Youth Climate Action Group Western Isles

COP26 Local Champions Legacy Event, Edinburgh, February 2022

At the end of February 2022, in the shadow of the Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat, young people from across Scotland met to discuss the topic on all of their minds – climate change.

Eleven young people from the Youth Climate Action Group Western Isles travelled to Edinburgh to participate in the COP26 Local Champions Legacy Event at Dynamic Earth, hosted by Youthlink Scotland, Young Scot and Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Bringing together almost a hundred young people representing the urban, rural and island communities of Scotland, the Legacy Event was a fantastic opportunity for the Western Isles group to learn more about climate issues, develop skills and make connections with like-minded young people.

Young people from Barra, Uist, Harris and Lewis attended the residential weekend, supported by staff from Community Learning and Development (CLD) and Castlebay Secondary. The residential marked the first opportunity for these young people and staff to meet in person, after working together on climate issues for over a year via regular Zoom meetings.

Over the weekend, the young people from the Western Isles learned about climate issues, took part in climate emergency and social media training and had the opportunity to share ideas to make a difference in their communities. They were also one of the first groups to visit the Scottish Parliament for a tour since 2020, learning about the history of the Parliament and seeing the Chamber.

After returning home from Edinburgh on Monday, the Youth Climate Group WI met up virtually on Tuesday 1st March to evaluate the residential. The response to the Legacy Event was overwhelmingly positive, with young people identifying learning and meeting people as the highlights of the weekend.

The group invited Alasdair Allan MSP to the meeting and, as well as telling him about their trip to Edinburgh, the young people had a list of questions covering climate issues from coastal erosion to recycling to bees for their MSP. This meeting was part of an ongoing conversation the group has with Dr Allan and they hope to welcome him back to one of their meetings again soon.

The Youth Climate Action Group WI will continue to meet twice a month during term time on Zoom, supported by CLD staff. The group is open to young people aged 12+.

For more information or to join a meeting contact:

Katie Denehy CLD (Barra): katiedenehy@cne-siar.gov.uk

Eilidh Mackay CLD (Lewis): eilidh.mackay@cne-siar.gov.uk