Children living in Cheshire East have a unique opportunity to tell world leaders how they feel about climate change.
The borough’s library service is running a year-long project for children, the results from which will be shared with organisers of COP26 – the United Nations climate change conference, due to take place in Glasgow, in November 2021.
The first of the 12 challenges will be announced on Saturday 7 November. The tasks aim to stretch children’s imagination by looking into the future and suggesting how we might adapt to or tackle the challenges of climate change. Green forms of travel, noise pollution or melting ice caps are just some of the topics they could explore.
All they have to do is to make a poster, take a photograph of a model they have made or even make a short video that represents their own imaginative ideas for solving big global problems. There will be a different challenge for youngsters on the first Saturday of each month, which will be published by the borough’s library service on the council’s website.
The project is known as Futures Wonder Lab and, through the mind of a child, it seeks to explore their sense of invention and innovation. Cheshire East Council is the only authority offering this project, as a pilot scheme, and will be working with Flow in Action – an international body set up to raise awareness of climate change and to engage young people in project-based work in schools and local libraries.
Councillor Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the borough’s young people to ‘rattle some cages’ when it comes to the highly controversial subject of climate change and the future of our planet. I hope that as many children as possible choose to take part in this exciting project.
“Our children are our future and what we do now can impact on their lives and that of their own families in the years to come. This is their chance to tell us what they are thinking.”
The Futures Wonder Lab challenge is open to children aged five to 16 and, in view of the new lockdown measures, a postal address will be provided for entries to be sent in, although this will change once lockdown restrictions are lifted in December.
Jo Shannon, head of library services for Cheshire East Council, said: “We have lots of exciting things going on in our libraries. We run a number of practical, educational projects for our children each year and this is a new and exciting programme which taps into the imagination of our young children. The United Nations climate change summit wants to hear from young people, so this is a great opportunity to share with them how children would improve the planet.”
“We want it to be inclusive and any parent who would like their child to take part but who requires additional help and support, should contact us.”
Councillor Quentin Abel, Cheshire East Council’s environment champion, said: “This is a unique opportunity for the council and the borough’s children and I would urge parents to encourage their children to take part and show that, here in Cheshire East, we have a young generation of extremely imaginative and inventive young people who, like me, take the issue of climate change and global warming extremely seriously.”
To take part in the challenge visit the Cheshire East Libraries web site.
To learn more about Flow in Action visit the Flow in Action web site.