A new, Welsh Government funded project working with young people in Newtown to explore issues around climate change has been launched this week.
The One Planet Generation Project is being co-ordinated by Open Newtown, an independent development trust and social enterprise which manages 130 acres of green spaces in Newtown.
The two-year project has already started working with young people in developing ideas on how people can reduce their environmental impact. The Newtown Police Cadets have been investigating the carbon footprint of different foods and looking at solutions to lessen the impact.
Meanwhile, learners studying art and design at NPTC Group Colleges in Newtown have been using visual arts to communicate the climate crisis and to raise public awareness of the issue. The students have produced pieces of work inspired by the climate crisis and aimed at promoting action. Their work will be exhibited at Oriel Davies Gallery later this month.
Kerala Irwin, the One Planet Generation Project’s youth engagement officer, said: “I’m excited to have the opportunity to talk to young people about their views on climate issues and listen to what they have to say.
“Most young people I’ve spoken to are already aware and concerned about the impacts of climate change. I’m hoping this project will give them a space to come together, not only to talk about this but to get them involved in planning for a sustainable future.”
As part of the engagement process, a new youth forum, the One Planet Generation Assembly, will be launched in the new year. The search is now on to find young people who are passionate about protecting the planet, interested in meeting like-minded people, sharing ideas on how Newtown can reduce its ecological footprint and establishing a platform to have their voices heard.
They are being asked to visit the project’s webpage – https://opennewtown.org.uk/one-planet-generation/ for ways to get in touch.
Young people are also encouraged to look out for upcoming events and ways to join via the webpage and Open Newtown’s social media accounts.
The project will also be running a programme of nature-based activities in and around Newtown to create opportunities for local children to connect with, understand and appreciate the natural environment and their place within it.
These sessions will allow children to learn and play in the outdoors, encouraging positive engagement with nature for their physical and mental wellbeing.
The project is part of a series nature-based partnership projects, co-ordinated by Open Newtown and funded by Welsh Government, centred around wellbeing and resilience of people and businesses in the town.
These new projects are supported by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government until June 2023.