Taking Action Together

Saturday 20th April 2024
9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Kingsbridge Community College
Balkwill Road, TQ7 1PL

Inspiring climate and nature collaboration for our children's futures.

Join us for our 2024 assembly and explore how collaboration leads to positive action!

Taking Action Together is all about connecting, supporting and inspiring community groups and education services to collaborate for climate, nature and adaptation.

It is a day to discover, explore and get inspired to take action. To celebrate what is already happening across the South Hams and make new connections.

Proudly supported by:

Event goals

By gathering local sustainability groups, volunteers, organisations  and educators, we hope to explore collaborative approaches that have the potential to:

  • Amplify community efforts for climate and nature,
  • Expand the reach and widen participation of community projects and action groups,
  • Support young people’s learning and wellbeing in the wider community,
  • Help and support schools to  reach their sustainability goals by involving local volunteers and projects,
  • Help communities reach social tipping points whereby action for climate and nature becomes the norm.

We are joined on the day by an incredible array of researchers, community groups, environmental educators, exemplar projects and organisations who are bridging the gap between schools and community action in their work.

Topics we will explore

The national government strategy for sustainability in schools and the opportunities it affords for collaboration.
Young people’s views on climate change education and the barriers to teaching it.
Wellbeing, eco-anxiety and resilience for young people.
Great practice for collaboration and exemplar projects.
Creative community engagement and working with schools as activators of change within a community.

Learning opportunity

What do schools need support with the most to reach their sustainability goals and how could the wider community help?

What aspects of sustainability lend themselves best to school/community collaboration and how can we learn from projects already happening?

How can Sustainable South Hams support effective collaboration between community groups and schools?

Who is this event for?

Anyone involved in a community action group, project or organisation related to sustainability or the environment; schools (state and independent schools); alternative education providers; environmental educators; services that support young peoples wellbeing; county, district, town and parish councillors; anyone with a passion for collaborative action!


9:30am – 10am

Arrival & registration

10am – 11am

SusSH welcome presentation

With keynote speakers setting the local and national context:
Prof Alison Anderson
University of Plymouth

Alison Anderson is a Professor of Sociology in the School of Society and Culture at the University of Plymouth. She has over 30 years’ experience working in the field of public engagement and environmental communication. She has recently undertaken a piece of research with the British Science Association ‘Climate change in secondary schools: young people's views of climate change and sustainability education’. This included a national survey of 1,000 14-to-18-year-olds and two follow up workshops to explore the responses in greater depth.

In addition, she commissioned a national survey of over 8,000 teachers concerning their views about embedding climate change and sustainability across the curriculum. Her research on empowering youth voices to mobilise behaviour change was exhibited at COP26 and her work has featured in BBC Radio, Der Standard; Financial Times; Toronto Star; and The Times Education Supplement.

She is a founding member of the International Environmental Communication Association and former Editor-in-Chief of the Routledge journal Environmental Communication.

Nicky Bailey
South Devon National Landscapes

Nicky Bailey has worked as the Community Project Officer with South Devon National Landscape for 14 years and is passionate about helping people to connect with the landscape and inspiring them to value and care for it.

Her collaborative approach engages many different groups, organisations, and people in telling their stories, and creating new ones, and schools can be good gateway into that community.

Alex Seal and Jo Pettifer
Let's Go Zero

Let’s Go Zero is the national campaign uniting teachers, pupils, parents and their schools as they all work together to be zero carbon by 2030.

We’re also working with national government to ensure the right support is in place to help all schools reach this goal through seven policy actions.

From Glasgow to Belfast, Liverpool to Cardiff, school leaders are standing alongside students and taking action to tackle the climate crisis. Every school that signs up is pledging to work towards a more sustainable future while calling for much-needed government support to help all schools reach their zero carbon goals.

By raising our voices together, we are showing the overwhelming support for zero carbon schools up and down the UK. Together we’re harnessing the power of schools and young people to drive change and spark climate action in communities across the country, reducing emissions, increasing biodiversity and safeguarding our planet for future generations.

Alex Mack
Resource Futures

Alex Mack Education Team Leader has worked for Resource Futures on the Education Team for 16 years. The team are funded by Devon County Council to deliver the Recycle Devon in schools project Workshops - Zone(recycledevon.org) delivering workshops, audits and assemblies in Devon schools all about waste, recycling, materials, resources and composting.

