1851 Trust announces ambition to support climate education of 1 million school children

Melanie May | 12 April 2022 | News

Alok Sharma MP and students at the launch of 1851 Trust's Protect Our Futures platform

Education charity 1851 Trust aims to support the climate education of 1 million young people through a new platform of resources.

Research among 11-16-year-olds commissioned by 1851 Trust and environmental charity Hubbub shows that 51% of children are worried about what the planet will be like in the future, and almost a third say they are unclear on what measures they can take to be more environmentally friendly, which is acting as a barrier to them taking action.

Only a quarter feel climate change is something they can fix, while 14% said they don’t feel their actions will make a difference. In addition, 70% of teachers say they do not feel equipped to teach about climate change effectively.

1851 Trust’s new Protect Our Future platform aims to equip young people with skills and knowledge to understand climate science and their role in tackling climate change. The resources for young people and teachers will be free to use, fully researched and science-backed, and include practical actions to take.

A collaboration between 1851 Trust and young people, schools, universities, brands and charities, the platform aims to provide a more holistic education experience, with an emphasis on out of the classroom learning. A pilot programme in Hull is bringing together 13 secondary schools, in partnership with Reckitt and Hull City Council, to work together over the next 18 months to help accelerate low-carbon projects to meet Hull’s net zero ambitions. The pilot was launched on 14 March (main image), with COP26 President Alok Sharma MP and Hannah Mills OBE, Olympic sailor and 1851 Trust supporter, joining students in a packaging recycling workshop. 

The charity is also calling for more partners to help expand the Protect Our Future programme to other areas of the UK and accelerate the development of resources for teachers. Those interested in partnering can email [email protected] for more information.

Ben Cartledge, CEO of 1851 Trust said:

“Young people are key to protecting the future of our planet, yet our research has shown they’re angry, they’re worried and they are not clear on what action they can take that will make a difference. Protect Our Futureaims to empower both young people and their teachers – giving them the knowledge, skills and voice to speak with confidence about climate change and sustainability.

 

“We know from our experience of developing science-based resources which are used by over half of UK secondary schools, that young people are inspired by real people who aren’t just talking theoretically.

 

“We are applying this approach to make sure the resources forProtect Our Future inspire real action to tackle climate change. We would love to hear from potential content and funding partners to help us grow the platform and develop new events, resources and content for young people, parents and teachers.”

Olympic sailor and environmental campaigner, Hannah Mills OBE commented:

“Our planet is at a tipping point and young people are the key to protecting its future. We are not doing enough to empower young people. We need to go beyond the climate headlines and equip them with science-based knowledge and understanding.”