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What is the Blue Influencers Scheme?
The Blue Influencers Scheme is a ground-breaking project from UK outdoor education charity The Ernest Cook Trust, with the ambition to support young people from underserved communities and those living in deprived coastal, estuary and riverside locations, by empowering them to tackle environmental and climate issues.
The Scheme is entirely youth-led, and even the selection of Morecambe Bay Partnership, along with 21 other registered charities, was made by The Ernest Cook Trust’s Youth Advisory Board, made up entirely of young people aged 14-21. Additional funds up to £5,000 will also be available for specific projects, and it will again be the Youth Advisory Board members who approve these awards.
Its ambition is to engage more than 4,000 young people as Blue Influencers, as well as over 15,000 community members across England.
“Young people are often the most passionate about the environment and are very aware of the issues we face with climate change. The Blue Influencers Scheme will give them the funding, platform and tools they need to make positive changes to benefit their entire community”Ed Ikin
Chief Executive of The Ernest Cook Trust
What is a Blue Mentor?
The role of the Blue Mentor is to recruit young people to become Blue Influencers. These young people, with the support of their Blue Mentor, will create and run social action schemes to improve the environment of their schools, neighbourhoods and communities.
Lauren Munro-Bennett, who is in post as a Blue Mentor for Morecambe Bay Partnership, said:
I can’t wait to get started as a Blue Mentor and support young people around Morecambe Bay to develop a sense of connection and ownership of the Bay. I’m really excited to help facilitate and see what social action projects young people come up with to protect this beautiful place.
How is the project funded?
The £2.25 million Scheme is being match-funded by The Ernest Cook Trust and the #iwill Fund, and will run for three years.
The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £66 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. The Ernest Cook Trust is acting as a match funder and awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund.