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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Generation Green

Scouts are proud to be one of the organisations delivering Generation Green — a project funded by DEFRA through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Take part in Generation Green

Generation Green is a project to create over 100,000 Green Champions and inspire the next generation of young people to connect with the outdoor environment – both in their communities and in some of the country’s most inspiring locations. Over 16 months, this funded project that aims to connect young people to nature, create and save jobs, and build an aspirant workforce for a green recovery.

Green Champions are young people from Scout or school groups who have completed a five-step programme which makes a positive impact in their community. This could be improving habitats for birds, bugs and bees, learning about the importance of trees and plants, or taking positive steps toward recycling and reducing waste. Why not get involved by trying your hand at some of the activities we’ve created for this programme.

The partners making this project possible

The project is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission.

Generation Green is the first project to be delivered by the Access Unlimited coalition. YHA (England & Wales) is hosting the project on behalf of the partners - The Outward Bound Trust, Scouts, Girlguiding, Field Studies Council and the 10 English National Parks. Generation Green capitalises on the combined reach of the coalition partners of more than two million young people.

Choose your theme

Not sure what theme to choose? Play ‘Go green’ to learn about each theme and vote for your favourite.

Run this activity >

Groups can take part in activities and take action in their community. They'll develop some great skills and earn stage one of their Community Impact Staged Activity Badge.

Get involved

Through new jobs, training, volunteering roles, residentials and outdoor and online learning experiences, the project will provide more than 100,000 opportunities to connect young people to nature – many for the first time - and to cultivate a sense of care for the natural environment.

Funded activities available through the project include day visits and overnight experiences in National Parks and Areas of Natural Beauty, social action and citizen science projects, self-guided learning and micro-volunteering.

The project will also enable the retention of 20 jobs, the creation of 10 new jobs, one paid internship, 30 Kickstart placements, seven apprenticeships, and 659 skilled volunteer roles in the outdoor sector.

Create a Green Champion programme for your chosen theme

Birds, bugs and bees

This theme is about understanding how wildlife works together with plants, the weather, and the landscape to form a bubble of life called an ecosystem. In this theme, you’ll explore why animals are useful and what they need to live.

You’ll get stuck in by improving local habitats (places that animals and plants live) to make sure lots of different plants and animals can live there happily.

You can focus on birds, bugs, or bees – it may depend on where you do your sessions.

Learn about birds, bugs and bees >
Growing green

This theme is about understanding how plants work with animals, the weather, and the landscape to form a bubble of life called an ecosystem. In this theme, you’ll explore which plants are good for nature. You’ll also find out about invasive species: when people introduce new plants or animals that harm an ecosystem.

You could get stuck in by planning, growing, and caring for your own plants, or you could help out at a local nature reserve.

Learn more about plants >
Plastic pollution

This theme is about understanding how the items we use in everyday life affect the world. In this theme, you’ll explore what happens to items after they stop being useful to us.

You could get stuck in by finding out about recycling in your local community, taking part, and encouraging others to get involved.

This may be a good theme to choose if you want to stay close to home but don’t have a lot of green space nearby. You’ll still get to spend time outdoors as much as possible.

Learn about plastic pollution >

And that’s not all…

Green Young Leaders Scheme

We are also giving Explorer Scout Young Leaders the opportunity to join us on a fully funded* two night training course at one of our centres. You will learn how to run the Green Champion programme with the section you support, and become a Green Young Leader in the process! More information and an application form will be available on the Scout Adventures website in the next few weeks.

*Unfortunately we are not able to cover the transport costs to/from the centre for Green Champions, Adventure for All and Green Young Leaders programmes.

Explore the resources >
Five pathways to nature connectedness

We are part of nature. As humans, we have a special relationship with the natural world: our actions affect the health of our planet, and nature is really important for our wellbeing too. Connecting with nature can make us feel good, give us the chance to exercise, and let us breathe fresher air.

When we talk about connecting with nature, it’s not just about being outdoors – it’s about how you engage with nature while you’re there. What you do is more important than how long you spend doing it. It’s a bit like being in a hospital – it’s not the fact that someone’s spending time there that makes them better, it’s the activities that happen and the things they do during that time.

When the University of Derby did some research, they came up with ways that people can build a better relationship with nature – a relationship that helps themselves and the planet. They suggest five ways to be closer to nature and improve wellbeing.

Build a better relationship with nature >

Connecting young people with nature is part of our DNA at Scouts. We believe our green spaces are the world’s greatest classrooms, where people young people can learn to take risks, build resilience and gain vital skills for life. This matters more now than ever, after so many months of lockdowns, restrictions and disruptions to schooling. Not enough of our young people have been able to experience the freedom and adventure of the outdoors, especially in our urban communities and areas of deprivation. Without a doubt, this has contributed to poorer mental health, with one in four young people reporting they feel unable to cope with life. The power of the Access Unlimited coalition and the Green Recovery Fund means we can reconnect 8,000 young people with green spaces and open skies. We believe this will help them recover and rebuild after so many months of being indoors and online. We’re offering half of these new opportunities to those from communities less likely to access nature, and made most vulnerable by COVID-19. It’s inspiring to be able to make this positive investment in their wellbeing, skills and resilience at a time when it matters most.

Matt Hyde OBE, Chief Executive, Scouts

Green Recovery Challenge Fund logo
Generation Green is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.