Pioneers of Sustainable Hope
Youth Focus North West was successful in obtaining funds from the Scottish Power Foundation to pilot the Pioneers of Sustainable Hope (POSH) scheme. POSH has three main outcomes. Firstly, that POSH members develop a sense of citizenship and responsibility for the natural world, secondly to create programmes of sustainable living education and thirdly, for members to create local campaigns and charters that impact on local policy and practice. This pilot is already becoming a successful and significant programme of change for young people living across North West England.
Recruitment of POSH Ambassadors was quicker than we anticipated and more young people than expected have enrolled. By giving young people the title of ‘POSH Ambassador’ we have kick-started incredible, creative social action organised in groups and by individuals. Cumbria Posh Ambassadors have linked with District and Town Councils to organise beach clean-ups and local schools to initiate a poetry competition. POSH Ambassadors have contacted the IT services for Rochdale Borough Council about using Ecosia as a search engine across the local authority instead of Google. Young people have taken the stage with the Greater Manchester Mayor at the Greater Manchester Green Summit
Although still in the early stages of POSH, we are seeing some significant impact: Young people from other youth groups want to engage in the activities not just as participants in POSH activities and events but as Ambassadors. POSH has also attracted interest from other organisations and institutions working with young people who all want to be involved in some way. We have been approached by organisations beyond the North West who are interested in the power of POSH to mobilise young people. Locally young people are creating links with organisations, e.g. In Blackpool POSH Ambassadors have been in touch with Love my Beach to engage in the ReFill project. This project is to work with businesses to refill bottles with tap water for free. They have also been in touch with Incredible Edible to see how they can link their allotment with Incredible Edible. There is energy and desire to grow and work together that we want to support young people to harness.
Take a look at what’s going on in the North West!