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NEAT Academy Trust Empowers Future Environmental Leaders at Newcastle City Council’s Youth Climate Change Summit

Monday 13th November 2023 – Pupils from Benfield School, one of the Trust’s two secondary schools, proudly participated in the Newcastle City Council’s Youth Climate Change Summit, an event that brought together passionate young minds to discuss and explore innovative solutions to combat climate change. The summit, held at the Northern Stage, saw the enthusiastic involvement of 85 students, including 15 from Benfield School.

A Day of Inspiration and Action

Our Pupils engaged in a series of interactive workshops centered around five key areas crucial for driving sustainable change. These areas included the transition to low carbon energy, changes in heating practices for homes and buildings (with notable efforts at local schools such as Walbottle and Benfield Sports Centre), strategies for reducing emissions from high-polluting vehicles, sustainable food networks, the importance of nature in urban spaces, and effective waste management practices.

Our young people actively participated in discussions and shared their insights with the broader cohort, fostering a collaborative environment for creativity and problem-solving. Their contribution showcased the dedication of the youth in influencing local initiatives that align with Newcastle City Council’s ambitious goal of achieving Net Zero emissions by 2030.

Sustainable Engagement

The students were treated to a sustainable lunch provided by Magic Hat Cafe, a local eatery committed to combating food waste. The day also featured lecture-style sessions on contemporary issues with guest speakers, offering students the opportunity to interact with Newcastle-based green circular economy businesses and flood management teams.

Council Leaders Praise Youth Initiative

Cllr Marion Williams, Cabinet member for a Connected, Clean City at Newcastle City Council, expressed her admiration for the students’ passion for environmental protection, emphasising the crucial role young people play in shaping the city’s response to the climate crisis.

Cllr Nick Kemp, Leader of Newcastle City Council, highlighted the significance of involving young minds in discussions about climate change, acknowledging the global nature of the issue and the pivotal role that the younger generation plays in shaping the future.

Shaping Futures in the Green Sector

The afternoon sessions gave students insights into exciting career opportunities within the green sector. Representatives from companies like Greggs, Siemens, and Equans shared valuable information about potential career paths. Moreover, Jen Hartley, Head of Economic Development at the Council, shed light on the growth of the green economy in the North East.

Looking Ahead

As a precursor to future environmental endeavors, 55 Year 10 pupils from Benfield School are set to attend a polar environments study and careers day at Newcastle University later this academic year.

As a Trust, we deeply value and celebrate our students’ resolute efforts to make their voices heard, reflecting the fundamental principles of our school communities: aspiration, responsibility, inclusivity, collaboration, and innovation. Come join us in applauding our students’ dedication to a future that is sustainable and environmentally conscious. 🌱👏 

#NEATClimateChampions #YouthForClimateAction #NetZeroNewcastle2030