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11 December 2020

Amina is a member of our Youth Board and now sits on the London Youth Board of Trustees as a young advisor. She is also a young leader at our member Shpresa Programme where she is currently co-facilitating and co-leading the Keeping it Wild programme.

As part of Keeping it Wild Amina was one of 9 young people with a paid placement with Open to create a fundraising campaign for London Wildlife Trust below are her reflections on the experience:

It is mid-October, during the grab-a-blanket-and-warm-your-hands-with-a-warm-tea-cup routine, I get an email from my youth worker from Shpresa programme with the subject: You might find this interesting.

headshot - Amina

As I scroll down, I see an email from London Youth and the big bold capital letters: ‘Keeping it Wild: FREE Digital Media & Marketing Workshops for Young People (16-25) with Open & London Wildlife Trust’ catches my eye. For the sake of digital transparency of my words, it is safe to say, I did not really know much about what I was clicking on – but wouldn’t my youth worker be disappointed if I didn’t have a positive approach to new opportunities (maybe my mum would be too)?

During summer and onwards, I was part of Shpresa Programme’s Digital Steering Group, where we discussed and constructed an extensive digital strategy that will implement all necessary features to make all Shpresa’s impactful and inspiring work digital in light of covid-19. Having said that, I was already very drawn to Digital Media, Marketing and Fundraising, which made the two-day free Keeping it Wild workshop with London Wildlife Trust, Headliners and Open feel like a golden ticket to a great opportunity. During the two days, we got to learn more about London Wildlife Trust and the fantastic work they do to protect and campaign for wildlife in the London, in addition to being invited to apply for a 4-day paid traineeship to create our OWN campaign, that would be published by London Wildlife Trust.

It was more than just a friendly conversation and a friendly environment. It was like being given a blank page and a marker pen and being asked, “This is what is currently happening in the world. What do you think? What will you do?”. It gave us the power to make a change. Young people are not often asked these questions. And being given the chance to give your own, personal answer, is really empowering.

On the first day of the traineeship, we were given the client brief; the client being London Wildlife Trust in this case. We had constant support from Open to develop our ideas into digital media that we could later channel into a marketing campaign.

We had to produce three deliverables: 3 Facebook Ads, 3 Landing Pages and 3 Email templates. We were separated into 3 groups, each of us working on different aspects of different ideas. Being in a team with like-minded people was one of the most important elements for me.  The atmosphere was magnetising as it drew one in, to be really present and feel like my voice was louder and more powerful than it usually does and to actually feel genuinely heard.

On our second day, we got to put our brainstorming into practice as we developed our initial ideas and witness them take shape. Coming from a small country that’s very rich in wildlife, I grew up with the strong winds, the smell of pollen and the birds chirping in my window. Being fascinated with sustainability and the importance of conservation. I am a strong believer that we don’t shelter nature and wildlife, but she allows us to call it home. Being in an urban metropole like London, at first sight, I felt like my love for nature did not align with London’s. This experience taught me to look a little deeper, to listen a little more, and I saw it, I heard it, I felt it, and now I want to love it and want to protect it.

Day 3 & Day 4, we delivered, got feedback, went back to our work and finalised our campaign. Now we are sitting tight waiting for the December celebration event, so we can come together and celebrate our work, each other, our youth workers and friends.

We can come together to protect and celebrate urban nature and encourage nature conservation, London Wildlife Trust, Open, Headliners, London Youth and the great opportunity we were given, and the greater opportunities that lie ahead of us.

– Amina | Youth Board member and Young Advisor to the London Youth Board of Trustees

You can find out more about Youth Board here

Keeping it Wild is a youth-led social action programme to encourage young people who may not usually engage with natural spaces to develop their understanding, skills and passion to drive social and environmental change in London and in their local wild and green spaces. It’s is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by London Youth, London Wildlife Trust, Headliners and the John Muir Trust. You can find out more about Keeping it Wild here

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