Experts wanted for East Midlands Climate Ambassadors programme

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Expert volunteers are being sought to join the East Midlands hub of the government’s national climate education programme, being hosted by Nottingham’s two universities.

The Climate Ambassador Scheme is a £2 million Department for Education programme which will provide nurseries, schools, colleges and universities across England with free access to local experts who can help turn their climate and sustainability ambitions into action. Regional hubs in each of England’s education regions have been established, with the East Midlands Hub being hosted by the both the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University working in collaboration as part of the Universities for Nottingham partnership. On Monday 20 May at the Education World Forum, the Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan, called for 1,000 expert volunteers to join the Climate Ambassadors programme. Volunteer experts from across England are needed to support the roll-out of the scheme, which, in the first two years, aims to support 2,500 education settings on their sustainability journey.

Matilda Crane, the East Midlands Hub Manager, said:

“The Climate Ambassadors Scheme provides an exciting opportunity for anyone wanting to share their knowledge, skills and passion for supporting sustainability and climate action to inspire meaningful change within local communities, education settings and young people across the East Midlands. By working closely with our universities networks, and beyond, we can draw upon a variety of essential skills and experiences to drive impactful, long-lasting and community-focused change towards a more sustainable future.”

The scheme was originally launched in April 2022, by the University of Reading and STEM Learning, with support from UKRI. In December 2023, the Department for Education partnered with the University and EAUC to expand the Scheme to all 30,000 education settings across England. A key aim of the extended programme, as part of the Department for Education’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, is for all education settings to have a climate action plan in place by 2025. Across the East Midlands, nurseries, schools and colleges will have the opportunity to receive free support from volunteer Climate Ambassadors to progress their climate action plans, wherever they are on their sustainability journey. The regional Hub will bring together a community of Climate Ambassadors from a range of backgrounds, including the private, public, charity and university sectors, supporting education settings to take ownership of their climate action by creating or progressing climate action plans.

Gavin Scott, Head of Sustainability at the University of Nottingham, said:

“Our region boasts a diverse range of expert skills within the sustainability and climate change sector, particularly across the universities and research centres within the region, as well as a plethora of technical industry partnerships and innovative businesses.”

Laura Mayhew-Manchón, Head of Sustainability at Nottingham Trent University, added:

“We are in a unique position to support education settings across the East Midlands to take bold action on climate change, by offering them the collective sustainability expertise of both Nottingham universities as well as that of our regional partners, supply chains and wider community through the Hub.”

Sign up now Anyone interested in becoming a Climate Ambassador can sign up to the scheme now to be provided with free training and support, and be matched to a local nursery, school or college that needs help building a climate action plan. Organisations large and small, across England, who would like to make the Climate Ambassador Scheme part of their corporate volunteering programmes can sign up as partners of the programme. By becoming a partner, organisations will have access to a structured, relevant and meaningful volunteer option for their employees, while also supporting the organisation’s community engagement and social value goals Climate change and Sustainability is a key strand of the Universities for Nottingham partnership, a pioneering collaboration that sees the city’s two world-class universities with local partners working to improve levels of economic prosperity, educational opportunity, sustainability and the health and wellbeing of residents and the communities of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

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