On Saturday 19th March at The Blackpool Sixth Form College young people from across the Fylde Coast came together to plan a greener future for the area. Over 50 people, including groups from 9 schools and colleges attended the first ever Fylde Youth Climate Conference.
The conference was planned and delivered by members of Blackpool Sixth’s student-led Eco Action group in partnership with the Blackpool Youth Climate Group. A key aim of the conference was to share ideas and come up with actions to help tackle climate change at a local, national and international level. Conference delegates took part in roundtable discussions on topics such as living more sustainably, protecting wildlife and ecosystems, and making the fashion industry more environmentally-friendly. They also discussed how best to form ‘eco’ groups which can lead collective action in their schools and communities.
There were activity and resources stalls, including one staffed by Scout Network at which students could have a go at planting vegetable seeds and learning map-reading skills.
Another key feature of the event was video input from a number of local organisations and individuals involved in sustainability and environmental protection such as Blackpool Council, Groundwork and a Youth Climate Ambassador for Wales.
Through a prize draw and fundraising games at the event, money was raised for the youth-led charity Reserva: Youth Land Trust which is involved in restoring areas of rainforest around the world.
The event was the idea of Maya Lindley, an A level student at Blackpool Sixth. Maya said, ‘Being part of the Blackpool Youth Climate Group and Blackpool Sixth Form Eco Action Group has been amazing. I’m so proud of how the two groups have worked together to produce this event. I hope that the young people who attend are inspired to take climate action.’
The key outcomes of the conference in terms of ideas and pledges for action will now be shared and there are already plans for follow-up up events and activities to grow this exciting new partnership.