Adapting your Keeping it Wild programme

Context 

As the sector is getting to grips with the Government’s lockdown policy, London Youth is adapting where possible to ensure consistent support and offer for our members. We know that this is a testing time for you and the young people you work with, but we would like to provide an opportunity to continue running Keeping it Wild and receive the funding attached to this. Below are the key changes to the programme and how we think it can be adapted to best support your organisation and involve young people in this process. 

Working online

We must all ensure the safety of staff and young people and this means no physical meetings will be taking place. In order to keep the programme going we would like to support you by releasing funding that can go towards online packages, allowing you to interact remotely with some of the young people from your group in a safe way. Two ways we can support:  

  • We understand that not all young people will have unlimited data on their devices and can therefore fund £10 per month for each young person so they can stay connected with you and engage in Keeping it Wild. You will be sent a volunteering expenses claim form that young people can complete to get money reimbursed for this purpose.  

Important Key areas when working online:

  • Please ensure your organisation is following the latest advice from the Government, keeping up to date as it changes
  • Please continue to work with your colleagues to update organisational policies and procedures around safety and safeguarding, such as risk assessments.
  • We recognise that policies and procedures will be changing in the current context and will develop over time based on experience and training
  • Look after yourself, colleagues and young people. As always within youth work and especially at this time, this is important and something we all need to prioritise.

Useful links:

Keeping it Wild  – Online 

Wild Meets Online session with London Wildlife Trust & Headliners  – We can offer an online session for your organisation and young people run by the London Wildlife Trust and Headliners as an introduction to the adapted programme but also modified in making it relevant to the new context of COVID-19.

We have also included some short, reflective, creative session plans below from London Youth and some guidance created in partnership with London Wildlife Trust and Headliners to support online sessions you may wish to use:

Keeping it Wild remote session plans

Digital Social Action Project Guidance DOC

Spreading the word using Social Media

Headliners- Photo Elements

Headliners- Documentary Film Elements

Keeping it Wild Explorer Packs

Make your own Planet Promises 

Project/Campaign ideas  Although the programme welcomes active conservation projects we want to encourage your group to develop an idea that can work in the current context and therefore think about an online social action project instead. In this way, you still create community-and conservation impact as well as develop young people’s skills and leadership qualities whilst keeping safe. The main criteria for a digital social action project are:  

  • It should be youth-lead 
  • It should have a community benefit and social- and environmental impact (for example, raising awareness about the protection and conservation of wild spaces in your local area, appreciating nature especially now where we need to spend more time indoors etc.) 
  • It should create additional opportunities for others (e.g. enabling other young people, members of the community to get involved/ inspired 

We welcome groups to use creative methods to communicate a message and encourage others to engage.  

Conserve & Share Stage Pitch Event – We appreciate the complications meeting and pitching an idea to a wider audience. To simplify this step, we are happy for you to fill out this online form instead. 

The funding is £600 for the group’s Social Action Project and £500 for support costs.

Allia will then get in touch with you and discuss the idea in more detail before we can sign it off. To ensure that young people are still involved in this process we will run the ideas by our London Youth board and forward any questions to be answered by your group before signing off the idea.  

Examples of Keeping it Wild Social Action Projects delivered during lockdown  

We’ve had great success with Keeping it Wild adapted to work online and have seen som fantastic projects since March focusing on wellbeing, nature, mental health and building connections in local green spaces and through environmental action. Below are some great projects delivered this past year:

The Youth Eco Development are a group of young people who are passionate about creating change in the Thamesmead area. This amazing video was created by collecting litter in and around Thamesmead, and developing an aerial art piece to raise awareness of the extinction of the Marsh Harrier

AlexZ Youth Club created an amazing Keeping it Wild Documentary about the importance of nature, wellbeing during lockdown. It was great to see how even at a social distance they were able to adapt and make connections with one another.

AUTUS created a 3D virtual world to teach people about conservation and how to make hedgehog houses, birdboxes, wildlife crossings and composters to support nature and wildlife. Their dedicated FLICKR  Keeping it Wild page includes instructions on how you can make your own objects to save London’s Wildlife!

Phoenix Rising Youth Club focused on learning about the canals and waterways that pass through NW10 to understand the value of the waterways and how they can be accessed by everyone in the community. They did some amazing individual photo research, walks and took note of the surrounding environment. This was all in  preparation of the future actions of river and waterways clearance and identifying sites for tree planting and creating community orchards.

Surrey Docks Farm adapted their original idea into an online campaign, keeping the same message as before to help improve knowledge about pollinators and to involve more local people in projects/initiatives to plant wildflowers or trees for pollinators and to learn more about them.

If you have any questions at all about adapting your programme then please get in touch with allia.fredericks@londonyouth.org