The environmental project giving young people across the country the chance to get involved and help the planet.
So what is Our Bright Future?
I have been working as the communications officer for the Our Bright Future programme for just over a year and a half, and I still can’t help bubbling with enthusiasm. Our Bright Future is a unique programme that brings together the youth and environmental sectors to empower more than 60,000 young people to take action for the environment, each in their own way. Funded by a staggering £33 million from the Big Lottery Fund, it is at the cutting edge of environmental change.
Who is involved in Our Bright Future?
The beauty of OBF is not only the number of young people changing their lives and the environment around them, but also the number of organisations working together for a common goal. The programme is formed of 31 projects, each led by a local partner such as vInspired, National Trust or Friends of the Earth.
This means that young people have opportunities across the country to get involved in, and each one is different. Young people are training to be beekeepers in Liverpool, learning sustainable construction in South Wales and growing food on campus allotments across the UK, all under the Our Bright Future umbrella.
Our Bright Future is led by The Wildlife Trusts, and we have a great team based in Nottinghamshire who coordinate the programme. To ensure that young people are really steering the direction of Our Bright Future, there is a Youth Forum formed of 13-24 year olds from each of the 31 projects. It is brilliant to have a network of such enthusiastic young people, feeding back ideas and shaping our activity.
What does Anna do?
A typical day for me involves content creation for social media, managing the Our Bright Future website, and supporting the 31 projects with their communications. It is such a lovely role as there are so many inspiring stories to share and I’m never short of emotive content. Every quarter I receive Real Stories from the projects which tell the stories of the young people who are taking part in Our Bright Future.
Personal stories like this really bring home the impact the programme is having. This always makes me feel so honoured to be a part of OBF. Mental health issues are being addressed using methods such as ecotherapy and Care Farming. Homeless young people are training to become gardeners. The leaders of tomorrow are campaigning about issues close to them.
What’s the best bit of being part of OBF?
It’s hard to pick a best moment as there are so many parts of my role I feel proud of. We have an annual seminar which brings all the projects together under one roof. This is always special as they can learn from each other and share experiences. Without Our Bright Future, each of these projects would not cross paths, so these relationships are vital to evolving and improving the projects.
On a personal level, I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing lives changed. I have always worked in the charity sector and am motivated by projects that make a difference. Ten years ago, I was applying for university to study International Development. I may no longer be working to change lives overseas, but regardless of the location I am proud that my career is still focused on community projects that improve people’s prospects, often when they need it most.
The future is dependent on young people. Our Bright Future is equipping them with the skills and experience to brighten their own future and the future of our environment. I couldn’t be prouder of them.
Always leave them wanting more…
Over the next few weeks some of the young people taking part in the programme will be writing about their projects and telling their stories. If you would like to get involved, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook or head to the website.
Different projects offer different activities so if you are interested in apprenticeships, nature clubs, training opportunities or volunteering, do get in touch and we can link you up to what is happening in your area and how you can get involved.