Over the last year Real Ideas has delivered Green Thinkers, a 6-week programme aimed at 18–30-year-olds living in Plymouth, who have an interest in being outdoors; learning new skills and gaining an understanding of jobs within the green sector. 

Delivered over 2 days across a 6-week period, young people accessed a range of learning activities and hands on work experience with the Plymouth Natural Grid (PNG) team and local organisations, whilst working in green spaces in Plymouth.  The programme also supported individuals with job applications, cover letters and the concept of ikigai. Practical days included visiting Poole Farm with The National Trust, Exeter University and days with local organisations such as Snap Dragons

During the programmes young people also worked towards an enterprise challenge; which saw groups develop sustainable, green regeneration plans for the outside spaces by Devonport Guildhall and Ocean Studios which they presented to industry professionals. 

Alongside the delivery of the programme, Real Ideas provided in employer support to 15 young people who worked with the PNG team on their Kickstart placements.  Young people spent 2 days onsite with Rangers working in Plymouths nature reserves and supporting community engagement events and 1 day with Real Ideas for in-employer support.   

Since the programme started in January 2022, we have worked with 48 young people across 6 different groups. Seeing young people go into education, training and jobs that they enjoyed. The programme achieved its aims:  to support young people to gain industry insight, engage with their local communities, develop practical skills and secure jobs they enjoy. a- promoting green jobs amongst young people in Plymouth. 

From challenging imposter syndrome to discovering new skills, the young people that took part saw growth in themselves beyond what they expected. Check out some of their stories here: 

Green Thinkers as a programme has been a unique opportunity for young people to learn more about local green spaces and developing practical skills alongside gaining bespoke support with next steps. The programme has seen a huge impact on individuals mental health, confidence and for some has been a steppingstone into a green career.  

Kate Rowlands, Programme Lead 

I have thoroughly enjoyed delivering Green Thinkers, we have had the pleasure of working with such a wonderfully diverse and engaging group of young people. Over this past year we have supported young people to feel more connected to where they live, to grow in confidence, form friendships and develop innovative ideas around local green spaces. It has been great to be outside in nature, getting our hands dirty, meeting inspiring people and learning skills for green focused jobs. Alongside practical skills and experience, young people have had time to reflect and learn about themselves and prepare for the next stage in their journey, whether education, employment, developing their own business or volunteering.

Amy Cooper, Community Lead – Nature & Neighbourhoods

Green Thinkers was a programme delivered by Real Ideas Organisation in partnership with Plymouth City Council’s Plymouth Natural Grid (PNG team) and  The National Trust. The project is funded by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm’s-Length Bodies, The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, The Environment Agency and Forestry Commision