Youth grants

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Aged 14–25? Apply for a £500 grant from Grow Wild and run your own exciting project this summer!

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Young girl in green t-shirt planting in community group
Heath Hands, Ines Stuart-Davidson/RGB Kew

Please note, applications for this grant opportunity have now closed. 

Our amazing UK native plants and fungi need your help...

Not only are they colourful, weird and wonderful, they provide important food sources and shelter for our pollinating insects, birds and other wildlife. They contribute to vital medicines and have even inspired magical myths and legends.

Despite all this, unfortunately many UK native plant and fungi species across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are in decline, particularly in more urban areas.

We want to change this by giving UK native species the attention and appreciation they deserve, connecting people and communities along the way.

Join us on our mission.

The brief

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Young smiling woman wearing orange t-shirt on microphone

 

If you're 14-25 and based in the UK, we’re inviting you to...

Come up with a project idea to celebrate and share why UK native plants and/or fungi are so special

In return you’ll receive:

  • A grant of £500, to pay for everything you need for your project. It could go towards anything, from basic materials and equipment to resources or any training you’ll find helpful.
  • The support of Grow Wild, and connection to a community of other passionate young people, completing projects across the UK. 
  • An invitation to take part in Kew's new Youth Environmental Leaders Award. This Kew accredited award and training programme will upskill and empower you to encourage others to share their passion for the natural world. The award has been designed to work alongside your Grow Wild project at every stage, helping you to get the most out of this grant opportunity. 
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  • This is a unique opportunity to bring your own project vision to life!

  • You get to decide how you'll complete your project, so use the theme and do something you really enjoy! Whether you're into sowing or sewing, photography or video making, science or cooking... if you've got an idea, we want to hear from you. We’re open to all sorts of projects so don't hold back. 

  • You’ll be taking positive action for biodiversity, people and the planet.

  • You'll get to connect, inspire and have fun with others. Involve your friends, neighbours or wider community.

  • It’s a great way to add new experience to your CV or portfolio.

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Not at all!

In fact, we particularly like receiving applications from people who don’t already know much about our UK native species. And with such a huge variety of UK native trees, fungi, mosses, wildflowers, grasses and lichens - who can really be an expert?

Running your own project is a great way to learn. We're looking for enthusiasm and interesting project ideas.

 

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Patch of wildflowers

 

To be eligible, you need to:

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  1. First have a read of our guidance for applicants and guidance for Supporting Organisations. If you are under 18, please ask a parent or guardian for permission before getting started on your application.

  2. Find a Supporting Organisation to help you deliver the project.

  3. Come up with an amazing idea for your project.

  4. Make a two-minute video telling us about your idea. You don’t need any fancy equipment for this – just a mobile phone is fine. We’re interested in your project ideas, not your film-making skills.

  5. Complete and submit our short online form by 10am on Monday 25th April. Please note, applications for this grant opportunity have now closed. 

Projects will be able to start in June and must be completed by the end of October 2022.

 

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Young guy working with his community group raking
iStock/Halfpoint
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We're glad you asked...

Our aim is to create inspirational environmental leaders who are actively involved in their community and encourage others to share their passion for the natural world. This is why we're giving you the opportunity to take part in the new Kew Youth Environmental Leaders Award. 

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Three young adults in community group holding plants and tools
iStock/Solstock

 

Completion of this award will...

  • Showcase the skills and leadership qualities you'll develop through running your own project. 

  • Give you exclusive access to online training and learning resources to help you complete the award and project successfully.

  • Work alongside your Grow Wild project at every stage, helping you to build your skills, confidence and get the most out of this grant opportunity. 

  • Earn you recognition from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew that will demonstrate your accomplishments to future employers, education establishments, future funders and more.

During the award process you will be asked to submit evidence to demonstrate you have achieved nine leadership qualities. On average, it is anticipated that you will take approximately 30 hours to complete the award. 

Full details and the chance to sign-up will be provided after the successful project grants have been awarded. 

