organisations.

Dr Victoria Edwards OBE, Chief Executive of The Ernest Cook Trust, said:

Inspired by teenagers like Greta Thunberg, young people across England have been leading the climate change and wildlife crisis debate.

The Ernest Cook Trust’s new funding programme will empower young people in Greater Manchester to follow in Greta’s footsteps and positively engage in environmental social action projects.

The pandemic has a huge impact on the communities the Trust supports but by campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, the Green Influencers will create long-lasting benefits for everyone.

The scheme is being rolled out nationwide following successful pilot schemes at Action for Conservation in London, East Riding Voluntary Action Services in Hull, Groundwork Greater Manchester, Groundwork Northamptonshire and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

The initiative also gives participants a valuable opportunity to develop leadership skills. Nine people aged 14 to 20 are members of the Scheme’s Youth Advisory Board. They have steered strategic decision-making and will help select grant awards for Green Influencers projects.

Anyone interested in joining the Green Influencers Scheme in Greater Manchester should contact Bronte Edwards on bronte.edwards@groundwork.org.uk


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