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Back to school: the Green Influencer Scheme update

Dr Holly Jenkins
September 16, 2022

After this scorcher of a summer, the new term is finally here. With it comes a host of new exciting opportunities for up-and-coming Green Influencers to create social and environmental action projects. It’s also the perfect time to reflect on the achievements of last academic year. In Hampshire, over 70 young people became Green Influencers, in nine different groups. Here are the highlights:

  • “Stop Environmental Pollution” ran an awareness event about litter and its effects on our surrounding coasts. They upcycled t-shirts, ran a litter pick and raised money for the charity Just One Ocean.
  • “The oceans are rising and so are we” created a campaigning film about raw sewage pollution by Southern Water, encouraging people to exercise their democratic rights to lobby MP’s and Southern Water. They wrote and starred in a performance about climate change to the local community, partnered with LifeLab Southampton, the University of Southampton Public Engagement and Theatre For Life.
  • "The Nature Group” have created an allotment to benefit their school and community. They are growing fruit and vegetables, and will be preserving and sharing excess.
  • “Team GreenPhone” are learning how to repair phones and tablets, and are creating a repair café in their school to save on technological waste while also allowing those in need to save money.
  • “The Eco Lions” are creating a nature garden in their school grounds, to encourage biodiversity and improve wellbeing.

A grassy area surrounded by trees containing an allotment. There are wooden planters containing assorted fruits and vegetables, trees at each corner, a greenhouse, a compost bin, water storage tanks, and growing frames.
The Nature Group” and the allotment they built on their school grounds. They are collecting food waste to make their own compost.

In Norfolk, Green Influencers have been just as busy:

  • The “History Hunters” printed 1000 copies of The Green Influencer, a youth-led newspaper supported by The British Library and distributed to libraries around the county – sharing the perspective of young people with wider community groups. Read more and download your own copy here.
  • The North Yarmouth Scouts held a public exhibition of their artworks at the Norfolk Record Office, showing mud paintings from a guided walk, an air-pollution protest banner, and The Green Influencer newspaper.
  • Green Influencers from Northgate High School have created a wildflower area to attract pollinators, and have been inspired by a trip to Gressenhall Rural Life Museum and Farm. The plan to create an orchard for the community to enjoy in the future.

Looking forward, both Holly (Hampshire) and Alex (Norfolk)have lots of exciting groups that are about to get started. These all take place in areas of deprivation and with those often left behind when it comes to environmental and social action. Future groups include looked after children, ones with special educational needs and disabilities, and some with young offenders as part of a reparation order. Stay tuned to hear how these go! If you’re a youth worker and would love for your group of young people to take part in the scheme, please contact us.

Data is being collected on the participants wellbeing and their feelings about nature. So far, evaluation of the scheme is still underway. However, data collected so far shows a noticeable increase in feelings of nature-connectedness in the participants.  

An exhibition in a white room. Showing a mud painting on a wooden easel.
Green Influencers hosting their first public exhibition in Norwich, sharing their visual explorations with marsh mud and applique banners, made this year. The show (titled SCOOP) shows off mud paintings from a guided walk, an air-pollution protest banner, The Green Influencer newspaper, and newly commissioned poem by Helen Vine.