Feedback’s Eco Talent project provided paid internships and placements for 46 young people with environmental campaigning organisations or social enterprises/charities providing alternative, more sustainable methods to our current food system. The internships were aimed at young people who were from underrepresented backgrounds or who felt the environmental sector was inaccessible to them. The project ran from October 2019 to December 2021.
Host organisations was based in London, Manchester and Brighton and included: Sutton Community Farm, Forty Hall Farm, Sustain, GROW at the Totteridge Academy, Fork and Dig It, Rock Farm, Groundwork London, Growing Communities Dagenham Farm, Growing Communities Hackney patchwork farms, SOS-UK and Aweside Farm.
All interns have gained valuable experience in application writing, interview skills, practical, on the job work experience and built strong connections in the sector. Statistics from exit interviews show that two thirds of the interns consider the skills they gained as the most satisfying thing about undertaking their internship, other popular answers were ‘meeting new people’ and ‘the rewarding nature of the work’.
All interns either agreed or strongly agreed that their confidence had increased.
“Everyone at Feedback has shown me my true worth and what I am capable of achieving. They gave me enough support, so I didn’t feel alone or lost, but they also gave me enough room to figure out things on my own and learn new skills and independence.”
“Weeks whereby I had 1 day of the week pastoral care session including 1on1 session – felt like talking to a life coach but to do with the environment & food sector – this platform helped my confidence as it gave me validation. External speakers trained us in public speaking, CV writing, etc. How to utilise these in everyday life. These skills increased my self-esteem”
At least half of the interns have secured work in the sector with environmental organisations, on farms and with community kitchens. Several of the interns have gone on to do more training, with three currently enrolled at university, one made the decision to study conservation as a direct result of their EcoTalent internship. Twelve interns went on to secure work at their host organisation.
You can learn more about Feedback’s Eco Talent by downloading the project evaluation report.