Youth Explainers

Our youth volunteer programme offers young people the chance to work with Kew experts and explore ways to engage the public in plant science and conservation.

Youth Explainers jumping in the air outside Kew's Temperate House

This award-winning training and volunteering programme is an opportunity for young people aged 14 to 17 to become experts in science communication and public engagement.

Learn from our world-leading scientists and horticulturists, and develop innovative ways to inspire the public.

The programme

Young people will have the chance to: 

  • Learn about plant science and conservation, and the extraordinary work of Kew Scientists.
  • Explore behind the scenes and discover the largest and most diverse plant collection in the world.
  • Develop communication skills and confidence with the help of our experts. 
  • Create fun and innovative resources to engage the public in science and conservation. 
  • Volunteer in Kew's iconic Temperate House and Princess of Wales Conservatory.
  • Complete a Kew Young Environmental Leader Award and the volunteering and skills' requirements for a silver or bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.
  • Enrich their CV for use in applications for jobs, colleges and universities.
  • Win a volunteer award worth £100 

How the programme works 

We accept 40 young people onto the programme each year.

Training sessions take place on Saturdays from October to March, with a 4-day induction in October half term. 

Young people then volunteer fortnightly from April until August. 10 volunteering sessions will take place in one of Kew's renowned glasshouses between April to September.

How to get involved  

We are working in partnership with selected schools in our local London boroughs to make sure our programme reaches young people who might not have previously visited Kew or had similar opportunities in the past. 

If you are a teacher or headteacher, and are interested in finding out more, please contact