MyPlace is an innovative partnership between Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Wildlife Trust which will enable demonstrative outcomes that show how youth led environmental action that benefits the wider community, can also significantly improve mental health issues within young people.
The MyPlace project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund is one of 31 projects working with the Our Bright Future movement, a national consortium of 8 organisations which are coordinated by the Wildlife Trusts that is working to empower young people to become the next generation of environmental leaders.
The development of the MyPlace project has been guided by previous environmental youth project activity, consultations and evaluations, as well as the immensely successful ‘Ecominds’ scheme coordinated by Mind in 2013. The outcomes associated with Ecominds has enabled MyPlace to confidently incorporate ecotherapy themes into the proposed activities, promoting distinctiveness and providing measurable outcomes that will build on the evidence base produced by Ecominds.
Utilising a programme of practical, environmentally based activities, community engagement and event organisation, the project will help to address key priorities for both the young people and their local communities. All group sessions will be delivered on an individual basis enabling the team to break down any apparent barriers to active participation for young people who have additional support requirements and/or may exhibit more challenging behaviours.
This project will:
- By 2020, 1000 young people aged between 13 and 25, considered most at risk will be empowered to shape and deliver environmental enhancements in their communities
- By 2020, 1000 young people will feel healthier and we will be able to demonstrate the cost benefit for all that take part in activity, highlighting an alternative way to treat health issues using SROI methodology.
- By 2020, 1200 members of the wider community will be actively involved in making decisions and practical action to manage their local spaces leading to increased community cohesion, resilience and mentoring opportunities.
- By 2020, 120 greenspaces will be improved located within urban neighbourhoods, that will demonstrate benefits for both people and the natural environment. The project will generate £120,000 worth of capital improvements for local community greenspaces.
MyPlace will help to contribute to a wide range of national, regional and local priorities ranging from health, economy, sustainability, education, skills, employment, youth and the environment.