A Youth Forum.
On several occasions over the last year, we have had the pleasure of engaging students in a ‘Youth Town Forum’ for Tunbridge Wells, where students had their say on environmental issues. Unfortunately, as with so many things, we have had to pause the initiative when lockdown came into force. We would like to create a Youth Forum or Youth Assembly offering a programme in which the council and schools can approach student candidates from any year group.
Students from the age of 14 years old could participate as part of their ‘Volunteering’ section of the Duke of Edinburgh. Also, we will award any student with a certificate of achievement from Tunbridge Wells Youth Forum and we will set out guidelines on how to achieve this. Suggestions for activities in which students can participate;
Submit questions / talk directly to the Tunbridge Wells Town Forum and the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council with any concerns and suggestions (any topic) that are relevant to young people in the Tunbridge Wells borough.
Zoom meetings with students from other schools to share ideas and plan activities.
Start a campaign in school: this could be on reducing single-use plastics (especially now this is on the increase again with single-use masks waste), clean air (walk/cycle to school), reduce food waste and save water, plant (fruit) trees on school grounds, a vegetable or wildflower garden, etc.
Students can also conduct a ‘listening campaign’ first, to find out what the most pressing issue is as perceived by their school’s students.
We will set up a Youth Citizens Assembly to address issues on climate change.
There will be opportunities to get involved with the United Nations Association (UNA) chapter of Tunbridge Wells & The Weald which will be hosting online webinars in 2021 in partnership with UNA Climate & Oceans and be part of an international effort to save the oceans as well as ecology. Some renowned authors, environmentalists and youth ambassadors will contribute to the conversations leading up to UN COP26. Students can participate in the International Youth Event - UN World Oceans Day 2021 and celebrate the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. (2021-2030)