November 30, 2023

What we got up to for Great Big Green Week

Great Big Green Week is a celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature. In this blog, our Press and Media Officer gives us a round-up of all the exciting work Hope for the Future did for it this year.

People all across the country are taking action on climate change and the ecological crisis, whether through practical projects of sustainability and conservation, raising awareness and educating the public, or campaigning for political change. Hope for the Future’s unique approach helps people engage with their MPs and councillors to bring about positive change. Our strength and effectiveness comes from being part of this much wider movement. Great Big Green Week was a wonderful opportunity to recognise this interconnectedness and work alongside The Climate Coalition and other partners.

As part of this collaboration, we supported the Letters to Tomorrow campaign, encouraging people to write letters expressing their hopes and fears to their loved ones - these letters were then sent to MPs to give them a clear picture of what’s at stake.

Here’s our Director Bob’s letter to his future grandchild:

You can read some of the amazing letters people have written - and submit your own - on the Letters to Tomorrow website.

We kicked off Great Big Green Week with a community event in North Kensington tackling the urgent problem of air pollution in the area. This family-friendly day featured a full programme of kids activities, speakers and stalls from all sorts of local community organisations, and a delicious Ethiopian lunch. Community members came up with ideas to address the public health crisis created by poor air quality and improve the wellbeing of everyone living in Kensington. 

Caterers serving portions of Ethiopian food.
Young child in denim jacket makes a pollution monster with playdough and pipe cleaners.

They also had the opportunity to engage with their elected representatives on this issue, including Felicity Buchan, who is the MP for Kensington and a junior minister in the Treasury. Hope for the Future will soon be announcing a follow-up event to provide more in-depth training and support for Kensington residents looking to take action.

Hope for the Future staff and community members discuss air pollution at our event in Kensington.

Other events took place throughout the week. We attended Growing Spaces, a conversation about local food production and creating new growing spaces within our local communities in Sheffield, and further afield. The event looked at how we can maximise growing space, particularly on allotments - the success of shared community growing spaces was highlighted. There was discussion of the role community growing spaces could play in addressing food poverty, but also a recognition that policy changes are needed.

A sunny day on the allotment.

Hope for the Future also had a presence at Building Community Climate Action, a local Great Big Green Week event hosted by the Sheffield Climate Alliance. The event featured South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard, though the main focus was on community members getting together to discuss issues related to climate and nature, like food, travel, and how we can reduce waste. Finally, we also took part in the Garden Blitz at Broomhill Community Library. 

Local community members in Broomhill hold a Great Big Green Week banner and garden tools outside the community library.

We look forward to making next year’s Great Big Green Week an even greater success and to continuing to build on the work we did with different communities and groups throughout the week. 

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