The beneficiaries are nine participants from the local wildlife charity’s ‘Tomorrow’s Natural Leaders’ (TNL) programme. Each is being trained by and working alongside Yorkshire Wildlife Trust staff over the next 12 months in a bid to kick-start their chosen career in conservation and become leading lights in protecting wild species and declining habitats. The scheme is one of 31 projects run nationwide as part of ‘Our Bright Future’, a £33 million pound initiative funded by the Big Lottery Fund that supports young people across the UK to lead progressive change in their communities and local environment.
Fleeces, backpacks and waterproofs have been received by the group with much appreciation, who will be working year-round on some of the 100+ nature reserves managed by the Trust across Yorkshire.
Gift Your Gear is an award winning nationwide initiative which relies on donations of unwanted yet serviceable gear from the public, which can then be sent on to UK community organisations and charities engaging with young people in the outdoors.
Lauren Darn, a 22 year old TNL based at Appleton Mill Farm near Pickering explains: “As environmental youth leaders, we really welcome the chance to re-use equipment: Doing so reduces waste, thereby places less stress on the environment we’re trying to protect. The Gift Your Gear initiative is a really simple and valuable way for members of the public to facilitate young people’s engagement with nature.”
Fellow TNL Alex Coles, 23, said: “I love my jacket! I could never have afforded to buy such a high quality waterproof coat, and because we’re out in the fields and woods every day I definitely needed it!”
TNL Georgina Umney, who is based at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Centre in Flamborough said: “Cycling to and from the Living Seas Centre every day and spending hours down on the beach I’ve been worried about keeping warm and dry without a good winter coat. The puffer coat and waterproof jacket are fantastic quality and allow me to stay out for longer, exploring the coastline and countryside in all weathers. Both should see me through several years to come. Thank you so much!”
To find out more about the Gift Your Gear initiative, or to donate your own unwanted gear, visit www.giftyourgear.com
Click here for more information on Tomorrow’s Natural Leaders
Feature written by TNL Lauren Darn.