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University empowering young people to bring sustainability innovation to Cheltenham

University of Gloucestershire is collaborating on an innovative project empowering young people in Cheltenham to take positive sustainability action from their schools into their future careers.

The University’s Sustainability team and School of Education and Humanities have joined up with the Cheltenham Education Partnership (CEP) to deliver an inspiring event this summer that will support sustainability action and learning at 10 secondary schools in Cheltenham. 

Supported by the University’s Learning Innovation for Tomorrow (LIFT) fund, the CEP ChangeMakers Summit will include a training package to equip young people with skills to create change for sustainability through cutting-edge industry insights and examples of sustainability learning in action from across the University. 

Young people will have the opportunity to present the action they have taken to local leaders and industry representatives since the launch of ChangeMakers in November.

As part of the summit, the University’s Sustainability team will provide a range of workshops that will aim to deepen knowledge around sustainability and that will equip students with skills to influence change for sustainability in their careers, as well as offering Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training to staff.

Drawing on University best practice in Education for Sustainability (EfS), the Summit will help to drive curriculum changes in the University’s School of Education and provide professional development resources for teachers and trainees, to equip them to integrate EfS approaches into their own practice.  

Legacy materials will be available for all course teams at the University to support ongoing sustainability innovation.  

Miriam Webb,Sustainability Engagement Manager at the University, said: “This project is an exciting opportunity to empower young people not just to demand system change but to be at the heart of making it happen.

“We’re looking forward to sharing how our Education for Sustainability work is a powerful tool in helping young people to drive change now, and in their lives as future professionals.  

“Collaboration is key to sustainability, and we’re excited to work with Cheltenham Education Partnership this year as one of our RCE Severn partnership projects.”

Emily Buirski, Cheltenham Education Partnership Coordinator, said: “Cheltenham Education Partnership are delighted to be working in collaboration with the University of Gloucestershire’s Sustainability Team and School of Education as part of the ChangeMakers project.

“For too long, young people eager to tackle climate change, positively promote sustainable living and pursue sustainability focused careers, have been in the minority.

“Together we have an opportunity to empower these young people to have their voices heard and influence change. The ChangeMakers are already working hard within their schools to encourage better choices around environmental issues such as managing waste, conserving energy and planting trees.

“Now, through the skills and expertise of the University, we have an opportunity to deepen students understanding of what sustainability means for their future careers and provide them with the knowledge to influence change at a broader level.”