From left: Peta Foxall, The Wildlife Trusts, alongside co-chair Yetunde Kehinde.  Yetunde speaks at the launch of #iwill4nature, January 2019.

The #iwill Environment Steering Group meets quarterly to bring together organisations across the environmental voluntary sector, alongside DEFRA, to form partnerships and share learning around embedding youth environmental action into the lives of young people across the UK. This year, in collaboration with DEFRA’s Year Of Green Action 2019, we are working together on #iwill4nature.

July’s meeting was the first two be chaired by our two new co-chairs, Chair of The Wildlife Trusts, Peta Foxall, and Yetunde Kehinde, an #iwill Ambassador. The group was previously chaired by Step Up To Serve CEO Charlotte Hill.

Here, Yetunde reflects on what it means to her to be take a leading role in our Environment Steering Group, and in our #iwill4nature work more broadly.

As a young person, who typically wouldn’t have access to planned and comprehensive environmental meetings, I am incredibly humbled and grateful to see so many organisations and charities working toward a common goal. We as a society are finally unifying and working collaboratively to see real, positive environmental change and sustainability, locally and nationally. Hopefully, in the future, we can gain traction on an international scale. It is truly enlightening to see our progress so far.
As young people, it can be hard to not only have our voice heard but listened to, celebrated and empowered. Environmental workshops and meetings allow my voice and other young voices across the UK to feel valued. In these meetings, I feel that as much as a give, I learn.
I loved attending this steering group and am keen to continue to attend in the future. However, I want this to go beyond myself; I want other young people to enjoy these opportunities as I do and to become increasingly involved. Hopefully, someday soon, there will be even more young people being asked to write their reflections.

Yetunde, 17, from London. You can read Yetunde’s Ambassador profile here.