Following extensive desk-based research, interviews and surveys conducted with Devon teachers by the Resource Futures Behaviour Change team, she will be presenting on a review of the barriers teachers face to including climate change in their teaching.

Alex will present the findings of this research, has looked at a range of barriers, such as time, knowledge training, resources and policy. She will also share initial thoughts on what is needed to overcome these and enable teachers to include this important subject much more widely.

11am – 1pm

Explore the exhibition

Learn from exemplar projects. Connect with providers, community groups and educators. Lunch served from 11.30am.
Please note: Our exhibition is evolving and we will add to this list in the lead up to the event. Would you like to exhibit? Get in touch!
Devon Wildlife Trust - Wilder Communities/Wilder Learning Team
Katie Wilkinson, Emma Smith & Fiona Blake

A wilder community is a group of people that have come together to take positive action for wildlife where they live, learn, work, or play. If you want to start a local project that helps nature and involves others in your community, we can help grow your ideas.‍


South Devon National Landscapes
Nicky Bailey

Life on the Edge will be a 5 year project which aims to work with farmers, landowners and the local community to make a difference for rare and endangered invertebrates on the South Devon Coast.


Yealm Estuary to Moor Project
Diane Castle and team TBC

Creating wildlife corridors, tree planting, working with partners and data collection.‍


YEM Schools and Outreach Project
Cliff Harris

The YEM project work with 7 schools across the Yealm Catchment. Find about the various collaborative projects the group have achieved.

DARCEE project - University of Plymouth/YEM

Data Accessibility for River Catchment Environmental Enhance - makes open-source data sets on the environment and landscape more accessible and useable to community groups working at a local scale to inform citizen science and school projects.


Ivybridge Community College
John Shellard - Environmental Science A-Level lead

YEM is working with Ivybridge Community College ICC to support and enable students studying for A level Environmental Science. In partnership with Parklife it is working to design research projects in Rubies Wood a section of the River Yealm that has been closed for public access for over 30 years.


Naturesave Trust
Louisa Dean - Trust Coordinator

The environmental charity funded by Naturesave Insurance. Grants are awarded for UK based environmental projects from between £500 and £5000, covering nature conservation, renewable energy and help to create more sustainable communities.


Recycle Devon - Devon County Council
Alex Mack and Bobby Hughes - Devon Waste Education Team

Devon County Council also has one of the most extensive Waste Education Programmes in the country, provided by an experienced education team at Resource Futures. They offer a range of workshops, assemblies, resources, training and visits to support teachers to embed the 3Rs into the curriculum and everyday school life.

Planet and People
Jess Carter and Bethia Stevenson-Paul

Planet & People is a Community Interest Company which aims to empower young people to create a better future for planet and people. Co-founded by teaching and ecologist team, Jess & Bethia, together with others, deliver Planet Action Workshops in schools across Devon and beyond.


Deer Wood Trust CIC
Lisa Pugh and Marc Biddle- Co-Founders

Where people and nature reconnect - well-being & outdoor experiential learning in Deer Wood, a beautiful, native woodland in the heart of the South Hams. Lisa is an experienced educator and also produced the 'Carbon Footprint Buster Challenge' - now used as part of EduCCate Global's programme for learning about Climate Change. Marc offers a unique ‘Woodland Horticulture Course” based in the Deer Wood Native Tree Nursery. Starting in Sept this year he will be teaching a holistic approach to growing trees for organisations and individuals.


Westcountry Rivers Trust
Helen Staddon - Senior Education and Engagement Officer

WRT restore and protect the freshwater environments of the Westcountry for the benefit of people, wildlife and local economies. Helen has a background in Marine Science and Education, with 16 years’ experience as a Secondary Science Teacher.  Helen’s work focuses predominantly on stakeholder and community engagement for the Rapid Response Catchments project and on educational delivery.


Makers Mews
Nadine Dommett - Director

Makers Mews is the ‘make, share + repair’ venue in Ivybridge. They provide coworking spaces and support for Makers and Designers, teach classes, host events and talks, and share and fix belongings.


