When Sixth Form pupil Dev Sharma (VI Book 1, Chawker's) stood for the UK Youth Parliament earlier this year, a key manifesto promise was to host a climate conference in Hampshire. Dev, now elected as Youth MP for Winchester, made his promise a reality with an Eco Conference hosted at the College by Hampshire Youth Parliament in association with the Final Straw Foundation on Monday 17 October 2022.
250 state school pupils and staff joined Winchester pupils for a programme of inspiring speeches and workshops on a range of topics related to climate change and sustainability. Speakers included MP for Gosport, Dame Caroline Dinenage, and representatives from plastics charity the Final Straw Foundation, the David Shepherd Wildlife Trust, and community climate groups. The conference included a variety of interactive workshops and engaging talks, as well as stalls run by the Package Free Larder, Vintage Trainer Store, Community Energy South and the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
The aim of the day was to give pupils a better understanding of the causes and impacts of climate change, plastic pollution and the importance of sustainability. Children had the opportunity to exercise their creativity in a workshop on fast fashion, and in another, to think about solutions to plastic ingestion by sea creatures.
Dr Alex Clayton, Sustainability Lead and Head of Geography commented: “Winchester College has a cross-curricular commitment to teaching about sustainability and the Climate and Ecological Emergency. We were delighted to work with Hampshire Youth Parliament and Final Straw Foundation to provide an opportunity for pupils across Hampshire to spend the day focusing on these vital issues.”
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