The New Futures Academy is a community based youth education initiative specialising in ecological design and awareness. We are based in South Devon, in the Totnes and Dartington area. Our courses are designed to help young people learn and create genuine solutions to the current climate and ecological crisis, whilst nurturing and enriching their sense of wellbeing in these challenging times.
There is a huge demand and an important need for young people to learn practical solutions to climate change and ecological restoration. We believe there are currently not enough opportunities for young people to learn these practical skills. Whilst there are some fantastic courses and training opportunities available in the UK, they are mostly fee paying and unaffordable to young people with limited incomes. We want to make our courses affordable, and if possible free to young people age 15 - 21.
We are primarily focusing on raising funding for our 'Design for Life' course; a Permaculture Design Certificate programme specifically designed for young people. Our video explains a little more about this and introduces our Marina O'Connell, our lead tutor. You can also read more about the course here.
If we reach our funding target we will be able to offer the 12 day 'Design For Life' course free to 15 young people and also put £1000 in the pot to run a series of day long and weekend workshops; including: tree planting, rural crafts, landscape design challenges, eco-building workshops, nature therapy and volunteer days. We also plan to repeat of our popular 'Coping with Climate Change' workshop, which we will offer to local schools and colleges.
Our courses will happen at a variety of inspirational sites in South Devon, including The Apricot Centre at Huxhams Cross Farm and The Glade on the Dartington Hall Estate (run by 'The Woodland Presents'). During 2020 we will be developing a permanent site at Little Barton, Littlehempston; some of our workshops and volunteer days will include design and practical work on this site.
We have an amazingly skilled team of tutors, advisors and volunteers, led by Project Director Chris Smith. We have an extensive network of local sustainable enterprises offering learning experiences through field trips and work experience opportunities. Our advisory group also includes a panel of local young people who have very much helped to shape the vision and ethos of The New Futures Academy. You can read more about us here: http://www.newfuturesacademy.co.uk/