Have you been inspired by Greta and the recent youth climate strikes? Itching to do more than sign a petition? Well have we got a treat for you.
Friends of the Earth is hosting its first Youth Gathering for 16-25 year olds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland over a (hopefully!) sunny July weekend in Staffordshire.
Much like environmental festival Basecamp, Youth Gathering will be a weekend packed with inspiring campaigners who will help you figure out how to contribute to an inclusive environmental movement (and make the suits in Westminster listen to your voices!).
The long weekend will take place from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 July at the University of Keele campus near Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, and included within the £15 ticket price (yes, just £15!) is a private en-suite room in university halls of residence, meals and drinks.
20-year-old Tom Jayamaha from Nottingham is one of the weekend’s organisers. He decided to help plan the event following his experience at Basecamp festival last year:
"Basecamp 2018 was great – we got to meet and chat with some of the country’s leading campaigners, who shared the ups and downs of running an environmental campaign and developing fairer societies.
"Everybody I encountered was incredibly friendly and accepting. There were people from all backgrounds, all like-minded and working toward a common goal.
"A lot of the fun came simply from meeting new people and exchanging anecdotes. There were loads of hands-on activities and some great evening entertainment too, with comedy, films and some particularly memorable times on the dancefloor.
"Basecamp will be taking a break this year, so a bunch of us who are keen on launching our own environment youth network thought we'd organise an alternative event, which is what led us to putting on this Youth Gathering."
20-year-old Londoner Ify Ekemezie is another young environmentalist who has already got herself a ticket. She's looking forward to sharing her campaign experience:
“I first got involved with Friends of the Earth in Year 13 after returning from volunteering abroad. I was thirsty to continue contributing to an environmental cause and so joined a My World My Home project at my college. Within this project our group set up a campaign to make our college a greener place by trying to get recycling bins placed in all classrooms and common areas.
“I enjoyed campaigning, working as part of a team and spreading awareness of environmental issues to other students and staff so much. It helped me gain so much experience and confidence I otherwise may not have. So, when I heard about the Youth Gathering, I was excited and wanted to get involved, and utilise some of the skill I acquired through My World My Home to help plan it!
“The Youth Gathering will be a great way to meet more like-minded young people, be inspired and invoke change!
“I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
All-inclusive ticket prices to July's Youth Gathering are capped at £15, although participants only pay what they can afford.
The accommodation and venue are wheelchair accessible and an assigned breakout space will be made available. Participants’ personal assistants and carers are welcome to attend free of charge.
Please contact Fran Di Giorgio via e-mail at [email protected] or 07898 757256 for further details.