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Empowering Change: Old Oak Primary School Triumphs Again in Fostering Local Climate Commitments

By Zhané Wallace-Mckenzie

In an inspiring showcase of youth empowerment and community engagement, Old Oak Primary School has once again taken the lead in advocating for environmental change.

Their recent triumph in securing commitments from the local council for their Climate Charter launch stands as a testament to the power of collective action and dedicated advocacy.

This success follows Old Oak School's earlier accomplishment this year when they secured new facilities in the renowned Wormwood Scrubs.

The recent Climate Charter launch, held at Old Oak School, saw the school's Climate Champions demonstrate how they utilise the tools of organising to build their collective influence for positive change within their local community.

A group of community leaders are signing a pledge on a white board.

The passionate "climate champions" put forth four key requests:

  1. Rerouting the Local Bus Service: Seeking to enhance accessibility and sustainability, the students advocated for the rerouting of a local bus service to better serve the school and local community.
  2. Rewilding the Local Area with Planters: Emphasising the importance of environmental conservation, they pushed for rewilding initiatives using planters to restore and promote natural biodiversity in the area.
  3. Increased Waste and Recycling Bins: Addressing the issue of littering in the locality, the champions proposed a practical solution by advocating for more waste and recycling bins.
  4. Joining the Climate Charter: Encouraging collaborative efforts, the students urged the local community to join the Climate Charter, fostering partnerships with local organisations and businesses to collectively address climate challenges and education.
Two women are talking at a climate leadership academy event.

We want the world to be fair, clean and green. Civil society organisations across the UK are taking action to reduce inequalities and tackle the climate emergency.

Most people in the UK care about climate change. Yet the rising cost of living is also putting pressure on everyday lives. At Citizens UK, we work with people who are already being affected by issues of climate change.

Find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved.

The presence of local councillor Alexander Sanderson and representatives from the council's ecology team at the launch illustrated the importance and seriousness with which the proposals were received. Their commitment was evident as they listened attentively to the impassioned pleas of the students and the supportive community.

Acknowledging the significance of these commitments to the pupils of Old Oak and the broader community, the council pledged to work in tandem with the Climate Charter. They offered their support, particularly highlighting the decision to divert an existing bus route to better serve the local school, and assist the champions in talks with TfL.

The ecology team's shared the Champions enthusiasm regarding the rewilding initiative. This proposal resonated strongly with ongoing efforts to create a natural corridor to protect rare species of butterflies that inhabit Wormwood Scrubs.

Around 40 primary school children from St Antony's Catholic Primary school stand singing outside in Parliament Square in a semi circle. In front of them is a teacher conductor and a crowd watching. Some of the children are holding up big love heart signs.

Many schools (primary, secondary, and sixth form colleges) choose to become members of Citizens UK to build a better, fairer society.

We work together to make change on the issues that matter, from campaigning for zebra crossings on dangerous roads, to reforming the immigration system, to the Living Wage campaign.

Using Community Organising, students, teachers and parents can work together to drive community-led solutions to big and small problems, that work for everyone.

Find out more about how your school can become a Citizens UK member.

Old Oak Primary School's remarkable success in garnering support and commitments from the local council reflects the importance of synergy between youth activism, community support, and responsive governance. Old Oak’s ongoing organising with Citizens UK showcases the tangible impact of community organising, in amplifying collective voices, particularly those of passionate young individuals, and the environmental change this can steer.

How do we know that children can make a difference? Well, because we have done it before Moby – Old Oak Climate Champion

This milestone is not merely a victory for Old Oak School; it is an example of the meaningful and tangible change we can instigate together. The efforts of Old Oak Primary School are a testament to the potential and influence of youth-led initiatives in championing environmental causes. This is only the beginning of the Climate Charter, with the commitment from local council, organisations and businesses, it marks the collective journey towards a more environmentally conscious future for the local community.

West London Citizens News and Stories

Posted by Salomé Revault d'Allonnes on 14 Nov, 2023