Our long-term partnership with Our Bright Future
NYA and Our Bright Future have had a project partnership since 2016. This was first created with The Environment Now which was one of the 31 projects from the UK that was funded via Our Bright Future by the National Lottery Community Fund (which was the Big Lottery Fund).
You can explore The Environment Now on our programme impact page, as this project finished in December 2018.
In April 2019, NYA took on the Youth Forum function for Our Bright Future. This involves the recruitment, coordination, and delivery of the Our Bright Future Youth Forum and supporting youth representatives on the Our Bright Future Steering Group and Evaluation Panel. Youth Forum Representatives are from the 31 projects which form Our Bright Future.
Our Bright Future is run by a partnership of eight organisations which is led by The Wildlife Trusts. The National Youth Agency is one of the eight partners, the other seven partners include; Centre for Sustainable Energy, The Conservation Volunteers, Field Studies Council, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, Friends of the Earth and UpRising.
What goes on within the Our Bright Future Youth Function?
The Youth Forum continues to dynamically change with the needs and issues of new Youth Forum Representatives as well as the knowledge that they would like to gain in their leadership role.
As a national Youth Forum, the young people mainly interact digitally to ensure they can meet, discuss and collaborate on projects and campaigns they would like to work on. With COVID restrictions from March 2020, digital youth work has been an important tool to ensure engagement and participation can still happen.
The Youth Forum has three main Our Bright Future campaign asks that influence their future campaigns and project plans. These are:
- Ask 1: More time spent learning in and about nature
- Ask 2: Support to get into environmental jobs
- Ask 3: To be heard by policy makers, employers, business, schools and charities to enable young people to play an active role in society.
Youth Forum Representatives share their opinion on what training they would like to take part in. Examples of training topics includes; campaigning, marketing, public speaking, event planning, career options and advice and diversity and inclusion.
There are plans for face-to-face events and residentials to happen in the future which NYA will support in planning and coordination, but this will be up to the Youth Forum Representatives on what discussions and training this should cover.
The main aim for the Youth Function is to enable the Youth Forum Representatives to have the confidence and skills to engage, participate and lead on the plans and delivery of the Youth Forum with the support of NYA.
Supporting Our Bright Future
Additionally, to work that happens within the Youth Forum function, NYA also supports the Our Bright Future projects and young people engaging in their programmes.
A weekly newsletter is sent to all programme staff and Youth Forum Representatives which contains events, opportunities, campaigns and job opportunities that they might be interested in. This helps connect the project staff and other young people with the Youth Forum activity whilst providing additional external opportunities to young people.
NYA helps the Our Bright Future project team on programme events, ensuring that young people get to feed in on plans and delivery of events. We also help in sharing campaigns, events and opportunities with our networks.
The NYA has supported project staff in exploring youth participation within their own environmental organisations especially when thinking about their own youth governance structure.
The environmental sector is progressively implementing more youth voice into their governance structures which is a positive step for young people, the youth sector and the environment sector.
With thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund
The NYA would like to thank the National Lottery Community Fund who has funded and supported Our Bright Future as a large-scale, long term innovative programme.
Contact and Enquiry
If you would like to enquire about the Our Bright Future Youth Forum, contact Lydia firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to enquire about NYA’s work on youth governance and/or youth participation work, please contact Rose email@example.com.