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 was one of 31 Our Bright Future projects across the UK. Each one equipped 11-24 year olds to make a difference in their local community and for the environment. Our Bright Future was a £33 million programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Milestones delivered bespoke nature based programmes which aimed to connect young people to their local, natural environment by offering opportunities to participate in practical activities that widened their knowledge, experience and appreciation of the natural environment.

The project also empowered 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 were encouraged to explore ideas, take risks and enjoy the freedom of being outside.

The activities and tasks were 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 had 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 provided a wide range of training and accreditation opportunities, which helped to raise aspirations, as well as enhance individual progression and employability.

Project outcomes:

  • 1,849 young people had 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 were completed, including conservation work on nature reserves and the building of 16 community gardens
  • 566 individuals achieved formal accreditations, which supported young people to be more resilient, better equipped and trained to be actively involved in improving and contributing to community green spaces and the green economy
  • 44 young people were trained and now act 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 worked hard to keep in touch with our participants at home to provide them with ideas and inspiration for staying connected with the natural world while we were confined to our homes and gardens. 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

Our Funders

Milestones was funded by Our Bright Future, 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 was formed of 31 projects across the UK.

 

Discover more programmes and projects