National Trust forms youth team

The National Trust is to step up its youth work across the UK and create a team dedicated to providing a range of services to a younger audience.

It is forming a youth development team as a first step in targeting a younger audience and expanding its activities for the age group. The team will develop a central youth strategy and direct policy out to regional National Trust offices.

The charity is recruiting internally for a national youth work manager, and will also appoint two youth involvement officers to assist the team.

Nick Wilkes, national community volunteering adviser at the trust, said that the charity believes it can raise the quality of youth work in the UK by diversifying its message to a younger audience.

"This team has enormous potential to really make a difference by capturing the attention of the youth market,

he said.

"The National Trust must stay relevant by integrating young people and their views into every area of our policy."

Wilkes added that the organisation aims to implement the new policy by devising national projects and schemes and forging strong links with youth development agencies.

The charity is developing a relationship with overseas volunteering agency Raleigh International, which will see more than 18,000 volunteers taking a course in conservation at a National Trust property in Gloucester.

Another major project will be the launch of a National Trust national youth forum, funded through a Department for Education and Skills grant for National Voluntary Youth Organisations. The forum will specifically target disadvantaged and minority communities.

"We're already sounding out different organisations to get involved with the forum,

said Wilkes.

"We're hoping to link in with a variety of different communities and eventually have regional panels so that young people across the country are accurately represented."

The charity also plans to build on its 68,000-strong youth membership by developing its inner-city projects.

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