A Scottish marine charity believes vital funding as part of a landmark National Lottery campaign will help get more young people involved in environmental work.
The Scottish Seabird Centre is a marine conservation and education centre aiming to provide outreach that gets people involved in environmentalism.
With a vision to maintain the health of Scotland’s environment, the centre has benefited from special funding commemorating The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
To mark the Jubilee year, The National Lottery is providing over £22 million to communities across the UK to commemorate Her Majesty The Queen’s 70-year reign.
Funding has been given across community, arts, sports, and environmental initiatives that have galvanised their local community, whilst leaving a legacy in the name of the Jubilee.
Multiple grants are being made to organisations the length and breadth of the country, thanks to National Lottery players who raise over £30m each week for good causes.
The Scottish Seabird Centre’s funding has been put towards a new marine ambassadors scheme, Citizen Science, that is targeting teenagers and young adults.
Charlotte Bray, Fundraising Manager said, “With Citizen Science, we’re bringing people together and involving them in data collection projects.
“By building up data on the state of Scotland’s marine environment, we can really learn more about it. The idea is just to make that as accessible as possible.
“The particular thing that our funding went towards is the establishment of the new Citizen Science hub which is particularly looking at engaging people who are 16-24 years old with marine ecology conservation.
“The hub will give them a way to learn more about marine environments and the way they can help.
“You can fit it around your own free time and feel really good about the contribution you are making, as well as learn valuable skills.”
Scotland’s marine environment is facing the same serious challenges as other environments when it comes to global warming.
It is hoped that the scheme supported by the funding can highlight the importance of Scotland’s environment and encourage further efforts to preserve it.
Bray added: “If you look at Scotland itself, it’s a really significant place for marine environment and the sea is crucial for nature and people. We’ve seen through lockdown that people love being in nature and wild spaces.
“In terms of mental health and wellbeing we really know that people benefit from having access to blue and green spaces.
“Providing engagement with nature and interacting with it is valuable to people. The whole concept of linking people, places and nature is a big part of our future as well.”
National Lottery Ambassadors Rachel Stevens and Roman Kemp visited organisations to learn first-hand how projects have gone beyond celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee and are creating long lasting change, thanks to The Platinum Jubilee Fund.
With music and theatre close to her heart, Rachel said: “What I love about working in music and the performing arts is its ability to connect people to inspire creativity and push boundaries together.
“One of the highlights of my career was performing for The Queen at the Golden Jubilee and it’s amazing to see others get the opportunity to use theatre and performance to celebrate her Platinum year.”
Roman added: “Thanks to National Lottery players, funding has touched so many communities the length and breadth of the UK – it’s amazing to see how the funding has been used.”
For further information on how The National Lottery is helping bring communities together to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, visit https://www.national-lottery.co.uk/jubilee-celebrations