Call for Yorkshire's young climate champions

Wed, 01/17/2024 - 17:11


The Regional Youth Climate Assembly for Yorkshire and Humber (RYCA) are hosting the first Yorkshire and Humber-wide Youth Climate Champion Awards in recognition of the work of young climate activists and advocates across the region. 

They have partnered with University of Leeds’ Priestley Centre for Climate Futures, Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, The Ernest Cook Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, The North York Moors National Park, and the Youth Work Unit Yorkshire and the Humber CIO .   

Nominations are open for Individual young people (aged 11-24) and youth groups under five categories, reflecting the themes of RYCA's Youth Green Deal Manifesto.   The deadline for nominations is 11 February.

The awards will be presented at a public showcase event in Leeds on Saturday 24th February 2024 from 2-4pm. 

Who are Yorkshire's young climate influencers?

Curtis,18, from Rotherham, a long standing RYCA member, who has presented to Glasgow's COP26, the Yorkshire Post Climate Summit and been interviewed about youth activism on BBC News, said: “Coming together to recognise each other’s great environmental work is what collective climate action should be about.

"As the RYCA awards celebrate the achievements of youth work from across the region, I am looking forward to seeing the scale of influence young people have made to their local communities and the impact that it is already having.

"I hope that this can demonstrate the need for further youth representation within climate processes, and influence a new collaborative approach to tackling climate change in the region.”  

Edie, 16, another RYCA member, from Leeds, who presented at North Green Skills 2023 Conference, said: “The RYCA awards will be instrumental in connecting young people with climate action throughout Yorkshire.

"We hope that this will inspire further change throughout the region by encouraging collaboration between groups and creating a network across the region, which is essential to create effective change” 

Commissioner role

The Regional Youth Climate Assembly is a climate action group for young people across Yorkshire & Humber. It was established in 2020 and is supported by the Youth Work Unit Yorkshire & the Humber CIO, and by young people who are youth councillors across the region. (Watch this film of RYCA in action at COP26).

The group are represented on Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission, where members share a Commissioner role. The group is also represented on the Commission's Communities and Engagement Panel, and RYCA member Will Soloman spoke at the launch of the Commission in 2021. The Commission also supported RYCA's Green Youth Deal manifesto launch at the University of Leeds in 2022.

Rosa Foster, co-director of Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission, said: "We are delighted to support RYCA's activities and initiatives - the young people are bursting with ideas and energy, and they have a very impressive knack for cutting through the noise and just getting things done. 

"They speak with authority, clarity, and passion, and when they talk, people listen. The reception that Curtis, Will, Edie and others have received at events we've hosted or partnered with has demonstrated that. 

"The climate emergency is a major concern for young people. One way we can all help to avoid being overwhelmed by it is to come together and get active, and  the Youth Climate Champion Awards are a brilliant initiative from RYCA to shine a light on what's happening across the region."

Nomination categories

The nomination categories are: 

  • Challenging consumerism
  • Promoting public transport and active travel
  • Youth voice and social action
  • Green skills and jobs
  • Active environmentalism.

Individual young people and youth groups can be nominated by their peers, and by adults (eg youth workers, MPs, councillors, teachers, etc).

All youth climate/environmental projects nominated  are invited to the celebration showcase at Holy Trinity Church, Leeds to share and promote their project and to be inspired!

Nominations are through this form and must be received by 11 February 2024.