Now more than ever, we need environmentally positive action and nature advocation embedded at the core of all leaders, whoever they are, however big their reach. We really hope you are keen to take part. 

Searching for inspiration?

We’ve funded and supported 301 young people to run their own project since 2014. You could be next!

Check out a few of our past Youth Projects to get your creative juices flowing:

These videos on our YouTube channel might be helpful too: 

Find out why UK native wildflowers, other plants and fungi matter so much...

Guidance for Applicants

The information below explains everything you need to know. Don't forget to also visit our guidance for Supporting Organisations.

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Wildflowers growing out of a white bathtub
Wildflower Bathtub, Peer Hoxton
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  • The application deadline is 10am on Monday 25th April 2022. Please note, applications for this grant opportunity have now closed. 

  • Successful projects will be able to start in June and must be completed by the end of October 2022. If you are planning to run your own project at your school, college or university, please don't forget to factor in the summer holidays!

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We're inviting young people aged 14-25 from across the country to... 

'Come up with a project idea to celebrate and share why UK native plants and/or fungi are so special'

We're looking for...

  • Projects that focus on UK native plants and/or fungi.

  • Projects that will get other people involved in some way. You should aim to share your project with at least 100 people. This may sound like a big number but it's not too difficult to achieve with online platforms and social media to help. 

How will other people benefit from your project ideas? Think about the positive impact you'll have and tell us all about it!

  • Projects that will make good use of the £500 grant - tell us how you will use the money to create the biggest impact. 

Consider what you will need to buy or pay for if your application is successful. This can be any equipment or materials, training, resources, or expert help you need. Please note that the grant cannot be use to pay yourself a wage or salary. 

  • Projects with a WOW-factor - be original and come up with something exciting!

Important: You’ll need permission from the landowner if your project involves any activity taking place in a public area. 

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  • You must nominate a youth, community or education-focused organisation to support you with your project. Think about any organisations you are already connected with. Or, if you don’t have an existing connection, could you reach out to an organisation based in your community? 

  • Your Supporting Organisation will play an important role, helping you with the running of your project and holding the £500 grant on your behalf. Money cannot be placed in personal bank accounts or private business bank accounts.  

  • When seeking support from an organisation, show them the guidance for Supporting Organisations, so they know what’s expected of them. Make sure you read this too, for more details about which organisations are eligible.

  • Talk through your project ideas and work with your Supporting Organisation to make sure you can complete your project safely. Your safety, and the safety of everyone involved is most important, so you need to plan for this carefully. This includes taking necessary steps and precautions to safeguard any young or vulnerable people involved in your project and to reduce the risk of Covid-19. 

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  • How could you share your project online so people could get involved wherever they are?  Maybe you could create videos, a blog or even a newsletter?  
  • How could you make your project more environmentally sustainable? For example, you could use peat-free compost only, harvest rainwater, use local suppliers, or work with recycled materials. 

  • How will you ensure your project is achievable in the given time frame? Are there any holidays to consider which might impact its delivery?  

  • Covid-19 continues to impact many people in different ways - how can you make sure everyone involved with your project feels comfortable, safe and included? 

 

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Two hands drawing mind maps on poster paper
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Your video should be no longer than  two minutes. That’s it! 

You don’t need any fancy equipment for this – just a mobile phone is fine. We’re interested in your project ideas, not your film making skills, just present the information clearly. 

Please include: 

  1. Your catchy project name 
  2. Your project idea and why you want to do it

  3. An explanation of how it will celebrate UK native plants and/or fungi

  4. Details about where you will complete your project 

  5. Details about who will be involved. What will they do or experience? 

  6. A summary of how you will spend the £500

When your video is ready, include a link to it in your application form. Make sure the link is enabled for Grow Wild to view. 

Important: If using a video sharing site such as YouTube or Vimeo, make sure your video is not publicly discoverable. Only share the link with people who need to see it. 

