The education charity, 1851 Trust, has declared its ambition to help one million young people take action to protect nature, people, and the planet through its new climate education on online Protect Our Future platform.
New research commissioned by 1851 Trust and environmental charity Hubbub suggests that more than half of children (51%) are worried about what the planet will be like in the future. However, the research also found that almost a third (31%) of 11–16-year-olds polled say they are unclear on what measures they can take to be more environmentally friendly, which is a barrier to them taking action.
Research from Teach the Future suggests that teachers are feeling similarly at a loss as to what they can do to support learning in this area, with 70% saying they do not feel equipped to teach about climate change effectively.
In response to this, the charity has announced the launch of Protect Our Future. The platform is a collaboration between 1851 Trust and young people, schools, universities, brands and charities. The aim is to help provide a more holistic education experience, with an emphasis on out of the classroom learning.
They also hope that the free online resources for young people and teachers will be appealing as well as rigorously researched and packed full of science-based knowledge, inspiration and practical actions, in the hope that both pupils and teachers will feel empowered to lead climate conversations and take action to help shape a more positive future for the planet.
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, with COP26 president Alok Sharma MP and Hannah Mills OBE, the most successful female sailor in Olympic history and 1851 Trust supporter, joining students in a packaging recycling workshop.
Now the charity is calling for more partners to support the expansion of the Protect Our Future programme to other areas of the UK and to accelerate the development of much-needed resources for teachers.
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 Future aims 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.