Girl guide steps up for a day, as Director of RSPB Cymru
Last modified: 23 May 2012
Yesterday (Tuesday 22 May) 14 year-old Harriet Sleight, from 4th Tenby Guides stepped up and took the reins of RSPB Cymru as Director for the day. Harriet was the lucky winner of a competition launched by RSPB Cymru in partnership with Girlguiding Cymru, to find a young champion for nature.
During her busy day at the top, Harriet took part in meetings with RSPB Cymru’s usual Director, Katie-jo Luxton, and also met with high-ranking Welsh politicians.
In the afternoon the teenager from Tenby handed over her priorities for wildlife to John Griffiths AM, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, which highlighted why nature was important to her and what Government could do to deliver for nature through the Sustaining a Living Wales Consultation.
Harriet said: “I don’t know what I want to do when I leave school yet, but today has been very interesting. I’ve always enjoyed nature and strongly believe that all children should have the same opportunities through out of classroom learning. I enjoyed meeting politicians face to face and making my voice heard about what matters to young people”
Environment Minister, John Griffiths said: “It is heartening to meet young people, such as Harriet who are passionate about Wales’ beautiful environment. The natural environment really is our life support machine, supplying us with food, water, medicines, fuel and many other things. It is vital that we manage it as efficiently and effectively as possible. We are currently consulting on the best way of sustaining and managing Wales' natural environment and I am delighted to hear Harriet’s views as part of that process. "
The day ended with Harriet invited to the launch of RSPB Cymru’s Every Child Outdoors Wales report, at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. The report highlights the educational and health benefits of outdoor learning, and a number of key decision-makers and stakeholders attended the evening, including key speaker Jeff Cuthbert, Deputy Minister for Skills.
Jon Gruffydd, RSPB Cymru Lifelong Learning Manager, said: “Wales is lucky to have such an inspiring environment and giving children their first contact with nature can start a life-long interest and help equip them to handle the environmental challenges that lie ahead. We are delighted to have been able to work with Girlguiding Cymru to develop future leaders in particular working with Harriet as Director today.
In Wales, RSPB Cymru has welcomed over 8000 schoolchildren to its outdoor teaching sites for the year 2010/2011 – witnessing first hand the inspiration and confidence that real world learning gives. The conservation charity also offers field teaching and outreach visits to schools, and engaged with a total of 10,294 children for the year 2010/2011.
The ‘Director for a Day’ competition was the latest initiative to come out of a strong partnership between RSPB Cymru and Girlguiding Cymru, which has enabled thousands of girls from across Wales to explore nature reserves in their local area and enjoy special events run by the RSPB.
A hardcopy of the report is available on request or an online version is available by clicking on this link http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/education/research.aspx
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