Cultivating hope where it’s needed the most

Torbay Weekly

Chris Smith, countryside development manager at Groundwork South:

Our environment is changing and while the physical impacts of the climate crisis are by now
impossible for any of us all to ignore, a less obvious consequence of this escalating emergency has
unfortunately arisen – the strain it is putting on people’s mental wellbeing, especially the young.

Born out of a concern for what the future may hold, a sense of being overwhelmed by the scientific
data and a frustration over the lack of action by people in power, many young people are becoming
increasingly anxious for what their future holds.

This has given rise to the term ‘eco-anxiety’, a growing global trend that is seeing children as young as six now showing the mental impacts of the climate crisis.

In today's connected world it is impossible to shield young people from the realities of the climate
crisis, and many would argue that this would be incredibly counterproductive even if it were possible.

So how do we discuss the climate crisis without impacting the mental wellbeing of our children?

This is the question that has led to the formation of the ‘Cool Climate’ group.

Formed from a range of organisations including Groundwork South, Gaia Giving, Torbay Climate Action, Sanctuary Housing, Youth Genesis and the Imagine This partnership, the ‘Cool Climate’ group seeks to work with young people across Torbay to openly discuss the climate crisis to learn about their concerns
and to help them feel empowered to take actions that can make a difference, no matter how big or

The Cool Climate project will seek to prepare and equip young people with the skills and knowledge needed to implement a range of climate change solutions, to best prepare them for the challenge ahead, and also to spread a message of hope, hope that young people’s voices can be heard loudly and taken notice off and that change can be real.”

Over the June half-term, Westerland Valley will play host to the first of many opportunities for young people to take control over their future by kicking of with a series of environmental and bushcraft skills workshops.

Running over Tuesday, June 1, and Thursday, June 3, young people aged 13 to 17 can participate for free in both half or full day sessions - 9.30am to midday or 1pm to 3.30pm at Westerland Valley.

For more information or to book text 07736 133 056.