Meet the Team – Amy Copeland, client mentor for One Planet Pioneers
Actes’ Amy Copeland is playing a key role in increasing environmental awareness among young people in Middlesbrough.
The twenty-five year old is a client mentor for One Planet Pioneers, a project that is part funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Our Bright Futures programme which Actes delivers in conjunction with Middlesbrough Environment City and Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. The initiative aims to develop the skills of young people aged 14-21 through a diverse range of environmental activities as well as volunteering, training and apprenticeship opportunities.
Amy’s role is a varied one which involves engaging and recruiting young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds including those not in education, employment or training, to become environmental advocates and leaders, enhancing their skills and experience in the process. She has engaged dozens of young people from across the Borough in practical environmental activities ranging from environmental surveys to planting schemes and bird box making to fracking awareness.
In addition, Amy has written and developed an accredited course in Understanding Mentoring and Peer Support which she promotes and delivers to young people as part of the scheme, she engages hard to reach secondary school pupils in alternative learning and she organises and runs the One Planet Pioneers youth panel which allows local young people to have their say about their community and make improvements. Amy has recently completed a BA (Hons) in Education and Training to further boost her expertise.
She said: “One Planet Pioneers supports young people to make long-term environmental improvements to their local areas to benefit their neighbourhoods and communities.
“The project provides positive opportunities for disadvantaged young people such as NEETs or students at risk of being excluded from school and those that are in transition from school to college to volunteer, benefit from training and to even secure apprenticeships.”
Through her role, Amy is keen to encourage more females to pursue roles in areas such as conservation and the environment.
“There are some fantastic opportunities in this sector and I hope I can inspire other young females interested in the environment to get involved,” she added.
Amy has worked for Actes for the past three years, undertaking roles with the regional award winning benefit health check campaign, ‘It’s Your Right to Claim’ and as part of One Planet Living, engaging local communities in recycling initiatives.
Other roles than have contributed to her substantial experience of working with children and young people include working as an Early Year’s Practitioner and as a Youth Worker at Linx Detached Youth Work Project where she worked with vulnerable and socially excluded young people aged eight to 25.
She commented: “Working at Actes as part of the One Planet Pioneers delivery team is really rewarding. I enjoy meeting new people and I’m truly passionate about working with children and young people and enjoy supporting them to achieve their potential.”