Inspiring the next generation of environmental leaders
Growing Confidence was delivered in collaboration with Fordhall Community Land Initiative and the Field Studies Council. The project engaged with 5390 young people and achieved approximately 536 hours of conservation work from 2019 to 2020.
What's on this Spring
The Growing Confidence Project aimed to give young people, aged between 11 and 24 the skills and experience to find employment in the conservation sector. Project Officers, Kat and Tom, coordinated a range of events, including Young Person's Question Time sessions, Youth for the Wild and Make My Weekend Wild!
All our previous online events, covering careers advice and current environmental topics are available to re-watch on our You tube channel.
I am so proud to have been involved in this project over the last two years. Even in that short time I have seen how much of a difference the project has made to young people, seeing them develop new skills, gaining in self-confidence, and finding their 'tribe'. All of that is so important at that age. Even through the pandemic we found new ways of engaging with youngsters. Over the course of the project, we have certainly helped young people to engage with their local environment, and to have more of an understanding of the many issues affecting it. I am very sad to see it end, but its legacy continues: Shropshire now has some great Young Naturalists, some have gained employment in the sector, and the practical conservation sessions will certainly continue.Growing Confidence Project Officer
Follow the Growing Confidence project!
Why and how
Following the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, the UK's Heritage Lottery Community Fund through Our Bright Future invested £33 million in more than 30 organisations nationwide to give young people the skills and knowledge to improve their local environment. In doing so, young people will develop the confidence and resilience to become environmental leaders and influence decisions at local and national levels. This young, ambitious and capable movement will ensure this generation’s voice is heard in the current debates around environmental improvements and a resource-efficient economy.
Working along side the Field Studies Council and Fordhall Farm we delivered a programme of events, volunteering, placements, courses and school sessions.
Field Studies Council
FSC Preston Montford in Shropshire is an education charity providing day courses and residential opportunities for all ages. As part of the Growing Confidence project they are delivering specific activities and workshops in collaboration with us aimed at 11-24 year olds:
- Day courses including tailored natural history courses for those following in Charles Darwin’s footsteps.
- Residential courses: Further discovery and exploration into specific areas of conservation over a few days in the Shropshire countryside.
- Work experience placements: Find out what it is like to work at an environmental education charity and gain a better understanding of what they do.
Fordhall Organic Farm, in Market Drayton, north Shropshire, is England’s first community-owned farm. Fordhall are working with small numbers of students who may be struggling to engage in the conventional education setting. They use agricultural and conservation activities to develop skills, confidence and self-esteem
I am hugely honoured to have seen the development and the progression to all of the young people that was involved in the Growing Confidence Project. To look at the project as a whole I’m amazed how much we achieved over the years within the project, especially now seeing the young people become the new and improved Naturalists that they’ve turn out to be. Most importantly the young people have gave me the skills and knowledge in producing new ideas to get our young people involved and I am eternally grateful for their time and patience. We need to strongly consider that young people are our future of the conservation world, we can only have new ideas if we allow young people to be heard. Especially to create a better environment within our community, our sector and for our wildlife itself, this is shown through the Growing Confidence Project.
If there was ever a memory for me to hold and cherish, hearing back from past and present young people to say that they achieved their dream goals and aspirations in life.
Practical work days
Make your weekends wild!
Every first Sunday of the month we ran practical conservation days across Shropshire, giving 11 -24's the opportunity to learn conservation skills, whilst discovering more about the wildlife and habitats of Shropshire.
Youth for the Wild
Youth for the Wild was organised by young people for young people, aimed at encouraging 11-24's to be more aware of the environment. Youth for the Wild sessions took place once a month in Shrewsbury and will involve social events, talks, training, careers advice and campaigning.
Question Time (online)
Question Time was our series of online events. These talks took place once a month and covered hot environmental topics, with talks from experts followed by an opportunity for questions and debating.