The Member of Parliament for South Swindon, Robert Buckland MP, recently met with young volunteers involved in the Our Bright Future programme in Parliament; and pledged support for ensuring that more school time is spent learning in and about nature.
Our Bright Future is an ambitious and innovative partnership led by The Wildlife Trusts and funded by the UK’s largest community funder, The National Lottery Community Fund, The parliamentary event highlighted the programme’s work to empower young people to lead positive change in their local environment and community.
At the event, Robert Buckland MP heard from some of the inspiring young volunteers on the key changes they want to see for the environment and their lives, including ensuring schools have at least one hour per day of lesson time outdoors.
Robert Buckland MP said:
“I was delighted to hear about the experiences of the determined young people I met, who are helping to shape their local environment. Through their passion and courage they are making a real difference in their local communities and contributing to a greener economy.
“At the same time I heard the stories of how life-changing it has been for these young people to be involved in the Our Bright Future programme, which is helping thousands of young people across the UK to develop knowledge, skills, resilience and confidence to increase their employability and wellbeing.
“I fully support their call for schools to have at least one hour per day of lesson time outdoors. We all learn best from first hand experiences and by being outdoors we develop a stronger connection with the natural world.”
Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts said:
“The future of this and future generations will depend on us developing a totally different relationship with the natural world. Today’s generation of young people recognises the environmental crisis we face and does not see this as separate from societal challenges such as poor mental health. They are determined to have an education system that helps generations to come support nature’s recovery.”
“Our Bright Future is working with young people across the UK fuelling the creativity and resilience they need to lead environmental and social change. Our Governments will be failing this generation if they do not listen and support them to create a brighter future’.
Peter Ainsworth, Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “It’s fantastic to see how young people across the UK have been motivated and encouraged by this project. Thanks to National Lottery players, nearly 100,000 young people have played an active role in shaping the future of their local environment. An investment like this is a great start to empowering and inspiring young people to help make their own futures brighter and their communities thrive.”
Notes to Editors
Our Bright Future
- Our Bright Future is an ambitious and innovative partnership led by The Wildlife Trusts which brings together the youth and environmental sectors.
- This £33 million programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund is formed of 31 projects across the UK.
- Each project is helping young people aged 11-24 gain vital skills and experience and improve their wellbeing. At the same time, they act as catalysts for delivering change for their local environment and community; whilst contributing to a greener economy.
The National Lottery Community Fund
We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.
We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.
Parliamentary asks at the event
Prior to the event 700 responses to the question:
‘If you could change one thing for you and the environment, what would this be?’
were received from young people involved in the Our Bright Future programme. They were analysed and whittled down to three key policy asks:
- more time spent learning in and about nature
- support to get into environmental jobs
- Government, employers, businesses, schools and charities to pay more attention to the needs of young people and the environment