Kids tackle climate crisis with YES BOLTON mini cop26 summit

Forget COP26, this is BOLTON 300 - an elite team of students from across the borough, coming together to do their bit to help tackle climate change, and save the planet.

Pupil representatives from schools all over Bolton joined together at the University of Bolton Stadium to learn about the impact small changes can make in tackling the climate crisis.

Groups and organisations hosted interactive table top activities to get children thinking about what they and their families can do to help.

Celia, Abbey and Eleanor examine the plants.

Over on the Woodland Trust table, Eleanor, nine, Abby, 10 and Celia, seven, are learning about different types of plants.

"I like this one - it feels really furry," says Abby. "We would like to build a sensory garden at our school so this one would work really well because of the way it feels.

11-year-old Nadira says: "We need to save the world now and make it a better place. It's up to us kids to do it - I don't think it will happen straight away that we get the world back the way it used to be."

Nadira and Saffiyah, both 11, say the future of the planet is in the hands of the younger generation.

Her friend Saffiyah, 11, agrees. She added: "In the future it's going to be us young people who have the important jobs so it's up to us to decide what to do.

"If I was Prime Minister I would make sure we are planting more trees, I would encourage more people to eat plant based foods and I would look at forestry too."

The Y.E.S - Youth Environment Summit, has been organised by Bolton Youth Voice groups, working together with Bolton Council and local schools.

It was delayed for two years due to the pandemic.

Organisers say the event is all about creating awareness around the issue of climate change, and teaching young people about how the effects of their own, and their families' choices, can impact on the environment, particularly where they live in Bolton.

Louise Warburton is Chair of Bolton Youth Council, who worked with other organisations to put on the event.

Youth Council Chair Louise Warburton says: "I think it makes a difference when it's young people talking to other young people, which is what we are doing.

"The hope is that the young people hear today take home a message they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

"We want to spread the message far and wide and hope they will take it back to their families and their school friends.

"The reaction has been fantastic - the young people seem to be enjoying the activities and the response we have had has been really positive and shows that even as young people, we can make a difference."

Bolton Youth Council is a group of young people aged 13-19 years old, who are actively involved in making decisions in the Borough of Bolton.

They work with other services and organisations to make sure that young people are able to shape and influence decisions that concern their lives.