Before coming to work for Solutions for the Planet I worked for one of our previous Business Partners and mentored on the Big Ideas Programme for four years. I found the mentoring experience unbelievably rewarding, personally, as a professional and as part of my career. Here I’ll talk you through some of the benefits of mentoring that I experienced.
On the evening of 6 August, we hosted an online virtual event celebrating the achievements of our Regional Finalists for the 2020 Big Ideas Programme and it was brilliant – ‘An evening with Big Ideas’. 39 teams had worked their socks off all the way through lockdown and produced some truly amazing work. It deserved properly celebrating and properly celebrate it we most certainly did!
Every Monday morning we have a team meeting on Teams – we’re a tiny-but-mighty organisation with 4 core team members, and we work remotely, so we’ve been having video meetings long before COVID19 dictated the ‘new norm’. Each of us takes a turn at chairing the meeting, and part of that role is to do a 15-minute ‘introduction’. This is an opportunity to share something with the team for interest, amusement, action or reflection, and is a great way to kick-start our week.
Our first ever Virtual Big Ideas Competition 2020 is drawing to a close – 645 pieces of work were submitted; over 150 students from over 20 schools continued through the lockdown; more than 60 incredible mentors and judges were involved; and 7 live online regional finals were held! As an organization we are so pleased to have created a space, albeit virtual, for such incredible hope, positivity, collaboration and action at such a difficult time for the world. The S4TP team reflect on the last few months below, whilst looking forward to celebrating ALL the teams involved at the live-streamed ‘A Night With Big Ideas’ event on Thursday, August 6th, 17:30 – 19:00: Continue reading
Our relationship with water is complex. Whether it’s scarcity in some regions or flooding in others, it reminds us more than anything how we, as humans, are inextricably linked with nature. Continue reading
The students we work with on Solutions for the Planet Big Ideas Days care about reducing waste. It’s the subject that they immediately grasp, whether it’s food, clothing or general waste, it piques their interest because it’s something they can see, feel, and in some cases smell. The teams below are an example of how students have turned their attention to how to reduce waste and recycle in their schools, communities and beyond; Continue reading
Each Monday morning at out team meetings we dedicate the first 15 minutes to a rotating chair to share something of their choice. It could be an article they want to discuss, a question, a song, a poem, it’s dealers (or rather chair’s) choice.
This week I was in the hot seat and the theme I picked was ‘words that move me’. I was focussing on poetry for some reason but for different people there are many different types of words that move them and in true Solutions for the Planet style we had people bucking the trend. Thinking about words that move, motivate, inspire, quieten, ground and support us is a really powerful thing. We learn at school that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, and whilst I understand why this is important in the context that we learn it, I wonder whether it starts us on a path of not appreciating the positive (as well as negative) power of words. So today, on #MentalHealthAwarenessDay and just following from #NationalPoetryDay, I encourage you to have a think, dig deep into your book shelves, YouTube history, messages from friends and/or the richness of your mind and find some words that move you, in a good way. Writing this now, there are many more words that come to my mind that I would love to share but in an effort to stay on track here are some of mine, and the teams thoughts:
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 worlds oceans and how they can help to clean them of pollution. As Tom Franklyn, an inner-city primary school teacher who founded City Kids Surfing, 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.”
Why we work with schools in areas of multiple deprivation
If we want to see real support for sustainability, it will be when everyday people see how it affects their own lives. Working in schools S4TP works hard to show the links between food waste and food poverty, how pollution affects those living in the most densely populated cities and how young people can have their voices heard.