£2m for green youth volunteering projects

The SITA Trust and the youth volunteering charity v are each giving £1m over two years to a new programme called Greenprints that will encourage 16 to 25-year olds to help improve their local environment.

The environmental improvement charity BTCV, local Wildlife Trusts and the BBC's Breathing Places Campaign will also support the programme, expected to involve more that 700 environmental projects.

The SITA Trust is a funding organisation which supports community improvement projects around landfill sites owned by the waste management company SITA UK.

SITA spokeswoman Emma Drury said Greenprints was "a challenge laid down by the government to see what the Landfill Communities Fund could do to increase youth volunteering.

"There will be conservation opportunities available, but the idea is for young people to suggest new ideas," she said. She said the £1 million donations by SITA Trust and v were among the largest donations made by either organisation.

Mel Foster, director of marketing and communication for v, said the long-standing goal was to make young people more passionate about volunteering: "Part of our mission is to change the perception of volunteers, and if we can find opportunities which tap into young people's interests, we feel the volunteering experience will be much more compelling to them."

The SITA Trust will oversee the distribution of funds while BTCV and regional Wildlife Trusts will provide mentor support for project participants. The BBC is incorporating Greenprints in its Breathing Places campaign, which also encourages local environmental interaction and preservation.

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