“Smile for a Positive Planet” in Southmead

The young people of Southmead have so many great ideas. We’ve been talking to them to feed into Southmead’s Community Climate Action Plan; we wanted to hear their ideas for a climate and nature friendly future for Southmead.

Featuring the voices of our young people is important. They often go under-heard, but with a full life ahead of them they are a vital part of putting Southmead’s co-produced plan together.    

Thank you to Andrew, who is a volunteer on our project (pictured above at Little Mead School).  He is also a primary school teacher and has now run climate workshops at Badock’s Wood and Little Mead primaries to capture some of the youngest voices in our community.  Andrew told us:

After an assembly where I introduced the project, the children at both schools discussed in small groups about what we want our ‘Future Southmead’ to be like on the themes of Food, Transport, Energy, Waste, and our Natural World. They were bubbling with brilliant ideas, and I was so impressed with the understanding and care for Southmead that even some of the youngest children had.

They were a real credit to their families and teachers. Quite a few were keen to make sure that Southmead was litter free, had more bins, and was kept clean for people’s safety. Growing fruit and vegetables was a popular idea, and so was having more solar panels.

Many young people loved being outside, by the river in the woods, and wanted to see more plants in the area. One young person said they were ‘happiest in the wild’ which I loved. The sessions were fun and hopeful.

I’ve also been out and about visiting community groups, hosting pop ups, and sharing a survey. I had a great time chatting to young people at The Ranch where in October I ran two craft workshops.

In our first workshop we painted wooden hexagons, which will slot together to make a big piece of artwork. We were discussing what we love about nature and what we’d like to do for nature in Southmead.

In our second workshop we made a bike wheel chandelier.  All the materials, including the bike wheel, were waste materials destined for a bin or recycling box.  We were answering the question ‘what could we do to be kinder to the planet?’, writing thoughts on scraps and attaching them to the wheel.

I have to admit I’m someone who can get bogged down with the sheer size of the climate problem, and everyone’s energy brought me joy. One of my favourite contributions was the quote: “Smile for a positive planet.” 

Like Andrew, I was impressed by everyone’s ideas and interest in creating a shared piece of art, and it made me hopeful for the future. 

Are you interested in sharing your ideas for the Community Climate Action Plan? You can still take part!

I will be gathering thoughts until the end of January, so do get in touch.

  • email: ellatainton@southmead.org
  • tel: 0117 950 3335
Thanks to Pat Scott, Pastoral & Eco Lead at Little Mead, for the support and photos