Somerset Wildlife Trust has been awarded £60,000 funding from the Blue Influencers Scheme.

The trust was one of 22 charities to secure funding and will receive £20,000 a year for three years.

The grant will be used to employ a 'Blue Mentor' tasked with recruiting local youth, between the ages of 10 and 14, to create and implement social initiatives aimed at environmental betterment in their schools and communities.

The Blue Influencers Scheme, a pioneering project of the Ernest Cook Trust, seeks to empower young individuals from underserved communities and those residing by the coast, estuaries, and rivers.

Its objective is to equip them with the necessary tools to tackle climate change and other environmental issues.

The scheme, boasting a funding pool of £2.25 million, is equally supported by the Ernest Cook Trust and the #iwill Fund and aims to mobilise more than 4,000 'Blue Influencers', as well as over 15,000 community members across England over three years.

Chard & Ilminster News: The trust was one of 22 charities to secure funding

The #iwill Fund is a result of a collaborative £66 million investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The Ernest Cook Trust acts as a match funder and is responsible for granting funds on behalf of the #iwill Fund.

Ed Ikin, chief executive of The Ernest Cook Trust, said: "Young people are often the most passionate about the environment and are very aware of the issues we face with climate change.

"The Blue Influencers Scheme will give them the funding, platform and tools they need to make positive changes to benefit their entire community."

He added: "We were pleased to select Somerset Wildlife Trust to join the Blue Influencers Scheme and are excited to see just what the young people come up with."

Kristen Lambert, wilder lives manager at Somerset Wildlife Trust, stated: "In Somerset, we’re lucky to have 53 miles of coastline with a rich variety of habitats and wildlife.

"Unfortunately, it often doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but by encouraging young people and schools to engage with our brilliant coast, we aim to help them stand up for this crucial natural asset."

For more information on The Ernest Cook Trust's Blue Influencers Scheme, visit its website.