Plastic-Free Youth: Training the Next Generation of Ocean Defenders

Community groups Plastic-Free Me and Yorkshire Life Aquatic will be running weekly plastic-free youth workshops in Armley, Leeds starting 8th January 2019. For six weeks, fifteen students aged 13-19 will be empowered to be leaders of environmental change through film, art, activism and community engagement. With funding secured from #iwillFund, the course is completely free and designed to be accessible to all: including young people with and without disabilities, and those who may face socio-economic and financial barriers.

 
 Plastic-Free Youth @ Interplay Theatre, Armley

Plastic-Free Youth @ Interplay Theatre, Armley

 
 

Who are we? Plastic-Free Me is an environmental organisation, passionate about the oceans and their protection. Through campaigns, artwork and workshops they spread awareness of our global plastic pollution crisis, and educate the public how to make small, sustainable switches in their daily lives to tackle the issue. Yorkshire Life Aquatic, based in Leeds, use underwater art and performance to promote positive body image, health and wellbeing to the public. They utilise creative activism using mermaids to highlight environmental issues, focusing on the oceans.  

Why Armley? Armley, Leeds is in the lowest 5% of quality of education in the UK and highest 2% for crime rates. We want to provide an opportunity for young people in this area to get a head start in a conservation career; a career that they may previously have thought is unattainable. Based at accessible Interplay theatre, our workshops will also provide a safe space for young people to work collaboratively and learn teamwork, leadership and creative skills.

What will the workshops cover? Held every Tuesday for six weeks, the three-hour evening sessions will cover filmmaking, artwork, activism, and leading workshops. Each session will be lead in conjunction with a specialist in those areas who will mentor the participants. The last two weeks will see the participants choose one area and create their own film, sculpture, political campaign or workshop. The participants will finish the course feeling empowered to go into their communities and share their skills: leading their own workshops and courses to encourage others.

Who is funding the project? We have been extremely fortunate to secure funding from #iwillFund: a collaborative from the Big Lottery Fund and UK Government. We have been granted £4,380.00 to cover all costs: venue, materials, session leaders, local experts and artists, food and transportation.

Further information and how to apply: Click here for full details and the application form. We will contact successful applicants in due course. Informal queries can be made by contacting Hattie on hattie@plasticfreeme.org.

Application deadline is 15th December 2018.