Sir Peter Blake Trust YELF – Youth Enviro Leaders Forum by supplied

Sir Peter Blake Trust Youth Enviro Leaders Forum and selection for Young Blake expedition 2016

Aidan Braid, Deputy Head Boy has been selected as one of 14 young people in New Zealand to go on the 2016 Young Blake expedition in February next year. Initially he was selected as one of 52 students to attend an Enviro-Leaders forum in Rotorua during the April holidays. He impressed there and has been selected for this voyage. 

The pupils will  board a navy frigate in February next year and spend 14 days experiencing ship life, working with scientists and on conservation projects.  They will travel to the sub antarctic Auckland Islands.  The voyage to reach the uninhabited islands will take four days from Devonport.  Aidan will need to raise $1000 each for the trip.

Sir Peter Blake Trust environmental programme director Hannah Prior said the experience would shape the pupils' futures.

''They ... will come back champions for a unique and special part of New Zealand's environment,'' she said.

''They will be totally out of their comfort zone and challenged in ways theydidn't imagine.

''[It] will ... give them the skills and knowledge to help lead environmental projects.''

The following article about the initial Youth Enviro Leaders Forum was written by Aidan:

I was ecstatic to be selected as one of 52 students from all around New Zealand to attend the forum in Rotorua, completely sponsored by the trust.It was an exceptional opportunity, tons of fun and very educational! The focus of the forum was fresh water management, based on the many lakes surrounding Rotorua and the work being done to improve or maintain the water quality. At the start of our journey the 52 of us stayed at a naval base and participated leadership and team building exercises, this was good fun! Many fantastic local organisations came and talked to us about the work they do and we debated about the environmental issues surrounding their work. We also did a media workshop and afterwards we did a great deal of speeches to many important people.

I had a great time learning loads about; the environmental issues confronting New Zealand and what we can do to help, the Sir Peter Blake Trust and its purpose, confronting the media and speaking publicly, and the local success stories from Rotorua and all around New Zealand of conservation groups. Did you know that wild kiwi could be extinct in the next 50 years? Or that close to 70,000 native birds die every day? There is so much work being done but it is not nearly enough. I met so many wonderful people who were all incredible and likeminded.

I am so thankful for the experience that I was given and I had an awesome time, the learning experience of a lifetime, with fun filled activities and great people. It couldn’t have been better. Thank you Sir Peter Blake Trust!

Ka kite ano