As we emerge into a new year, emerging alongside us are many opportunities for engagement with young people on sustainability. Through the brilliant work of our Youth projects Coordinator Ceri, CAfS is looking to place the needs of this generation at the heart of the transition to net zero. We thought we’d give a little update on what sort of things young people can expect in 2022 from us.

Work with schools and youth groups

The new Greener Schools project has appointed environmental auditors who will shortly begin working with students in 16 primary and secondary schools on Cumbria’s west coast to lower carbon footprints (more on this soon). Subsidised spaces are being offered to teachers, governors and support staff in schools on CAfS’ carbon literacy training courses, who are welcome to join general sessions or request specific training for staff within one or more schools. To build on the momentum created by last October’s Cumbria Green Jobs Summit, CAfS is working with Friends of the Earth, CDEC (Cumbrian Development Education Centre), schools and youth groups to hear from young people on their specific needs and perceptions on living and working in the county, especially regarding opportunities and obstacles to be overcome as we move to net zero.

New Youth Climate Café

The Youth Climate Café aims to create a positive, friendly space for like-minded people of secondary school age to meet, support one another and share their experiences, including the positive action that they are taking – or would like to take – within their schools or local areas. The group meetings will also aim to help overcome the isolation that young people mention that they can sometimes feel when acting individually or in a small group in their area. The Climate Café will take place online to give young people a chance to meet from across the county. Although the meetings will be facilitated by CAfS, the aim is for it to be led by young people themselves. The first meeting is on Wednesday 9th February at 4.30pm. Please spread the word with young people you know that may be interested.

Following-up young people’s recommendations

We are following-up the recommendations made by young people at the Cumbria Youth Climate Summit. These extended from coverage of transport and building infrastructure, growing food, community involvement, improving public understanding of climate issues, climate action including lobbying of local MPs and impact on national government, through to improving the representation of young people in decisions made at local level. We are looking to actively involve young people across different sector groups represented across the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership, local authorities and community groups. Please get in touch if you know of opportunities that can support this involvement.

For more information or to share ideas that can support young people on sustainability, please contact Ceri Holman, Youth Projects Coordinator: [email protected]