This is a blog written by Groundwork Greater Manchester’s youth team with support from Dr Benjamin Bowman at Manchester Centre for Youth Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University and young people living in Manchester.

It is part of a series of blogs discussing youth and climate action. You may also be interested in reading the other articles here:

Crumpsall Park Case Study

In Crumpsall Park, Manchester, young people are treated as active citizens and as such, social action was used as a tool to create change.

The young people were initially consulted about their local park, and asked what changes they wanted to see in the area.

Following the consultation, they were encouraged to develop their own suggestions and supported to deliver in  social action projects such as clearing areas in the park,  building and planting a living wall in the community garden and improving access for everyone.

Later, the young people built an insect house and made a small pond out of an old broken wheel barrow, recycling and utilising local materials where they could.

Nurturing this interest, the Groundwork team encouraged several members of the group to take part in a number of climate and leadership training courses and programmes, applying their local knowledge of their community throughout.

In these discussions we explored the expected impacts of climate change and what challenges this will bring for their local community. We then asked young people to re-imagine their community in 30 years.

These findings provided the basis for a bigger, far reaching social action project focused in the local area. Together with the local council, young people reviewed the Neighbourhood Climate Action Plans and created an independent project which they could lead on within their community.

This path, from engaging young people in small-scale action around something that is important to them, to connecting them with the wider plans around sustainability in their local area – is what youth climate action looks like.

Huge thanks to Manchester Metropolitan University, Young Manchester, Manchester City Council and young people from Manchester for making this blog series possible.

Youth Voice