Project will aim to empower youth in the Shropshire Hills

A new project from the Shropshire Hills AONB partnership is aiming to engage young people in the climate change debate.

The Shropshire Hills with Church Stretton in the distance
The Shropshire Hills with Church Stretton in the distance

This Friday at the COP26 summit the focus is on Youth and Public Empowerment to help address the climate and ecological crisis facing us all.

Coinciding with this, the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership is launching Green Leaders, a new programme for young people to take action locally.

Green Leaders aims to engage young people, aged 17 to 21, in the climate and environmental debate – but it’s not all talk. The project also supports young people in taking forward group-led, positive action to safeguard the Shropshire Hills AONB, the county's local Protected Landscape.

Joe Penfold, project officer for the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership explained: “Of the many messages we are hearing from world leaders right now, those that resonate and inspire hope, I think, is that ‘everything is connected’ and that we are never too small to make a difference.

"Our future depends on engaging and inspiring young people to address our biggest challenge and we hope Green Leaders can play its part.

"The project is about giving voice to young people’s concerns and encouraging positive action locally, whether it be a nature-based solution or an awareness-raising environmental campaign."

Green Leaders meet for workshops and practical activities roughly once a month, beginning with two workshops which are being held at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, in Craven Arms.

The first workshop is on Saturday, November 20 – How to be Heard: your voice and lessons in leadership.

This workshop will look at ways of developing confidence with public speaking and explore different styles of leadership; what makes a good leader and what makes a successful campaign.

The next is on Tuesday, December 14 – Influencing Change: Policy, governance and your environment.

A workshop to understand more about the Shropshire Hills landscape and organisational structure, who makes the policies, sets the agendas and how to affect them.

The Leadership Facilitator, Jess Laurie, added: “The Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership is represented by a range of key stakeholders and supporters including landowners, individuals, and representatives from organisations and local interest groups.

"The area’s designation as a Protected Landscape means that we are in a good position to address environmental challenges on a local level – so do join us!”

Green Leaders is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The workshops are open to young people aged 17-21, are free of charge and form part of the Green Leaders AQA Unit Award Scheme.

To book onto the workshops, and for more information, visit www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk/our-work/projects/green-leaders or email joe.penfold@shropshire.gov.uk.

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