Please ensure that you have consent from everyone featured in the video and inform them that it will be shared with Grow Wild. If you or any young people in the video application are under 18, a parent/guardian must give consent for their taking part. 

If making a video is difficult for you, please contact Grow Wild and let us know. We're happy to offer an alternative from those who have specific access needs.

 

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Woman's hand taking photo of young Fly agaric mushroom with iPhone
iStock/Vera petrunia
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Fill in the online form, including the link to your video.

  • You’ll be asked to give contact details for you  and your Supporting Organisation. You should both be contactable throughout the summer. Ask your contact at the Supporting Organisation to help with this.  

  • We will include you and your nominated Supporting Organisation in all communications about your application and project.

  • If you are under 18 years old, please make sure that you have permission from your parent or guardian to do your project and to create and send your application video. We will provide a separate permission form for any online training sessions.  

After you apply, applications will be assessed by a youth panel- a group of young volunteers. The panel members are trained to assess applications and will together decide which projects receive funding. 

Grants will be allocated to project ideas which best meet the criteria set out by Grow Wild, please see ' 2- Read up on what're looking for?’ above, for full details. 

Grow Wild reserves the right to make the final decision around which applicants will receive a grant and no discussion will be entered into in relation to this decision. You will be notified about whether your application has been successful via email by the end of May. So please keep an eye on your inbox! 

 

Very best of luck!

Guidance for Supporting Organisations

 

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Community group leader helping young girl willow weaving

 

Support a young person to apply for a £500 grant and run their own exciting project. 

Here you will find guidance about the role of a Supporting Organisation and which organisations are eligible. We’ve also included some important guidance about safety. 

Make sure you’ve read the guidance for applicants above. 

If you have any questions or need some help, please email Grow Wild or call: 020 45264885 or  07826 873 421. 

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Except for young people with additional needs, or those who need more support, we encourage the young person applying to take responsibility for their project.  

To enable this, each applicant must identify a Supporting Organisation with a named contact person to work with them.  

Grow Wild is not able to make payments to individuals – so eligible Supporting Organisations will receive the grant on behalf of the applicant they’re working with. They’ll also help with managing budget and spend.  

An important part of the role of the Supporting Organisation is to ensure that the young person is able to complete their project safely, providing necessary guidance and making sure that adequate health and safety and safeguarding procedures are in place and followed. 

You can support more than one young person, as long as their projects are clearly different.  

It’s important to note that whilst the Grow Wild team are very happy to help with general support around using the grant and project process, we are not able to offer advice on day-to-day running of the project, or technical practicalities. This is where the Supporting Organisation comes in. 

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A group of young artists at the Grow Wild Exhibition, 70 St Mary Axe, 2021
Previous Grow Wild grant recipient, Ines Stuart-Davidson/ RGB Kew
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As a Supporting Organisation you must be:

1. An established and relevant organisation that is charitable in purpose or not for profit. In particular:

  • Voluntary, youth or community group

  • Education body (excluding primary schools)

  • Arts charity 

  • Local Authority or other council body

  • Health Authority

2. Able to provide a member of staff or volunteer: 

  • to liase with Grow Wild

  • to support the young person as required e.g access to facilities and equipment, publicity of activities, advice and guidance

  • who's contactable during the full project period

3. Financially responsible for the project with:

  • a bank account in the name of their organisation or in the name of the local authority or public sector body where relevant

 

The following organisations are not eligible:

  • Private businesses that operate for profit and have no social purpose

  • Organisations with a solely commercial purpose

 

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Two people working in a small garden

Responsibilities of the Supporting Organisation 

Grow Wild recognises that the level of support that young people will need to deliver their project will vary according to their age, abilities and needs. 

Section 1 below outlines the responsibilities that all Supporting Organisations must adhere to.   

Section 2 below outlines additional responsibilities for Supporting Organisations that are working with young people under 18, individuals and groups with additional needs and/or vulnerable adults.

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It is the responsibility of all Supporting Organisations to:

  • receive the grant award on behalf of the young person applying.

  • ensure that the funding is spent in the way outlined in the application.

