Young people hold protest banners to raise awareness of climate change

#iwill children face climate change together.

An #iwill project with Jack Drum Arts has brought together children from all walks of life to think about climate change.

Young people wrote and performed an original show last week to shine a spotlight on the melting icecaps, carbon emissions and rising sea levels affecting their generation.

Funding for the Community Climate project from came through the #iwill Youth Social Action Fund, managed by County Durham Community Foundation.

Local residents were invited to watch the final performance, which highlighted the week’s activities with 30 minutes of theatre and live music. The props and stage were all made from recycled materials gathered by the young people throughout the week.

Strong communities

Children aged 10 and up took part in the summer school project, and the children of Syrian families seeking refuge in the UK also took part to support their language skills and to help them make friends.

Helen Ward, from Jack Drum Arts, said: “We’ve been working with Durham County Council’s Humanitarian department and Employability Durham for four years now, and believe it’s really important that Syrian families are invited to join activities to help with integration and combat racism in our communities.

“One little boy really threw himself into the music and that was a real success. His family only came to the UK this year so it was lovely to see him in the break running around with the other children and having a good time.”

Climate change focus

One young person who took part said: “I loved that we got to work on a performance about something that is important to all of us and use our voice to say how we feel about climate change.

“The best bit was performing at the end of the week. I felt really proud to show people what we had achieved.”

Helen added: “Our summer school this year marked the launch of a year-long focus of work we will be delivering about climate change.

“Young people want to be involved in the conversations about the future of the planet they will be inheriting and using creativity to support social action campaigns to raise awareness is the perfect platform.”