Youngsters from Leamington and Southam win prizes for helping their schools to become more climate conscious

The winners and runners up of Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council’s climate change competition, Young Green Shoots, have been announced

Pupils from schools in Leamington and Southam have been named among the runners-up in a Warwickshire and Coventry-wide competition aimed at giving them a chance to become advocates in the fight against climate change.

Children and young people across the region were asked to show what being a climate hero meant to them, as part of Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council’s climate change competition, Young Green Shoots.

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The aim was to give them the chance to become advocates in fighting the climate crisis and to raise awareness that climate heroes do both big and small things, from planting a huge forest to turning off the lights when they are not needed to be on.

12-15 winner Oliver Peake; 12-15 runner up Emilia Hone; 4 – 7 runner up Tahmeed Anaam; Cllr Heather Timms; David Mond; 8-11 winner Shirley Jo Slade; Ed Green; 4 – 7 winner Elina Williams;12-15 runner up Martha Pearson.

The competition generated over 200 entries from pupils aged between the ages of four and 15, with pieces ranging from essays, poetry, photographs, paintings and even a sculpture.

The entries were judged by Ed Green from the Wildlife Trust, David Mond from Warwickshire Climate Alliance and Laaiqah Iqbal from Warwickshire Youth Council.

Penny Williams of Lillington Primary school and Southam St James School pupil Lily Finch were runners up in the ages 8 to 11 age category.

And Emilia Hone, who goes to North Leamington School, was a runner-up in the 12 – 15 age category.

Warwickshire county councillor Heather Timms, portfolio holder for environment, climate and culture, joined by competition judges, met some of the winners at Ryton Pools Country Park this week to thank them and award their prizes.

Each child received a sustainable goody-bag which included a book from green campaigner Greta Thunberg, an eco-friendly water bottle and wildflower seeds.

The schools of the three winners will be given £2,500 in funding from Warwickshire County Council’s Green Shoots Community Fund for their school or college to spend on climate change-related projects.

Cllr Timms said: “From the number of entries we received, and the detail that went into each and every one of them, we can firmly say that children and young people care deeply about climate change and the climate crisis.

“This is why we created Young Green Shoots – for them to learn about climate change through creativity and to contribute to discussions about the environment and become advocates for positive change.

“As part of our commitment to creating a Child Friendly Warwickshire, we must all come together to listen to children and young people, give them a voice and inspire them to take action and create lasting and positive changes for their future. The £2,500 in funding will help to support this, but we will also take onboard all of the amazing ideas to tackle the climate crisis we received through this competition.

“Congratulations to the winners and runners up, and well done to everyone who entered – their efforts will be the legacy in making sure Coventry & Warwickshire is well on the way to achieving our climate change ambitions.”