  • contact Grow Wild if you become aware that the project is not being delivered as planned.

  • support the young person with the day-to-day delivery of the project including meeting regularly with the young person to discuss the project and providing advice and guidance as required. 

  • ensure the health, safety and well-being of everyone participating in the project. This includes consideration of safeguarding and Covid-19.

As part of this responsibility, Grow Wild will need to see a copy of the following documents before funding will be released: 

  • Constitution (or a similar document agreed by the group) with the group’s purpose and objectives, or evidence that the organisation is part of a Local Authority or other public sector body. 

Copies of the following documents and evidence of relevant disclosure checks (specific to the country) may also be requested if an application is successful: 

  • Equal opportunities policy. 

  • Health and safety policy and procedures. 

  • Public liability insurance suitable for the proposed project. 

  • Volunteering guidelines (if important to the project). 

  • Safeguarding policy and procedures. 

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Where the project is working with young people under 18, individuals and groups with additional needs and/or vulnerable adults, it is the additional responsibility of the Supporting Organisation to: 

  • ensure that the parent/guardian of the young person applying to Grow Wild is aware of the project and has given consent for their child to be the nominated project leader (*see note below) 

  • ensure that all young people (in any of the groups outlined above) who feature in a video application have consent from a parent/guardian to take part 

  • ensure consent for all young people under 18 to participate in activities delivered as part of the project (including an application video) 

  • ensure that all staff and volunteers working with the project have a disclosure check (that is relevant for their UK location and related activities) and have received the appropriate training to support the group and activities 

  • ensure the project is accessible to all participants – with specific consideration of groups and individuals with additional needs (** see note below) 

  • safeguard children under 18 and/or vulnerable adults whilst they are taking part in the project (including any related online and social media activity). 

* Due to Kew’s data protection and safeguarding policies, where the project leader is under 18, Grow Wild will always contact you as the Supporting Organisation in all communications about the project leader’s application and, if funded, the project. 

** If you are supporting an application from a young person  with additional needs, please contact Grow Wild to let us know, so we can ensure this is taken into account. 

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When approached by a young person with a project idea, it is important to discuss and plan with them how the project will be delivered safely, including procedures to safeguard any participants under 18 or vulnerable adults.   

If their application is successful, you may be asked to provide Grow Wild with copies of your health and safety and safeguarding policies and procedures, so please ensure these are up to date.  

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Grow Wild asks young people to create a two minute video, to tell us why they’re applying for a grant.  

Applicants share a link to their video with Grow Wild when they complete and submit their short application form. The application videos are only watched by staff at Grow Wild and the panel of young people who decide which projects will be funded.   

If making a video is difficult for the young person you are supporting, please contact Grow Wild and let us know. We’re pleased to offer an alternative for those who have specific access needs.

For more details and tips about making a video, please read our guidance for applicants.

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This year we are offering each Youth project leader the opportunity to take part in the new Kew Youth Environmental Leaders Award.  

This Kew recognised award and training programme will upskill, empower and build confidence in young leaders to share their passion for the natural world and drive environmental change in their communities. The award has been designed to work alongside their Grow Wild funded project at every stage, helping them to get the most out of this grant opportunity and successfully deliver their project. 

We encourage you to support your young person if they would like to take part. Dedicated online training sessions, access to resources and final submission feedback will be provided by Grow Wild, therefore there won’t be loads of extra work on your plate! However, it will be down to you to assist with day-to-day support or questions and plan progress check-ins to ensure the young person can complete the award on time.

We are committed to ensuring this opportunity is accessible to all. If you are supporting a young person with additional needs or a vulnerable adult, Grow Wild is happy to offer extra support and alternative arrangements where necessary.  

Please email Grow Wild or call 020 45264885 to discuss how best to support your young person.  

Contact us

Got some questions? Keen to talk through ideas? Get in touch with us.

Email: hellogrowwild@kew.org

Telephone: 020 4526 4885 or 07826 873421

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