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Lake District Foundation to launch Youth Panel

L-R: Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation Director, Peter Hensman, LDF Treasurer & Executive Director of Lake District Estates, Richard Leafe, Trustee and Chief Executive Lake District National Park Authority, Andrew Craig-Mair, Trustee, Lake District Foundation and General Manager at Ambleside Park

Hot on the heels of celebrating its first anniversary, the Lake District’s newest charity is turning to members of the younger generation to ask what they feel are the most important local projects and issues it should support in the coming years.

The Lake District Foundation – which last month celebrated its first birthday having raised a massive £400,000 for 16 different projects, is launching a Youth Panel – with ten spaces up for grabs.

They’re calling for anyone aged between 14 and 19 with an interest in conservation, tourism, charity or the environment to help shape the charity’s direction in the coming years.

It’s hoped that a stronger understanding of local young peoples’ values will help the charity make informed decisions on which projects to select, that best represent young peoples’ passions and to strengthen their understanding of what life is like for teenagers living in and around the national park.

Applicants must live locally and be able to attend up to four meetings per year at locations across the Lake District. Travel expenses will be covered for those taking on the voluntary role, with help also available to transport panel members to the quarterly sessions.

As well as being a great help and insight for the charity’s small team, the LDF also says the role will benefit members of the youth panel directly, helping with personal development, while giving them the chance to learn new skills, meet new people and explore new career avenues.

Lake District Foundation Director Sarah Swindley says, “Enabling young people to contribute to the plans for the future of our charity seems like an obvious idea. We talk a lot about ensuring that our natural world is there for future generations, but I’m not sure we listen often enough what those generations might want us to be doing. Hopefully this will be the start of us doing this better in the Lake District Foundation.

“On a personal note, I am passionate about citizenship and the role of civil society in shaping our world. I became a charity leader by a very long-winded route and I want to take every opportunity to speak to young people about the varied, interesting and rewarding careers available in our sector and help our future leaders develop the skills we need.”

There will also be a chance to meet the charity’s Trustees and its Adventure Ambassador Sean Conway, whose record-breaking exploits include cycling across Europe, as well as running, sailing and swimming the length of Great Britain in three separate challenges.

Sean added, “Every child remembers their early outdoor experiences with family or friends. The better we all make the county, the more likely young people are to be inspired to explore it and maybe even set their own goals in the future, like I’ve done for so many years. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be handing over my world records to them!”

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an informal interview.

To apply, complete the short form here.

You can find out more about the Lake District Foundation, here.

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