Milestones I've left today’s session feeling a thousand times better than how I started because I knew what I had done was helping other living things and what I had learnt will help me in the near and far future. Milestones The Milestones project is one of 31 Our Bright Future projects across the UK. Each one is equipping 11-24 year olds to make a difference in their local community and for the environment. Our Bright Future is a £33 million programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. Milestones delivers bespoke nature based programmes aiming to connect young people to their local, natural environment by offering opportunities to participate in practical activities that widen their knowledge, experience and appreciation of the natural environment. The project also empowers young people to gain the vital skills needed to improve their local environment, fostering a connection to and sense of responsibility for the natural world. Participants are also encouraged to explore ideas, take risks and enjoy the freedom of being outside. The activities and tasks have been designed to support young people to build resilience, self-esteem and confidence, to self-reflect and notice changes within themselves and to have fun. All of which have beneficial effects on emotional and physical wellbeing, behaviour and social communication and integration. Since I have been coming out on these days I am more confident with speaking to different people and I don’t worry so much about what they think of me. Alongside the wide variety of team-building, practical nature and conservation-based activities, we provide a wide range of training and accreditation opportunities, which help to raise aspirations, as well as enhancing individual progression and employability. Who can join? The Milestones project is currently accessible by referral and prioritises young people who are most in need and are facing challenges in their lives. There are different strands to the project, enabling access through a variety of agencies and throughout the whole year. Project outcomes so far: 1,849 young people have a greater awareness and understanding of nature and their local environment, and improved self-esteem and aspiration 369 distinct high-impact, young-person led environmental projects and programmes have been completed, including conservation work on nature reserves and the building of 16 community gardens 566 individuals have achieved formal accreditations, which supports young people to be more resilient, and better equipped and trained to be actively involved in improving and contributing to community green spaces and the green economy 44 young people are trained and acting as Ambassadors to inspire others and lead future community projects Read the story of two young people's experience of Milestones in their blog Milestones during COVID-19 We have been working hard to keep in touch with our participant at home to provide them with ideas and inspiration for staying connected with the natural world while we’re confined to our homes and gardens. Right now nature is a great source of inspiration and fascination and it can become your place of activity, learning and refuge. We also know that engaging with small or large areas of the natural world is great for our emotional and physical wellbeing, leading to long lasting beneficial effects upon our lives. If you are looking for tips or activities on how to connect with nature read the article Enabling Young People to Engage in Nature or take a look at our Wildlife Weekly tips for young people: 1. Encouraging Butterflies and Moths 2. Meet a Tree 3. Earthworms 4. Action For Insects 5. Birds 6. Wellbeing 7. Get Growing 8. Global Nature Research 9. Noticing Signs of Wildlife 10. Nature Photography 11. Naturehood For more information For further information please contact the Milestones Programme Manager, Rachel Bush on 07753 497351 or [email protected] Our Funders Milestones is funded by Our Bright Future is an ambitious and innovative partnership led by The Wildlife Trusts which brings together the youth and environmental sectors. This £33 million programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund is formed of 31 projects across the UK.