Whizz Kidz at The Climate Group

By Poppy Cormack
22 November 2019
Poppy Cormack (seated) with The Climate Group’s Damian Ryan and Poppy Atkinson (Poppy’s support worker)

Last month we were delighted to host Poppy Cormack from the charity Whizz Kidz on a three-day work experience placement. Whizz Kidz works to transform the lives of disabled children across the UK, supporting them to become confident and independent young adults. Poppy wrote this blog about her time with us.

Day 1

I met with Damian this morning, who very kindly introduced me to the basics of The Climate Group and climate change in general. He informed me about what we can do to prevent further damage, for example eating less meat (beef in particular). He talked me through some of the steps that the Climate Group is taking to reduce the risk of climate change, such as liaising with governments to try to adapt their policies to benefit the climate. We spoke about the fact that there is an increased interest amongst society concerning climate change and people are more willing to take action.

In the afternoon, I oversaw a meeting with senior members of the organization, including the CEO, Helen Clarkson, who I judged to be a superb asset to the organization. She was articulate and came across as a strong leader who knew in her heart what was best for our planet. There was a large discussion about COP, the annual United Nations climate conference, which discusses how successful the world is dealing with climate change. Skype was used to gauge members’ views from overseas. I found it really interesting to see climate change from an international perspective.

Day 2

Today a few of The Climate Group’s members, who worked on campaigns, took the time to meet with me and discuss the plans for where they want the world to be. The campaigns discussed were EV100, which encourages the use of electric vehicles, in particular by large companies like IKEA, and RE100, which campaigns for the use of renewable energy, again by significantly big companies. I personally admire the ambition of these campaigns and the Climate Group in general. They aren’t afraid to go after big businesses or even national or international governments.

I was delighted to meet with Nazneen, who spoke with me regarding how the Climate Group uses communications to evoke people’s interests in climate change. The Climate Group try to engage with the media to gain attention. In addition to this, they also use social media to do this. I think that this is a really effective way of gaining publicity. Damian also explained the science behind climate change, which helped me to get a better understanding of what is happening to our planet, and I’m grateful for his time.

Day 3

I found this morning really interesting. Damian very kindly arranged for me to meet with Amber Rudd, former Conservative MP. I have a very keen interest in politics and of course climate change, and to sit and talk to a lady with similar interests was very enjoyable and beneficial. I asked her questions about the government’s view on climate change, whether she thought that the U.K. and the world were moving in the right direction in order to tackle it and other political related issues, such as Brexit. In addition to this, I asked her for some advice on becoming an MP, because this is my ambition in the future. Amber came across as a very positive lady who listened to people’s views and considered them as well as her own.

I met with Agathe, who talked to me about how The Climate Group raised funds. She explained that a significant amount of funding comes from government grants, as well as international organizations and individuals. It was good to know this information, and it reinforced my view that the Climate Group is an extremely well-planned organization who have thought of quite literally everything.

Lastly, I caught up with Damian and we spoke about youth climate action and how I thought the work placement went. I have to say I have had a brilliant time here and I have learned so much. What a tremendous, ambitious, friendly, hardworking organization The Climate Group is!

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