Case Study of Youth Actions: Woodside High School London, UK

Who are global citizens and how do young global citizens make a difference?

Introducing Global Citizens

We live in a world where our lives increasingly affect the lives of other people living in countries and places far away from our own homes. So the choices we make and the lives we lead have a global impact.

The global citizen is aware of these global connections and is prepared to take action to make the world better or fairer for all its inhabitants.

The next section summarises some actions done by young global citizens in Europe. What will you do to make a difference?

Case Studies of Youth Actions

When looking at these case studies please think about the following questions:

  • What elements of the “learn-think-act” approach did each group use?
  • Who were the targets of the “action” in each case?
  • What sort of positive impacts did the project have?
  • What do you think made each example successful?

Woodside High School London, UK

On the 17th June 2015, 23 students from the Woodside High School’s Youth Ambassador Group attended the “Speak Up on Climate” event in London. The goal of this major event was to ask British Members of Parliament (MPs) to do more to tackle climate change. Around 9000 people attended and lobbied over 300 MPs.

The Youth Ambassadors decided to do this after learning about how climate change affects the food system and realising the importance of MPs doing something about it. They prepared for the day by using their art class to design placards and banners to bring to the event. Finally they met with Oxfam on the day of the event to practice meeting their MP. The group rehearsed with each other to build up their confidence.

At the event they met with other organizations to discuss why it’s important to tackle climate change. Finally they met their MP, and gave her letters they had written explaining their concerns about climate change and asking her to represent their opinions in Parliament.

Catherine West, their MP, was very happy to meet with the Youth Ambassadors and promised to bring their letters to the attention of Parliament. She also wrote about their meeting on social media.

During the evaluation the students said they really enjoyed the day and felt empowered by being part of a bigger movement. They felt they developed their skills and confidence in influencing, although some said it was difficult to talk with politicians. However, all felt they had learned a lot and would feel more confident to engage with MPs again about other critical issues.

Designing placards and banners

Getting ready for the event and practising with Oxfam

Photo: Chris O’Donovan

Youth Ambassadors at the “Speak Up on Climate” event

Photo: Chris O’Donovan

Youth Ambassadors campaigning:

Photo: Chris O’Donovan

Youth Ambassadors meeting their MP, Catherine West

Photo: Chris O’Donovan

Reya, from the Youth Ambassador group, handing letters about climate change to MP Catherine West<

Photo: Chris O’Donovan

Catherine West responded to their letters on Twitter