Skip to main content

Our Influencers Schemes help young people impact the environment through youth social action projects that benefit their communities, while helping them to create lasting and meaningful connections with nature.

Blue Influencers Scheme

Launched in Autumn 2023 with the help of pupils from St Mary’s RC Primary School, Morecambe, the Blue Influencers Scheme helps address the specific environmental concerns raised by young people living in coastal, river and estuary communities.

These areas are likely to be severely affected by climate change and are experiencing floods, raised sea levels and coastal erosion as well as challenges for people, coastal economies and local industry.

Evidence suggests that despite living in proximity to the ocean, many deprived coastal communities do not feel welcome in these blue spaces or connected to their immediate environments.

The Blue Influencers Scheme funds 22 Blue Mentor posts based in Host Organisations across England, supporting groups of young people (target age 10-14 year-olds) in their environmental social action projects. 

The deadline for initial Expressions of Interest from Host Organisations has now passed.

This three year Scheme is joint-funded by the #iwill Fund. The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £66M joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. The Ernest Cook Trust is acting as a match-funder and awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund.

The Social Action 'Habit'
I find it so valuable that a project such as this which is set up for young people, has a board of young people at the very centre of it helping to make decisions.
Esther, Youth Advisory Board member

The Blue Influencers Scheme aims to make environmental social action a regular, habitual part of young people’s lives

The Scheme aims to remove barriers to accessing the outdoors, while helping young people create deep, lasting and meaningful connections to the natural environment via their local coasts and rivers.

Using their voice to make a change in their community and for the planet, a connection to the natural world is forged together with a sense of responsibility to protect and sustain it through a lifetime of continued social action.

Evaluation of impact is key in this programme to measure effectiveness and quality. We believe our Influencers Schemes are a catalyst for ongoing, sustained social action. Young people are empowered to make a positive difference in their communities and the natural environment for years to come.

I find it so valuable that a project such as this which is set up for young people, has a board of young people at the very centre of it helping to make decisions.
Esther, Youth Advisory Board member
Environmental Action Now

We are delighted that the Blue Influencers Scheme is now at full capacity, with 22 Host Organisations working alongside 24 Blue Mentors and a new generation of Blue Influencers across the nation. Our Blue Influencer Host Organisations are represented here:

Young people are often the most passionate about the environment and are very aware of the issues we face with climate change. The Blue Influencers Scheme gives them the funding, platform and tools they need to make positive changes to benefit their entire community.
Ed Ikin, Chief Executive of The Ernest Cook Trust

We invite you to watch this video from the #iwill campaign about youth social action. It encapsulates the power and influence of young people when empowered through #iwill programmes, and is the youth led ambition that can be achieved through our match funded #iwill project, the Green Influencers Scheme.

Empowering Young People

Youth Advisory Board members

We’re looking for new Youth Advisory Board members

Do you, or does someone you know, want to meet other young people with a passion for the environment and be change-makers for a better future? Read on for more details and how to apply. 

We know that most young people want to take part in youth social action, but only 4 in 10 actually do. This figure is even lower in communities where young people face barriers to access, so their communities don’t enjoy the full benefit of their talent, energy and ideas.

Most young people just need to be given the opportunity to take part. Which is why we created the Influencers Schemes, working in a match-funding partnership with the #iwill Fund, and in collaboration with Host Organisations across England.

Together, we help empower young people to make a real difference to their lives, their communities and the planet.

The youth voice is one of the most powerful forces on the planet.
Amy Meek, co-founder of Kids Against Plastic, Conference Speaker 2021 and 2024

If you are, or you know of any young people who are keen to get involved in environmental social action, click on the map link below to find your nearest Blue Mentor, or contact us for more information.

Since we began the Influencers Schemes, a lot has happened! Read more about our story here:

Together, we make a real and lasting positive contribution to our communities and the environment