InterClimate Network, Gloucestershire Youth Climate Group and Planet Cheltenham are collaborating to run a county wide survey of young people’s attitudes, thoughts and ideas on climate action.
Young people across the county are being encouraged to fill out an online survey about climate change. The project is a collaboration by charities and organisations working with young people in the county and further afield on the topics of climate change, eco-anxiety and solutions.
The aim is to gather the thoughts of young people in order to better address their needs, understand where they are getting information from, and how best to support them in making change.
“Young people have grown up with the reality of climate change, we come from a different angle because we’re looking for solutions without being fully stuck in old paradigms. We should have a say in what happens with our future.”Claudia Naylor, a youth activist based in the county.
The data will be published and used to inform decision makers and leaders in the county and help them to understand young people’s concerns and drive real action to address the climate crisis.
The survey can be found here: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2022climateaction.
It is for anyone aged 11-25 living or working in Gloucestershire. The survey was launched at the start of July so get those responses in early and encourage any young people you know to get involved. And don’t worry, you don’t have to know about or be interested in climate change to take part – the organisers want to hear from as many young people as possible.
Young people involved in the survey have also created a poster campaign and competition to design a poster promoting the survey, budding artists can submit their poster by the 22nd August to enter. For more details and to enter please email: email@example.com
Cecily Etherington from InterClimate Network (ICN), a national charity working with schools and young people to help them enact change ‘’ICN is excited to be working with the youth groups across Gloucestershire to roll out our Climate Action Survey. Alongside gathering insights for Gloucestershire, the voices will be included in our national report, which we hope will support others to bring youth voices into net zero strategy.”
Polly Gannaway-Pitts who runs the Gloucestershire Youth Climate Group (GYCG) ‘Creative Sustainability is based on the values of inclusion, empowerment and sustainability. Our focus is on ensuring the youth voice is at the heart of conversation around climate change in Gloucestershire. We have recently established the GYCG and it’s fantastic to be working in partnership with these 3 organisations and young people in the county to understand youth engagement and the climate emergency. The survey collects meaningful data, which will amplify youth experience at a local level and become a part of national research.’
Raechel Kelly from Planet Cheltenham who hosts the Youth Climate Group in the town ‘’This survey is a vital way to ‘take the temperature’ of young people’s thoughts and feelings on the climate emergency and amplify their voices to local leadership. We already know that young people are at the forefront of calls for climate action, our groups are seeking to support them in their activism. Knowing what young people think about climate and where they go for information and support will help us tailor our projects and give us solid data to work with.’’
Jess Thorne, a young trustee from Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust “GWT is working closely with GWT’s Youth Advisory Group, ensuring young peoples voices are considered in the Trusts high level decision making. The results from this survey will help us, and other organisations, understand how we can further connect with young people, and help empower them in the face of the climate and ecological crises to take meaningful action.”
Some facts about young people and the climate crisis:
- According to a national YouGov poll in Jan 2020 commissioned by climate campaign group Friends of the Earth, over 70% of 18-24-year olds are more worried about climate change than they were a year ago.
- In 2019 alone, Oxford Language reported a 4,290% increase in the use of the word ‘eco-anxiety’, highlighting a growing interest in mental health impacts related to climate and environmental change.
- As of 2020, over half of child psychiatrists surveyed in England say patients have environmental anxiety – quoting helplessness, anger, insomnia, panic and guilt (Watts & Campbell, 2020)
- A survey by environmental charity Global Action Plan revealed 1/3 of teachers are seeing high levels of climate anxiety in students, with 3/4 (77%) of students saying that thinking about climate change makes them anxious. 1/2 of teachers feel ill-equipped to deal with student anxiety around climate change.
Statistics and research from Force of Nature 2020 report: ‘The Rise of Eco Anxiety’
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