One in five UK children have never seen the sea.
Yet the young people that we work with at Solutions for the Planet in the landlocked cities of Bradford, Inner City London and Birmingham have a strong bond and passion towards the world’s oceans and how they can help to clean them of pollution.
Tom Franklin is a primary school teacher who founded City Kids Surfing , a UK-based social enterprise that aims to improve the quality of life of underprivileged inner-city children through the therapeutic power of the ocean. He once said, “We’re never going run to out of inner-city children, but we are going to run out of clean, pure ocean. If we put the two together, what a combination that would be, what a powerful force. We’re trying to come up with a truly humanitarian approach to ocean sustainability. Helping these kids fall in love with the sea is a vital first step in safeguarding our planet’s future.”
However, these young people also need to fall in love with their local rivers and green spaces. We need to ensure that young people from our inner cities see the contentedness of their planet. Discarded plastic, food wrappers and polystyrene cups are threatening wildlife in Britain’s rivers.
The trouble is, litter dropped on land often ends up in our rivers and drifts out to sea resulting in harm to land, river and marine life. There isn’t a part of our landscape that litter isn’t reaching. Rivers are acting as the highway for our rubbish, transporting rubbish from streets to sea. Stopping plastic reach the sea in the first place means working with communities where they live and showing how they can make a difference locally even to the ocean that may be many miles away.
And that’s just what some of the young people on our programme are doing.
Written by: Claire Fitton, S4TP Programme Manager, North England & Scotland
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solutions for the Planet Ltd