A YORKSHIRE Dales charity is launching a new fundraising appeal that will help to break down barriers that prevent young people from accessing nature, empowering them to take positive action for the environment and helping them to get jobs that make a difference.

Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) is hoping to raise £60,000 to support the Green Futures Programme through the Big Give: bit.ly/donate-greenfutures.

For one week, starting on Thursday (April 18) every donation will be doubled thanks to match funding from tthe charity's long-term partner Tarmac.

Tarmac, a leading sustainable building materials and construction solutions company, has been a supporter of YDMT for ten years and shares a commitment to investing in environmental stewardship and supporting the charity's work with young people.

To date, Tarmac has helped facilitate access to the Dales for more than 1,000 young people and adults for health, wellbeing and skills development opportunities, in addition to enabling the planting of 9,000 trees and helping to create and manage woodland in the Dales.

Steven Curtin, area operations manager at Tarmac, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our longstanding partnership with YDMT. During this week of match funding for the charity’s Green Futures Programme, we’re hoping to support more young people than ever before to get out in nature, and gain vital understanding and experience of environmental stewardship.”

Contributions to the campaign will go towards the Green Futures outreach programme, which supports and inspires young people to connect with nature and develop life skills. It will also benefit the Youth Forum, which nurtures these skills and helps them take positive environmental action.

In addition, the campaign will provide funding for a rural apprenticeship, helping a young person in the Dales take their first steps towards a green career.

Fiona Busfield, Green Futures programme manager, said: “Inequalities in the UK make it hard for many young people to visit our national parks and benefit from spending time in nature. As many as 80 per cent of young people want to do more to care for the environment but lack skills and confidence.

“That’s where YDMT’s Green Futures Programme comes in. We aim to inspire young people and give them the capabilities and self-belief to create the world they want to see.

“We are grateful to Tarmac for their support of this crucial work and say a huge thank you to those who contribute to our Big Give campaign.”

Donations made via The Big Give website from midday on April 18 until midday on April 25 at bit.ly/donate-greenfutures will be doubled while funds last.