Learning through action
Living and working in the UK’s smallest city on the western edge of the UK brings a bounty of rewards. We spend our days surrounded by countryside, coast, beach and ocean and are bathed by clean air as well as cold seas and play host to around 500,000 visitors a year who come here to appreciate nature and the active, cultural and gastronomic delights that the peninsula offers.
On Friday the 20th of September the world saw Over 4 million people on #ClimateStrike in 163 countries. Here in St. Davids we saw a wonderfully mixed crowd with an age range from 97 to a precious 4-week old baby congregating on the Cross Square to declare their support alongside school climate strikers from Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi. The St. Davids community stood strong with banners, messages, and chants declaring to “Save Our Planet”. It was a powerful moment to watch the small city make such a big noise about something close to our hearts.
TYF had a craft table of recycled cardboard and pens outside our ethical retail store that happens to be right next to the cross square giving us front row seats to the action that unfolded throughout the day. Having the craft station allowed everyone a chance to make a placard and share their climate message, it also gave us a good time to remind pupils that this wasn’t a ‘day off’ but a ‘day that counts’. We kept the shop open and took £500 and will reinvest all of that as free climate talks or workshops in local schools over the coming months.
Our day of action wasn’t without its challenges though. We had a school with us for a residential programme which meant that eight adventure guides couldn’t join activities in St.Davids. Although their teaching every day is intended to help young people fall in love with nature so deeply that it changes the way they live, they couldn’t join in at the Cross. Some of our team wanted to shut the shop and others wanted to keep it open as a climate hub and reinvest. Some thought that they were going on strike themselves and others thought they were supporting the strikers. We realise that we didn't invest enough time in preparing the ground beforehand and that meant we didn’t make the most of each other’s talents, passion and practical actions.
The global school climate strikes were an important and vital demonstration of young people’s power, voice and voting intent. They were also a good reminder for us that we need to attend to the soil from which we want wildflowers, beauty to burst, as the soil in nature, or our culture in communities, is where the power of deep change comes from.
Thank you to the millions who made their voices heard on Friday, and the millions more who will join next time.