Heal has announced the names of twelve people from Heal Future who will bring the energy, hopes and views of the next generation into the new rewilding charity’s work on nature’s recovery, climate change and wellbeing.
Heal Future is the network for anyone under 30 wishing to contribute their ideas, time, skills, knowledge and energy to shape and grow Heal.
Bella Lack and Holly Gillibrand, both well-known teenage campaigners on conservation and climate change, have been appointed to new leadership roles in the charity’s new Voice of Heal Future team. Holly is Heal Future’s Rewilding Voice and Bella is Heal Future’s Climate Voice. Heal is also in the process of finding a Wellbeing Voice for the team. Together, the three will raise awareness of Heal’s rewilding ambitions among young people and help amplify the voices of Heal’s young supporters.
“We are thrilled to have these passionate, articulate young women advocating for us.” said Hannah Needham, Junior Director of Heal. “It’s so important to have engaged young people like Holly and Bella on the team.”
Heal also named its ten new Future Advisors, chosen from over 90 young people who applied for a place on the new Heal Future Advisory Panel. The panel has been set up to represent the hundreds of young rewilders who subscribed to the Heal Future network this Spring, as well as those young people the charity aims to attract as it grows.
“Diversity makes us stronger, which is why we selected young people with a range of skills, experiences, ages and backgrounds.” said Hannah Needham. “Our team consists of students and professionals, with varied experience in the corporate and charity sectors. Opportunity was a key consideration in the selection process too – no one on the panel has had a role like this before.”
The ten Future Advisors are Eva Willman (15), Magnus Bower (17), Fergus White (19), Mir Singhvi (21), Ciara Canty (24), Steph Greenslade (24), Nathan Van Cooten (25), Alex Catling (26), Callum Sheehan (26) and Chantelle Lindsay (26). The Future Advisors will sit on the panel for up to two years and then new applications will be invited.
The panel is a sounding board to ensure Heal’s vision resonates with, and benefits, younger generations now and in years to come. Its tasks will include scrutinising Heal plans and policies as they are developed, creating and refining marketing and promotional materials, and contributing to awareness campaigns.
The reaction from young people to Heal’s ‘everyone together’ rewilding model has been remarkable, particularly to Heal3x3 – the charity’s novel fundraising strategy with what3words. The novel use of aerial drone photography to visualise land healing over time captured the imagination of many, and has already inspired people from across the country to support squares for Heal to rewild.
In the first few days after the charity’s launch, Heal gained thousands of followers on social media and was inundated with messages of support. The notion that ordinary people can give land back to nature by pooling resources, time and energy gave Heal’s young supporters much-needed hope in the face of a global pandemic and the climate crisis.
Young people, many furloughed, working or studying from home, or job-hunting, were quick to offer their time as desk-based volunteers: Heal Helpers. Over half of the 150-strong group of Heal Helpers are under 30.
“We know the best chance we have of healing the land for future generations is to work in equal partnership with those who are going to live through that future,” said Jan Stannard, one of the co-founders of Heal. “That’s why we launched our network for young rewilders, Heal Future, and appointed our Heal Future Voices and Advisors.”
Hannah Needham, who is 26 and Heal’s first full-time employee, created Heal Future to ensure that young people’s hopes and concerns for the future were considered in every aspect of the charity’s work. “Not only is it fair to involve young people in decisions that will affect them later in life, but it’s smart too,” she said. “Heal stands apart because of our emphasis on community, on creating accessible rewilded spaces where people from all walks of life come to learn, enjoy and relax. We are committed to working with young voices make sure this rewilding model is relevant for them now and long into the future.”
Those within Heal Future are part of a network that enables like-minded young people to connect with each other, build support for rewilding amongst their peers and share their thoughts and ideas about how the charity can grow as an organisation. The Heal Future Panel will represent the network within Heal.