Royal Botanic Gardens Kew – Youth Explainers

Youth volunteers gain life-changing skills from Kew Gardens’ experts

When it comes to looking after the environment, educating the next generation has a vital part to play. We need to make sure that students understand more about the environment and why our plant life must be conserved.

We’re partnering with Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London, a world-leading centre for plant science and conservation. Our grant of £31,500 is helping fund their unique Youth Explainers programme, which gives young people the opportunity to volunteer in the Temperate House – the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse and home to 10,000 plants, many of which are rare and endangered.

  • Our grant will support 20 participants in Kew’s Youth Explainers Programme in 2021.
  • Since May 2018, Youth Explainers have given more than 1,200 hours of volunteering time to Kew.
  • All Youth Explainers have achieved a Silver CREST Award – a nationally recognised scheme for student-led project work in science, technology,

Specialist training for school pupils

 The Youth Explainers Programme provides six months of weekly specialist training for students from schools in Kew’s neighbouring boroughs of Ealing, Hounslow and Hammersmith & Fulham. They gain a variety of skills and knowledge – from public speaking to horticulture – as they work with Kew’s experts.

At the end of the programme, participants create their own interactive games, which they introduce to the public visiting the Temperate House. They also volunteer in the Temperate House, every other weekend for the following five months – and they can choose to do this for longer.

Feedback from previous participants and their teachers shows the programme has helped increase confidence, with some young people deciding to explore a career in botany, biology or science.

“We know from their feedback that our Youth Explainers gain increased self-confidence and self-esteem from participating. Many will have never visited or heard of Kew before; by the end of the programme they have gained valuable knowledge and skills, volunteered in an iconic glasshouse, and may even be inspired to become part of the next generation of horticulturists and plant scientists that Kew and the world need.”
Richard Deverell, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

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