The Myplace project is an exciting and innovative ecotherapy project delivered by the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside (LWT) in partnership with the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust. It helped more than 1,100 young people to engage with the natural world to help them become happier and healthier, with an improvement in wellbeing. Myplace has helped young people to become more resilient, less anxious, gain social connections, and find positive progression in their lives.
Myplace helped improve or create 175 greenspaces. Examples of work undertaken range from the creation of wildflower planting, clearing litter and flytipping, creating homes for nature from commissions from farmers to build owl boxes to the local community making their gardens accessible for
nature, through to young people creating bird feeding areas, making ponds, and signage.
Many young people on Myplace went on to get jobs, volunteering roles and training. All 10 of the Myplace trainees progressed on to work after the placements. The traineeships proved effective in helping young people find a route into employment in the environmental sector.
According to the Myplace evaluation report:
  • 92% of young people on the project have given something back
  • 97% of young people attending Myplace have learned something new
  • Young people who attend increase wellbeing across the board
  • 87% of young people were more active
The Our Bright Future programme enabled LWT to develop and grow its own Youth Council. LWT’s first Youth Council was created in 2019 and has evolved over time. The Our Bright Future programme encouraged LWT to truly embrace youth voice, and to make bold decisions that involved trialling new approaches. Here are just a few achievements of the Youth Council in 2021:
  • Two young people sat alongside Metro Mayors Andy Burnham and Steve Rotherham at the COP26 Green Zone Youth Generation event
  • One young person presented his poem on nature – Bygones – on the UN Global Stage at COP26 Green Zone event
  • The Youth Council presented at The Chester Zoo Youth Symposium on Youth Governance in Conservation
  • Youth Council members met with Cat Smith MP and Speaker of the House Sir Lindsey Hoyle on the importance of youth voice in environmental decision making
  • Members of the Youth Council featured on ‘The Green Files’ podcast, appeared on BBC North West Tonight, featured on BBC Radio Manchester (twice!) and featured on BBC Asian Network discussing how vital nature is
Kirstie from the Youth Council wrote a blog about how nature can help with our mental health. Caitlin wrote about her experience of being part of the Youth Council. The project also received a royal visit, learn more here and watch this video to learn how the project has positively impacted its participants.