28 Nov YOUNG PEOPLE JOIN FORCES TO PROTECT THE PLANET
Participants from Huddersfield Town Foundation joined more than 120 young people representing clubs from across the Premier League and English Football League at a special Protect the Planet event on Tuesday 21 November, as part of the Premier League’s commitment to empowering young people to take positive action around climate change.
Funded by the Premier League and #iwill Fund, and delivered by the Premier League Charitable Fund through the national Premier League Kicks, Premier League Primary Stars and Premier League Inspires programmes, the event saw nine-to-13-year-olds from 25 professional football clubs come together to tackle environmental sustainability at their football clubs and in their communities.
Held at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium, the event enabled young people to take part in an exhibition of their youth social action projects devised to protect the planet, alongside a motivational panel discussion featuring inspirational role models, and workshops and skills sessions designed to support young people’s understanding of the world around them.
The Protect the Planet event has been co-designed by, and will be co-delivered with, the Premier League Charitable Fund Protect the Planet Youth Panel, a group of 14 young people aged 11 – 16 with a passion for environmental sustainability.
Huddersfield Town Foundation representatives will be exhibiting their Protect the Planet project at the event, talking about the work they have delivered in partnership with Friends of Norman Park, Eden Foundation and the Bupa Foundation.
The Foundation’s social action group has developed local greenspace Norman Park on the outskirts of Central Huddersfield.
Participant and Protect the Planet Youth Panel member Talha said:
“I have a say in what we do here. We come up with projects and ideas that we put forward to the coaches.
“They then put this into action so we can then do it and make the environment a better place. For example, Norman Park doesn’t get as much attention as other parks.
“We then went down to Norman Park and helped. We cleared out the sewages, painted the benches and swept up the leaves. This made it a more welcoming environment.”
Positively contributing to their community and with the Foundation’s support, the group successfully applied for a small grant of £375 from the Bupa Foundation to enhance the project further.
Launched in August 2022, and designed to reduce the barriers to participation in youth social action, the Protect the Planet Challenge increases young people’s knowledge and understanding of environmental sustainability and empowers them to positively influence climate change action in their local communities. More than 2,400 young people representing more than 90 professional football club community organisations from across England and Wales have taken part in the Challenge to date.
Premier League Charitable Fund Chief Executive, Ruth Shaw said:
“Environmental sustainability is of great importance to the Premier League Charitable Fund. Through the Protect the Planet Challenge young people from Premier League programmes across England and Wales have developed some brilliant ideas to drive positive environmental sustainability action in school, at home and in their communities.
“We must all play our part in this important issue, and I’m grateful to the Premier League and #iwill Fund for their support in helping our charity, and the professional football club community organisations we work with, to empower thousands of young people to take positive action on climate change.”
The Premier League became a signatory of the UN Sports for Climate Action framework in 2021 and has been working towards reducing its own emissions by 50% before 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2040, in line with the 1.5 degrees global warming limit of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Together with clubs, the Premier League has been supporting fans and communities to understand the importance of environmental sustainability.
As part of the Protect the Planet Challenge, the Huddersfield Town Foundation team explored the positive work Huddersfield Town AFC is already doing to tackle climate change.
The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to a £66 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high-quality social action.
The Premier League Charitable Fund is acting as a match funder and awarding grants to professional football club community organisations to support the Protect the Planet delivery, on behalf of the #iwill Fund.
To find out more about the Protect the Planet Challenge, please visit premierleague.com/plcf