The British Council has given young environmentalists in Wiltshire £7,000 to drive forward the green agenda among their peers.
A new group formed by 14 to 20 year-olds is urging others to join GYGSAW (Green Youth Group Swindon and Wiltshire) and bring about a real sea change in young people’s attitudes to the environment. The next meeting will be held on Thursday 31st January at 6pm in Devizes, at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust headquarters.
"GYGSAW is a brilliant opportunity for young people who are passionate about the environment to make their voices heard and have a say in what is being done to protect our fragile world. It is especially beneficial for those who feel isolated in their views and find that the support of fellow environmentalists encourages them to maintain their beliefs,” says GYGSAW member Emily Nash.The group, which is supported by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, will encourage young people in their schools and youth groups as they work to push issues such as energy saving, recycling and wildlife conservation higher up the priority list. It also has the backing of the University of Bath.
Professor William Scott, Director of the Centre for Research in Education and the Environment (CREE) based at Bath University will be speaking at the meeting. CREE will ensure that all training packages developed by GYGSAW are professionally turned out and up to date. It will also help the group develop their own blog.“This is about young people doing it for themselves. It is their future, and they are recognising that they have got to get to grips with the issues and start coming up with the solutions,” says Felicity Harris, the Trust’s Youth Programme Manager.Once they’ve converted Wiltshire, they aim to take on Europe! “The group will be developing a trans-national bid for funding to take their ideas into Europe and to exchange best green practises with their European peers,” says Felicity. The group aims to get their peers setting up all sorts of schemes of their own. These could be to use more Fair Trade or to create wildlife areas, to cut down on energy use, and develop recycling, to use organic foods and products or to use green transport to name just a few. The National Trust is also lending its support – its volunteer workers are looking into how they can encourage the young people they work with to go greener. “The commitment and support of a wide range of partners will provide more opportunities for young people to get involved in the environment across the county,” says Felicity.
If you are interested in joining this group please contact Felicity Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org