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Giant bioluminescent moth flutters in to support ELP2 launch

Luna the ‘moon gazing moth’ swooped in to greet participants on the launch weekend of the Environmental Leadership Programme 2 (ELP2) in Shrewsbury on Saturday 21st of October. The programme, that aims to strengthen young people's connection to nature and enable them to develop and implement nature-focused campaigns in their local communities, embraced the visit from the Luna moth.

Luna is a five-meter sculpture of a ‘Luna moth’ mounted to an electric cargo bike, with a powerful telescope mounted to her frame. She’s touring the country to promote the work of community projects funded through The National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund. The fund supports local groups across the UK taking action to tackle climate change.

Mel Eaglesfield, Deputy Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “The Luna Moth Mobile Moongazing Unit provides a truly exciting opportunity for people to come together and take part in a free and unique stargazing experience. Thanks to National Lottery players, projects across the UK, such as The Environmental Leadership Programme 2, are working tirelessly to empower and mobilise their local communities to take action on climate change and support people to deliver meaningful change that matters to them.”

The weekend, hosted by UpRising and Shropshire Wildlife Trust, delivered a mix of nature connection activities and curriculum based exercises that allowed the cohort to discuss key environmental issues and to get to know each other.

Mahnoor Kamran, programme participant said:

“I enjoyed the weekend a lot, a break from the day to day for a lot of people. It’s great to come together at a weekend to talk about everything environmental but also to get to know each other on a different level, that we wouldn’t have been able to do online. It’s really positive to be welcomed into a community where people are as equally excited as I am and the important thing is how to turn the critical thinking into practical action.”

Warren Smith, programme participant said:

“There are a lots of great people in the group. Some of them have a lot more specialist knowledge than I do, and I’ve been listening and learning a lot from them. We had a lot of strong debate and discussions and I’m looking forward to the rest of the course.”

ELP2 is a free 9-month programme for 18–25-year-olds based in the West Midlands. It is a hybrid programme that fits around participants existing commitments. Thanks to National Lottery players, ELP2 has been awarded almost £1.5m over 5 years from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. More detail can be found here: www.elp2.uk

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Notes to editors:

Contact:

Rachel Newby – Communications Office, ELP Programme at Shropshire Wildlife Trust

[email protected] or 07983542087 or [email protected]

Rukaiya Jeraj – Head of Programmes at UpRising and ELP Programme Manager

[email protected]

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UpRising 

UpRising is a UK-wide youth leadership development organisation and recognised as a pioneering charity promoting the issues of social mobility and equality. Our mission is to open up pathways to power for a diverse pool of young people who have talent, but lack opportunity. We equip under-represented young people with the knowledge, networks, skills and confidence to fulfil their leadership potential, find new opportunities and transform the world around them through social action. We offer a range of leadership and employability programmes for 18 - 25 year olds and have been delivering programmes since 2008. In that time, we’ve supported over 5,000 young people who’ve impacted nearly 20,000 others in their communities. The diversity

www.uprising.org.uk

Shropshire Wildlife Trust

Shropshire Wildlife Trust (SWT) has a vision of a thriving natural world, where Shropshire's wildlife and natural habitats play a valued role in addressing the climate and ecological emergencies, and people are inspired and empowered to take action for nature. We combine projects across Shropshire (including Telford & Wrekin) with advocacy and campaigning to restore nature and to engage people. We manage over 40 nature reserves and have almost 50 staff, 300 volunteers, and over 9000 members. SWT is an autonomous charity, but we are increasingly working collectively, as part of The Wildlife Trusts (TWT), to ensure that our local actions have a national impact and help to address global issues.

www.shropshirewildlifetrust.org.uk

About The National Lottery Community Fund 

We are the largest non-statutory community funder in the UK – community is at the heart of our purpose, vision and name.  

We support activities that create resilient communities that are more inclusive and environmentally sustainable and that will strengthen society and improve lives across the UK. 

We’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to work closely with government to distribute vital grants and funding from key Government programmes and initiatives.   

As well as responding to what communities tell us is important to them, our funding is focused on four key missions, supporting communities to:  

1. Come together 

2. Be environmentally sustainable 

3. Help children and young people thrive 

4. Enable people to live healthier lives. 

Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, we distribute around £500 million a year through 10,000+ grants and plan to invest over £4 billion of funding into communities by 2030. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.   

National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, £47 billion has been raised and more than 670,000 individual grants have been made across the UK - the equivalent of around 240 National Lottery grants in every UK postcode district. 

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