NEWS: Summer challenge launched to keep young people engaged with their local parks and greenspaces

Groundwork has today announced a new campaign to keep young people engaged in enjoying and protecting their local parks and greenspaces during Covid-19.

Future Proof Parks – Summer Activity Challenge is designed to help young people engage with their local park through nature, heritage, and wellbeing via a collection of 24 exciting challenges that they can do both in their local park and at home.

Due to current Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, young people are currently not able to get involved in usual Future Proof Parks activities, most of which include volunteering alongside their peers and Friends of Groups.

The Summer Activity Challenge has been designed to keep young people involved in the programme with exciting and engaging challenges, as well as encouraging more young people to get involved in the programme.

Activities are broken down into time categories – ranging from 15 minutes to over an hour – including designing posters, creating video tours and maps of the park and embarking on a heritage research project to find out more about the history of their local park. Young people are also encouraged to look after their mental health and wellbeing by exercising and looking forward to the future by writing plans for future events at the park once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

The campaign is set to run into August to give the maximum amount of flexibility for young people who want to get involved. While Future Proof Parks is only run in certain areas of the UK, this campaign allows all young people to get involved and engaged in their local park and the campaign.

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s national CEO, said:

We’ve seen over the last three months just how important our local parks and greenspaces have been to our physical health and mental wellbeing. We’ve also seen young people volunteering their time to support those in their community who need extra help. As we emerge from the pandemic we want to harness this commitment so that young people can play a more active role in managing these vital community resources. We hope these challenges help keep young volunteers engaged and enthused about putting parks at the heart of a green recovery.

Future Proof Parks was first launched in 2018 in five regions across the UK as an initiative to get more young people involved in preserving the heritage of their local park by teaming up alongside Friends of Parks Groups.

The programme is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund programme, ‘Kick the Dust’ and is run by Groundwork with support from delivery partners, Fields in Trust and National Youth Agency.

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Notes to Editors

About Groundwork
Groundwork is a charity working locally and nationally to transform lives in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities. We’re passionate about creating a future where every neighbourhood is vibrant and green, every community is strong and able to shape its own destiny and no one is held back by their background or circumstances. We help people gain confidence and skills, get into training and work, protect and improve green spaces, lead more active lives and overcome significant challenges such as poverty, isolation, low skills and poor health.

About Future Proof Parks
Groundwork has partnered with Fields in Trust and National Youth Agency to deliver ‘Future Proof Parks’, a The National Lottery Heritage Fund programme that aims to get more young people interested and involved in preserving their local park and greenspace heritage.

The three-year programme will engage 880 young people across the UK in the West Midlands, East of England, West of England, North West and North East, to learn more about their local historic park heritage with the overall aim that at least 180 young people will join their local ‘friends of’ park groups and volunteer to preserve the local spaces that matter to the communities they live in.

Find out more: 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Using money raised by The National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

About Kick the Dust
Kick the Dust was named by young people, because they wanted to stir up heritage. It is a £10m pilot grant programme, through which The National Lottery Heritage Fund aims to transform how heritage organisations engage with young people. Grants of between £500,000 and £1m are awarded to projects where heritage and youth organisations collaborate to create opportunities for 11-25 year olds.

Through this pilot programme, The National Lottery Heritage Fund aims to increase the scale and ambition of heritage organisations’ work with young people, and show what this age group has to offer heritage.

Follow Kick the Dust and our young Heritage Ambassadors on social media using #KicktheDust and #DustKickers.