Green Angels marks 10-year anniversary

Green Angels, the Land Trust’s free environmental training programme, has hit a very significant milestone of ten years, growing from strength to strength – through collaboration and innovation.

The bespoke environmental training model has certainly proved to be extremely successful, resourceful and hugely beneficial since its inception in 2013 as a Big Lottery funded project.

Green Angels began at Liverpool Festival Gardens in 2013, where the Land Trust was managing the site on an interim agreement. Big Lottery awarded the Land Trust £138,934 for a two-year pilot project which welcomed people of all ages and abilities to engage in training related to the management and maintenance of their local greenspaces.

The initial aim of activities was to improve community cohesion, the environment and develop the skills, confidence and experience of participants, helping them to progress to further education or employment opportunities.

By the end of 2023, the Green Angels team and trainers have delivered Green Angels programmes at 12 Land Trust sites across the country, from Yorkshire to Kent and the Wirral to Essex. Overall the Green Angels programme of courses has engaged with over 1470 participants, which equates to over £10m cost savings and over £14m GVA in terms of Social Value.

Green Angels is an enduring and sustainable programme of community benefit and improvement. Delivery through the Land Trust is great for flexibility as they own and manage over 85+ sites across the UK, and can tap into the expertise of their managing partners like The Conservation Volunteers, The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB, to name a few – using the sites as a learning resource and tailoring the activities and outcomes to the needs of local people and wildlife. Using professionals in their field to deliver the training courses gives participants easy access to information sharing, networking, signposting to new opportunities and inspirational guidance, as well as providing an excellent level of tuition.

The training delivered has evolved and adapted to meet the changing demands of our times. Green Angels started off by offering more traditional subjects, such as countryside management and horticulture. In recent years, with the enhanced significance of the outdoor world brought about through our common pandemic experience, they now run courses in natural wellbeing, wild yoga and natural crafts, which help people to connect with their surroundings in a more profound and life changing way.

Feedback data from the activities in 2023 shows that 97% of participants learned new skills, 66% improved their career prospects, 76% felt more connected with Nature, and 87% of participants felt that Green Angels brought people together and encouraged a more caring approach to the environment.

Now into 2024 and the team are launching Green Angels programmes at six new sites this year, increasing engagement on a couple of the Land Trust’s more remote spaces. Alongside this, they are also launching a very significant innovation for Green Angels to celebrate their second decade: The Green Angels Portal.

The Green Angels Portal will streamline the way the team welcome, engage and work with course participants. There will be an educational resources area where trainees can access information on environmental subjects of interest, as well as being able to book onto courses, leave feedback and view course schedules and certificates. There will also be the opportunity to contact and work with trainers.

The team looks forward to introducing more and more people to Green Angels, sharing and growing together towards their blooming future!

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