"The best choice I ever made." RSPB Youth Council members share their personal highlights while working to protect the environment.
Speaking at a film festival: Jess
In November 2019, I spoke at the Back from the Brink festival held in Liverpool where photographers, filmmakers and conservationists told their stories from the field.
Although I find public speaking hard, it was a great feeling to express my own experiences with people much older than me, and help them understand more about a youth’s perspective. It is a day which I will never forget, and always remember fondly! Joining the youth council was the best choice I’ve ever made.
Engaging MPs at Westminster: Rachel
The most exciting opportunity with the Youth Council was an invitation to give a speech in the Houses of Parliament. I addressed about 50 MPs, urging them to take up the fight for nature on behalf of my generation. Not only did I gain experience in writing and presenting speeches, I brought the CEO of the RSPB, Beccy Speight, to tears! What a fantastic opportunity – I’ll never forget it.
The Youth Council has also helped me connect with the RSPB organisation as a whole. This has ranged from writing articles for Wingbeat, to giving feedback on current partnership schemes.
Hands-on conservation: Jannis
I’ve learned so many new skills by being a part of the Youth Council! Last September we went on a conservation weekend in the New Forest. We saw lizards, learnt about deer tracks and marks and cut down rhododendrons so that more native plants could grow.
Another skill that I have picked up is being able to effectively argue a point. Being able to communicate confidently is extremely important for campaigning and any other work you do for nature.
Taking our issues to No.10: James
One of the most exciting experiences I have had with the Youth Council was visiting 10 Downing Street, and talking to the then Environment Adviser, Lord Randall. We had the chance to sit around a table and discuss our concerns as young people on a wide variety of environmental issues, such as the government’s 25-year plan for the environment, plastics, raptor persecution and the badger cull.
If political involvement and advocacy is something you’re interested in, you should definitely consider applying to the Youth Council.