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‘Green Influencers’ scheme: priming young Bristol people to lead on environmental action

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Nick Stromberg, Green Mentor for CSE

Nick Stromberg is a Project Worker within the Local and Community Empowerment team at the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE). CSE, one of the founding supporting members of the Partnership, is a Bristol-based national charity that works to change the way people think and act on energy. More information about CSE and all of its projects can be found here.

Young people in Bristol and its surrounding areas will be inspired to follow in Greta Thunberg’s footsteps thanks to funding from The Ernest Cook Trust national educational charity.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) 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.

The pioneering Green Influencers Scheme is a project match-funded through the #iwill Fund which is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for 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 Bristol and its surrounding areas after CSE 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.

Nick Stromberg, who will take on the role of Green Mentor for CSE, said:

“We were delighted to receive the funding from The Ernest Cook Trust which will enable us to help young people from across the Bristol and its surround areas to support their communities with environmental projects.”

Over the next two years, under the Green Influencers Scheme, The Ernest Cook Trust will pay CSE £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 Bristol and its surround areas 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.

Megan Blyth, Project Lead

Anyone interested in joining the Green Influencers Scheme – either as a young person or as part of an organisation that works with young people – should contact megan.blyth@cse.org.uk or nick.stromberg@cse.org.uk.

For information about the Green Influencers Scheme visit The Ernest Cook Trust website or email greeninfluencers@ernestcooktrust.org.uk.

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