A YOUNG wildlife enthusiast from Rossmar School, in Limavady, has been recognised for his hard work and dedication.
Brandon Magee has been awarded a prestigious Grassroots Challenge Environmental leader award following his work on the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze challenge.
Rossmar Principal Mrs Clements couldn't speak highly enough of Brandon's hard work and dedication.
Mrs Clements told the Northern Constitution: “Brandon was participating in the Duke of Edinburgh awards when his enthusiasm and passion for was spotted by Ulster Wildlife.
“Brandon is a very keen volunteer, and was taking part in Ulster Wildlife tasks when his hard work and enthusiasm shone through.
“He was nominated by his teacher Mrs Haslett who organises the Duke of Edinburgh's schemes for Rossmar.
“We at Rossmar are delighted at this well deserved award given to Brandon.”
Over the last year, over 2800 young people, aged 11 to 25, from Young Farmers’ Clubs, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award groups and special schools rolled up their sleeves to carry out 166 projects to help nature thrive in their local area, as part of the Grassroots Challenge project, led by Ulster Wildlife.
From making homes for birds and hedgehogs to planting trees and transforming local spaces into vital wildlife havens, the young people have unleashed their passion, creativity and potential to make a real difference to their environment and community around them.
The awards ceremony, hosted by inspiring young people from the Grassroots Challenge Youth Forum, saw Brandon and twelve other young people presented with Young Environmental Leader Awards.
Alexey Janes, Grassroots Project Coordinator with Ulster Wildlife, said: “A huge well done to everyone - they should be so proud of themselves.
“Helping young people make a difference to their local environment is what the Grassroots Challenge is all about, so it is fantastic to see so many young people with the drive, energy and passion step up and change things for the better.
“Every generation has what it takes to create real positive change. It is simply a matter of having the confidence and support to do so, and we hope to encourage thousands more young people to take action for nature.”
The Grassroots Challenge has already seen over 7,000 young people skilled-up to lead wildlife projects in their local communities.
Young people are also given the opportunity to complete accredited training, sign-up for the Eco-Club programme run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and participate in democracy education sessions at Stormont with Northern Ireland Environment Link.
The Grassroots Challenge is part of Our Bright Future, a programme of 31 projects across the UK co-ordinated by the Wildlife Trusts and funded by the Big Lottery.