A group of young carers from a Barnardo’s service have received a national award in recognition of their commitment to the environment.
The group of six young people, aged from 11 to 14 years old who are supported by Barnardo’s Willow Young Carers service in Leeds have received the acclaimed John Muir Award.
The group completed a series of challenges which included discovering a wild place, exploring, helping to conserve and sharing with others what they had learned.
The group donned their walking boots and completed a five-mile trek at Malham Cove and explored woodland habitats at Malham Tarn. They spent a day at Ormsgill Woods where they worked with conservationists to help maintain the saplings.
The children and young people also made bird boxes as part of their conservation challenge. One of the bird boxes was presented to Barnardo’s East regional director, Steve Oversby. The bird box will be installed at Barnardo’s regional support office in Low Lane, Horsforth.
Thirteen year old Dylan, said: “We’re really proud to have received the John Muir award. We learnt how important it is to look after the environment and made some good friends at the same time. We really enjoyed the challenges. It was cool!”
Director for Barnardo’s East region, Steve Oversby, said: “The young people have done incredibly well to receive this award. Like all of our young carers, here is a group of amazing young people who we are incredibly proud to support. I was delighted to be presented with the bird box which will have pride of place in the grounds of our regional office.”
The scheme was supported by the Green Guardians who are part of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. The aim of Green Guardians is to engage groups of young people who are not traditionally connected with the natural environment.
Green Futures is part of Our Bright Future, a movement of 31 youth-led projects across the UK. Each receiving around £1m of funding from the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.
Willow Young Carers currently supports up to 400 children and young people per year across Leeds who help to care for a sick or disabled relative.

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