Blackpool Youth Climate Group
Young people's voices are crucial in Blackpool's action on climate change.
The Blackpool Youth Climate Group brings together young people from across Blackpool to collectively take positive action to combat climate change.
The group started as a collaboration between the Blackpool Youth Council, Junior Park Rangers and Headstart Blackpool.
How it started
- June 2019 - Blackpool Council declared a climate emergency
- September 2019 - Blackpool Youth Council highlighted climate change as a top concern for young people as part of the UK Youth Parliament's 'Make Your Mark'
- November 2019 - Blackpool Youth Summit was held where thoughts on climate change were explored via a question and answer session
- March 2020 - Blackpool Council, URPotential and Resilience Revolution met to discuss climate activities in Blackpool and discussed joining up for a climate assembly
- September 2020 - Headstart, Junior Park Rangers and Blackpool Youth Council combined to co-produce the youth climate assembly
- January 2021 - Blackpool youth climate assembly was held, followed by a debfrief session
- February 2021 - Blackpool Youth Climate Group was launched
The youth climate group held an assembly of young people in January 2021. This was Blackpool's first ever youth climate assembly.
Session 1 of the Blackpool Youth Climate Assembly brought a group of young people, volunteers, councillors and practitioners together to explore and learn about climate change and the environment with a view to learning about issues and then going on to come up with solutions.
Session One was about setting the scene and finding out what young people thought about climate change and the environment before inviting a range of guest speakers to help build the knowledge of the young people who were part of the climate assembly.
There were speakers from Blackpool Council who introduced their vision for a green Blackpool.
Viktoria from the University of Brighton set the scene and explored with the group some words they might come across or be unsure about.
The group then heard from Guy from Generation Climate Europe/Transition Network about food and agroecology, they heard from Sam from Groundworks and Emily from LoveMYBeach who introduced them to green and blue spaces. Blackpool Youth Council then raised awareness about Fuel Poverty and finally, Leah from Active Blackpool talked about cycling and sustainable transport solutions.
Session 2 of the Blackpool Youth Climate Assembly brought the group from session one back together ready for the final 2 hours. This session was all about giving young people the opportunity to split into smaller groups and talk about their views and opinions on one of the topics from session one.
Emma, a member of Bury Youth Council came to talk about her experience getting involved in climate change and what events she has been involved in. She spoke about things young people could do to help combat climate change and answered questions from the group.
After the break, the groups came back together from their discussions and gave feedback on what they spoke about and each group gave a possible action around their topic to be pursued following the climate assembly.
Evaluation forms were filled out at the end of the session and the young people were made aware that they would carry on as Blackpool’s climate group and if that was something they wanted to be a part of then they could come to an open session on the 2nd February 2021.
Finding and actions
Blackpool's youth climate assembly findings and proposed actions focussed around the 7 key topics below.
Importantly, the youth assembly led to the creation of the Blackpool Youth Climate Group, whose young people are serious about climate change and making a difference in Blackpool.
Findings and actions from the youth climate assembly
| Topic|| Finding|| Proposed actions |
||Buying food locally reduces food miles and this helps Blackpool work towards its goals of becoming carbon net zero.
||Educate communities on eating seasonally as well as locally. This allows Blackpool to take advantage of allotments and community gardens. This could be developed into commuity shops that are zero waste.
||Normalise the idea of a cleaner and greener town, with individuals taking pride in their twon for being litter free and sustainable.
||Education around recycling and sustainability, with access to recycling bins on local parks and beaches, as well as incentives such as the recycling reverse vending machine.
||Reducing litter on Blackpool's beaches could be through harsher fines, promoting beach cleans, encouraging recycling or other positive reinforcement.
||Create an event such as Blackpool's Biggest Beach Clean. The youth climate group aim to develop this in the future.
||Greenspaces should be seen as a carbon offset solution, so need to become greener with trees, flowers and meadows.
||Tree planting across Blackpool's green spaces, utilising existing services to encourage communities to get involved in making green spaces greener.
||Residents in Blackpool should have a better understanding of climate change and environmental issues.
||Compulsory education on climate change and environmental issues starting at a young age and contiuing throughout primary/secondary school. This should cover social issues of climate change as well as scientific elements.
||It is important to break down barriers surrounding active travel, making Blackpool safer for young people to choose to ride a bike, scooter, skate or run instead of using public transport.
||A swap shop where a young person grows out of their bike and can swap for the next size up.
|| It is important for people living in Blackpool to have the option of renewable energy.
||Create a fund allowing people to access money to make their houses more energy efficient. New buildings should be built with the installation of solar panels.
The youth climate group are looking for new members!
For information on how to get involved, contact:
Sam Richardson, Headstart
April Rankin, URPotential
Rebecca Wright, Junior Park Rangers