In 2020’s Make Your Mark ballot, young people voted both plastic pollution and climate change in their top five priority issues. This year, the UK Youth Parliament will be campaigning to address climate change at a national level with a particular focus on making sure that we stop non-essential single use plastics by 2025.
The British Youth Council recognises that solutions like litter picks and recycling are not enough, and that the Government must reduce the amount of plastics initially produced. However, the sad reality is that the average Briton’s annual plastic waste includes 242 plastic bottles, 109 single-use coffee cups and 209 crisp packets according to a DS Smiths poll, and a good proportion of that does still end up littering our communities.
This autumn the British Youth Council are encouraging you as our supporters to keep your communities tidy, reduce plastic pollution, and raise money for the British Youth Council all at the same time. We are looking to raise £500 to support our programmes and campaigns such as Stop Plastic Pollution, and we need your help!
All you have to do is:
- Grab some bin bags, rubber gloves and litter pickers – you can order these online or borrow kits from your local council – and organise a day to go to your local woods, park, beach or town centre and pick up any stray litter you find. Many local organisations also run community litter picks, so you could arrange to tag along with one of those if you would prefer.
- Get a group of friends together to have more of an impact – the more of you there are, the easier it will be to clean up more rubbish, and the more money you’ll be able to raise.
- Set up a Virgin Money Giving or Facebook Donate fundraising page, where your friends and family can sponsor you for your hard work. Remember to share your fundraising page often, and keep your family and friends updated with photos of you on your litter pick.
- Finally, dispose of the litter that you pick up in a sensible and sustainable way. Recycle anything that can be recycled, and be careful of any sharp objects that you find.
This a really fun way to keep your local area tidy, promote the reduction of single-use plastic within your community, and raise vital funds for the British Youth Council to put towards our campaigns such as Stop Plastic Pollution.
We encourage you to visit the Keep Britain Tidy website for more information and advice on preparation and safety before you begin your Litter Pick!
You can also support us by making a donation via our Virgin Money Giving page.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing email@example.com.
It is difficult to understate how much the world has changed over the past six months. Millions have lost loved ones; millions have been locked in their homes; those on the frontline have continued working in immensely challenging circumstances; greenhouse gas emissions have plummeted; in the UK 20 years of growth has disappeared in six months, and globally extreme poverty is rising for the first time in 40 years.
As Europe begins to move past the peak of this crisis, we must begin to look at how we want our world to change, based on what we have learnt from Coronavirus, so that the new normal is one of inclusivity and respect, where all rights, environmental and human, are protected. The crisis has brought immeasurable suffering- there is no taking away from that. But all this disruption has provided us with a once in a generation opportunity to make the sort of changes which might have taken decades in normal circumstances.
I am standing to be a Board member of the European Youth Forum because I believe we need to develop as an organisation so that we can show by our own example what it means to build back better. I believe we need to build on the work that the current Board has done to make the European Youth Forum more collaborative and transparent. And I believe we can do more to increase engagement with the forum’s work, and to support member organisations to increase engagement with the work that they do.
The British Youth Council is one of the most established and effective National Youth Councils in Europe. As a member of British Youth Council, I want to bring a knowledge and experience of working in an organisation which has lead the effort in the UK to make sure that young people have a seat at the table and which engages and empowers millions of young people every year. Young people are being disproportionately affected by the measures taken to control the spread of Coronavirus and we need youth organisations to be a fighting force for the rights and needs of young people.
Our two pioneering youth forums, The NHS Youth Forum and The Bank of England Youth Forum, have taken youth voice into the heart of the National Health Service and the Bank of England. It has been incredible to watch these youth forums develop, particularly as health and economics have been the central focus of government over the last six months. We have a hugely active Youth Parliament that engage and empower youth at a grassroots level. These are some of our most impactful programmes and I would bring knowledge of these and other programmes to the Board so we can maximise youth engagement across Europe.
The United Kingdom has the additional challenge of leaving the European Union at a time of deep economic, social, and environmental instability. It is important, especially at this time, for the voice of young people in the UK to maintain a connection to Europe and for young people in Europe to continue having access to what the UK can offer. Therefore, it would be useful for the Board of the European Youth Forum to have a UK representative who would use the forum to keep the opportunities and value that the UK’s partnership with the European Union brings to Europe.
Our generation will be remembered for what we do when faced with some of the greatest challenges the world has faced: climate change, cyberwarfare and civil wars, extreme poverty, automation and artificial intelligence, populism, social and economic instability, and pandemics – to name but a few. It is these challenges and our responses to them that will characterise the foreseeable future. To succeed, we need to unify our efforts by collaborating with others, and sharing our knowledge and experiences. We must empower young leaders, hold elected representatives to account, and campaign for the changes we want them to make. But politics is imperfect and our leaders can be fallible. This is where we need to build the sort of world world we would be proud to pass on to the next generation – today, we all need to be leaders.
I am standing to be a Board member of The European Youth Forum because I believe I can bring skills, knowledge, and ideas to better connect and empower youth organisations across Europe in pursuit of a better world. Over the next two months I will be releasing my manifesto alongside some blogs which will explain in more detail what I think the European Youth Forum can do to become a more resilient and successful organisation.
If you represent a Member Organisation to the European Youth Forum, I will be getting touch with you over the next few months. If you are a member of one of the European Youth Forum’s member organisations, I would love to hear your thoughts on how the European Youth Forum can lead the new normal. Please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.