Down young environmental group seeks funding to ensure their voice is heard on key issues.
A Downpatrick-based environmental youth group is in the running for a £5000 prize from the “Coca-Cola Thank You Fund 2021” and are looking for County Down to vote for them.
The youth group has been supported by one of Down’s oldest environmental groups, Lecale Conservation.
Lecale Conservation Chairman John Peacocke said: “It is good to get young people thinking about and getting involved in climate change. This is empowerment. Our organisation has supported the cost of their trips and some food on the journeys. Hopefully their engagement will help clarify where we are in the race to meet climate change targets.”
You can vote for their project at this link:
The youth members believe the Coca Cola support will help them spread their work to other youth groups and create more engagement among young people in their own future.
To date the youth group have been involved in helping to restore sand dune systems, and turning waste lands into mini forests or community gardens.
Councillor Cadogan Enright, a Lecale Conservation member working with the environmental youth group said: “The youth group has been running a ‘Climate Change Camp‘ over the summer to identify who are the decision-makers in local government, in the local planning service and education system etc and asking them what preparations they are making for Climate Change.
“Lecale Conservation agreed that students or under 18s could have a nominal membership. It is important their voices are heard.”
The youth members who are keen to make local government and agencies accountable for their environmental policies and actions, and have already questioned issues such as FE colleges providing courses for the future delivery of renewable energies and technologies and asking the local council what it is doing to address climate change and support renewable technologies.
And the youth activists have also pressed their local Newry Mourne and Down District Council on environmental issues with the heightened urgency of youth.
Youth member Cathal Quinn said: “We need to be clearer on how we will attract and support jobs in future. 40,000 will be needed across Northern Ireland to work in the renewable sector going forward. As young people, this is our future too.”
The youth members have already been active in their summer camp and visited technology sites such as Wrights buses in Ballymena and the Tesla battery farms in Tyrone. They are well cued up and have started to ask questions of the key agencies responsible for managing and delivering on the climate change process and the shift to renewable technologies.
Their activities and inquiries cover a range of policy areas such as education, economy, the environment, employment, new technology etc.
The application to the Coca Cola fund is just another example of their activism and empowerment as a youth group and their drive to reach out to other teenagers and young adults.
You can vote for the Lecale Conservation youth group at :