Youth Environment Summit Somerset
About the event
Young people across the world are becoming increasingly worried about the state of the planet they will inherit, climate change a wildlife becoming extinct are now real issues. Young people are now taking action; organising marches, going on climate strikes and doing their bit to stand up for nature.
But outside the bigger national events and campaigns, what opportunities and resources are there available on a local level to help young people in Somerset turn their concerns, interests and energy into positive action for wildlife, conservation and the environment - whether that’s understanding how to participate in those national events and campaigns or to effect positive direct change in the communities where they live.
Thanks to funding from the #iWill Fund, and in collaboration with the Youth Parliament Somerset and A Focus on Nature, Somerset Wildlife Trust are excited to be able to introduce a new conference - Youth Environment Summit Somerset (YESS) - that looks to explore exactly those issues and more, bringing young people (aged 11-18) from across the county to discuss how they feel and how they can best be supported and inspired to develop their own ideas for actions.
When: Saturday March 27th
Where: From your own home - it’s virtual on Zoom!
What: The YESS conference will run from 10.30am 4pm and will comprise a number of inspiring talks from some amazing guest speakers, from established conservationists to incredible young environmental leaders, followed by a chance to network and meet other like minded people and the participate in a , choice of interactive workshop sessions followed by a round up and Q&A session to discuss next steps. Throughout the day there will be plenty of breaks away from the screen.
Who can attend: The conference is open to all young people aged 11-18, schools, youth groups and community groups. Around Somerset. Each session will be monitored and moderated and will follow digital safeguarding guidelines to ensure a safe and inclusive online environment for all.
How you can take part: The conference is free for all to attend and tickets are available via the Eventbrite here. Using his link, you will be able to sign up for the entire conference and select your workshop sessions. You will be sent a link the day before to access the conference.
Morning guest speakers include:
- Craig Bennett - Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts
- Dr. Mya-Rose Craig - Activist and founder of Black2Nature who campaigns on environmental issues and how to increase diversity in the environment sector
- Stephen Moss - Naturalist, author and President of Somerset Wildlife Trust
- Oban Mackie - Member of the Youth Parliament Somerset and environmental campaigner
- Hannah Paddison - Somerset representative of A Focus on Nature, a national movement of young people with environmental interests
- Katie Hodgetts – Global Youth Awards finalist and co-organiser of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate movement
- Dr. Caroline Hickman - Lecturer at the University of Bath, psychotherapist with a focus on eco-anxiety and how to manage it
Provisional workshop programme:
- How to run successful environmental actions and campaigns in your community
- The use of social media and technology to support environmental messaging
- Increasing diversity and inclusion in environmental activities
- Intergenerational working, breaking down barriers between younger and older people to strengthen the environmental movement
- Eco-anxiety and how to manage it positively
What happens after the Summit?
We hope YESS will serve as a catalyst to empower our young people to champion environmental issues within their communities. For Somerset Wildlife Trust, it will act as a launch for further direct engagement work with young people in Somerset, we will be looking to work with groups across the county to support them to develop their own ideas and put them into practice. We aim to set up a network of young people to enable them to connect and share information and advice.
Our YESS programme is evolving and will continue to be updated in the run up to the Summit. If you would like to know more about the Youth Environment Summit or our youth engagement work more generally please contact Jolyon Chesworth, Head of Engagement at Somerset Wildlife Trust on Jolyon.firstname.lastname@example.org