How young people are #owningit in donated outdoor gear

March 8, 2018

Gail smith our Green Futures Programme Manager, explains why there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing!

Many of the young people taking part in our Green Futures programme lead difficult or challenging lives and being outdoors in the countryside is something they don’t get to experience very often, if ever.

So when we take a group of young people out into the Yorkshire Dales we need to make sure they’re wearing the right warm and waterproof clothing so they can make the very the most of their visit – whatever the weather. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing!

Special Autism Services visit a rainy Malham Cove

Special Autism Services visit a rainy Malham Cove

Gifted gear

That’s where the Gift Your Gear scheme has really helped us. Pre-loved clothing generously donated by the public through the scheme helps ensure we’re equipped to bring groups of young people outdoors to explore and enjoy the spectacular Yorkshire Dales landscape – even in the snow! Gift Your Gear supports groups and charities like us so others can benefit from life changing experiences in the great outdoors, regardless of their circumstance.

Green Guardians

The donated gear has been well-used by our Green Guardians groups – who come from towns and cities of Bradford, Keighley and Leeds and don’t normally get the opportunity to connect with the natural environment. We’ve worked with young carers, young people with disabilities, young people with additional educational needs or emotional and behavioural difficulties, homeless young people, young parents, and refugees and asylum seekers.

For these young people coming to the Yorkshire Dales, experiencing something new and maybe doing some practical work outdoors is a chance to get away from it all, even just for a day. It can improve their well-being and help them cope better with the everyday challenges that life throws at them.

Young people at Malham Tarn

The young people also learn to care for and respect the environment with activities ranging from walks and site surveys to bushcraft. And we hope to inspire a love of the outdoors and nature in them – once we get to know their interests we can offer more visits and get them involved in practical conservation activities, such as tree planting, footpath repairs and creating hay meadows.

Let it snow!

We’re pleased to say that even during the recent snowy weather we’ve still welcomed groups of young people into the Dales – and thanks to Gift your Gear we’re prepared to deliver those life changing experiences in the great outdoors whatever the weather brings!

Young people enjoy a snowy Yorkshire Dales


About Green Futures

The Green Futures programme connects with 11-24 year-olds living in and around the Yorkshire Dales National Park, working to inspire, support and empower young people to create positive environmental change. Ultimately the programme aims to create a generation of local young people informed about, inspired by and connected to the natural environment and environmental issues on their doorstep and beyond. Read more about Green Futures.

Green Futures forms 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, to inspire and develop the next generation of environmental leaders.

Our Bright Future gives young people the skills and knowledge to improve their local environments, influence future environmental policy and step up and create what is rightfully theirs: a healthy planet, a thriving economy and a brighter future.