The Milestones project is connecting vulnerable and marginalised young people aged 11-24 to their local, natural environment by offering opportunities to participate in practical activities and widen their knowledge and appreciation of local green spaces and nature reserves. Training and accreditation are an integral component of Milestones, offering opportunities to enhance employability.

The overarching themes of Milestones are raising aspiration and fostering an appreciation and connection with the environment.  This approach has been shown to have beneficial effects on emotional and physical well-being, behaviour and social integration.

The project has scaled up and replicated proven models of youth engagement activities and is leading to the creation of new and improved community green spaces.

Milestones is working with young people with specific learning, social and emotional difficulties, those at risk of exclusion, young carers, young people at risk of, or not being in education, employment or training, young offenders and those engaged with the probation services.  Reading University is evaluating findings to enable the sharing of long-term lessons.

Milestones_Dean_SherwinMilestones_Dean_Sherwin

Project outcomes for 2017:

  • 394 vulnerable and marginalised young people have a greater awareness and understanding of nature and their local environment, and improved self-esteem and aspiration
  • 87 distinct high-impact, young-person led environmental projects have been completed, including conservation work on nature reserves and the building of six community gardens
  • 195 formal accreditations have been achieved, and with this the young people are more resilient, and better equipped and trained to be actively involved in improving and contributing to community green spaces and the green economy
  • 8 young people are trained and acting as Ambassadors to inspire others and lead future community projects

 

Our Bright Future

Milestones is part of Our Bright Future, a £33 million programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund and run by a consortium of eight organisations which is led by The Wildlife Trusts.

Our Bright Future aims to tackle three big challenges facing society today:

  • A lack of social cohesion;
  • A lack of opportunities for young people; and
  • Vulnerability to climate change.

Thirty one youth-led projects across the UK are each receiving around £1m of funding to give young people the skills and knowledge to improve their local environments – from reducing marine pollution to minimising food waste.

This young ambitious and capable movement is ensuring this generation’s voice is heard in the current debates around environmental improvements and a resource-efficient economy.

For more information

For further information please contact Senior Project Officer Dean Sherwin on 01380 736073.

Our Bright Future project logo

The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust would like to express its gratitude and thanks to Wiltshire Community Foundation for the generous donation of £5000 towards tools and clothing.

Wiltshire Community Foundation Logo