25 October 2019

A-Level students at West Nottinghamshire College are underway with a prestigious leadership development programme run in association with Friends of the Earth and the National Union of Students.

The ‘My World, My Home’ project challenges students to plan and organise a local community campaign designed to make a positive change for the environment, and provides students with a recognised Level 3 qualification in Community Campaigning, earning them 8 UCAS points each for university applications.

On Thursday 17 October, the group welcomed guest speakers to their world café open forum to share their ideas on environmental matters and talk about the values which they have in common. This was organised by tutor Alison Lincoln and Hannah Evans - the East Midlands campaign coach for My World, My Home.

Sheelagh Handy, an anti-fracking campaigner from the village of Misson, spoke about the damage fracking can cause to wildlife and communities, and her anti-fracking campaigns for her village, in which planning permission has been granted for the extraction of shale gas.

Richard Dyer, the East Midlands Co-ordinator for Friends of the Earth, spoke with students about his many years involved in campaigns and environmental projects, and how to be a successful campaigner.

The students will be pooling their ideas for the My World, My Home project and will have completed their mission by Easter. In the forthcoming weeks the group will undergo two days of intensive training in the community, campaigning in their home town, followed by a three-day residential trip to learn more about sustainability.

A-Level student Lewis Thacker said: “Today’s session has been really good as it’s improved our knowledge on so many environmental things that we wouldn’t have known about before. This gives us more context for working on our campaign. We’ve got lots of ideas on how we can improve West Notts College and the surrounding areas environmentally.

“My particular environmental passion is the deforestation of Sherwood Forest which is under threat from fracking and agriculture. Around ten years ago, the forest would come right up to roadsides, but now it’s receding and we’re losing precious trees.”