Share Shed
Roger Higman

The Share Shed is the world's first mobile library of things where you can borrow 350+ useful items at a low cost. This sharing resource connects with many communities across the South Hams, promoting a collaborative and sustainable lifestyle, saving people money, space and resources, and inspiring people to engage in social change.


CAG Devon
Bobby Hughes

Community Action Groups (CAG) Devon is here to support and empower community groups to act towards a more sustainable future. We provide community groups with a grant to cover insurance costs, we provide guidance, training, and opportunities for networking and sharing skills with other groups. Our focus is primarily revolved around of waste reduction, composting, sharing, re-use and repair, with growing commitment to other sustainability initiatives.

We support groups across all districts in Devon.


Kingsbridge Community College - Eco Committee
Jani Morton - Science Teacher

Kingsbridge Community College Eco Committee sharing their ideas and the actions taken around the school to improve the environment and gain an Eco Schools award.


Haiku Project and the Big Bank Switch
Alan Ramage

Alan is the former Climate Change Ambassador for Plymouth City Council and has been inspiring people to channel their climate anxiety, emotions and enthusiasm into creating haiku poetry, gathering hundreds of poems from children across Devon. Come and read some of these impactful poems and get inspired to write your own. Alan is also an ambassador for JustMoney and helped to create the Big Bank Switch campaign.


Sustainable South Brent
Hayden Gabriel - Trustee, Youth Liaison

Engaging young people with activities aiming to mitigate the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss beneficial not only to the environment, but also to the young people themselves. SSB will share some of the approaches taken to access this sometimes difficult to reach part of our community.


Ermington Environmental
Patricia Hannam & Steve Deeming

Ermington Environmental Group was established to promote sustainability and biodiversity in the local community.

A key factor in EE projects is the involvement of young people. To raise the awareness of sources of alternative energy, EE presented Ermington Primary School with a classroom based energy kit.

Devon Climate Emergency
Emily Reed - Climate Emergency Project Manager

Creating a resilient, net-zero Devon where people and nature thrive!


The Habitat Group
Sue Hadow

The Habitat Group is a collection of people from different parishes in the South Hams who are concerned by the loss of our local biodiversity, but are convinced that we can help turn it around by creating wildlife friendly habitats. The Gardening for Wildlife booklet developed by the group has now been distributed to nearly 10,000 households across parishes in the South Hams. The group have established a really good working relationship with Blackawton Primary School by involving them in various different projects.

Growing Devon Schools
Mel Harvey & Annkatrin Hendry

Growing Devon Schools (GDS) exists to support teachers, parents, and community volunteers in the development and delivery of outdoor experiential learning.

Extra Guest

Guess details will go here

1pm – 3pm

Spotlight sessions

Pick a session that most interests you! Don't worry, all sessions will be recorded and discussion shared after the event.
Hope, Wellbeing & Resilience
Spotlight Room 1

How do we build resilient communities of changemakers? How can we lead with hope in our projects and activities? How can we communicate about climate change effectively? Hear from speakers and join in the discussion!

Spotlight Speakers:

Jess Carter & Bethia Stevenson-Paul – Planet and People

'Hope' - an essential ingredient for creating more resilient communities and inspiring change.

Planet & People is a Community Interest Company which aims to empower young people to create a better future for planet and people. Co-founded by teaching and ecologist team, Jess & Bethia, together with others, deliver Planet Action Workshops in schools across Devon and beyond. These are positive, inspiring and age-appropriate sessions presented in an engaging and fun way to young people of school age. Our workshops have themes such as 'Hope', 'Speak Up' and 'There's No Place Like Home' and offer a broad perspective on the climate and nature challenge whilst offering plenty of opportunity for interaction, teamwork, creativity and leadership. Our curriculum-linked workshops are typically half-day sessions, take the pressure off teachers and are at no cost to the school. We work hard to fundraise and donations enable our work to continue.

Patricia Hannam – Philosophy for Children

Patricia is a teacher, adviser and a teacher educator in P4C for almost 25years. 

P4C(Philosophy for Children, Colleges and Communities) gives a place where children and young people can think about what kind of people they want to become and what kind of a world they want to live in. SAPERE accredits training in the UK https://www.sapere.org.uk/about-us/ .

P4C is an approach to teaching that explores big ideas that arise in all areas of education and life experience. P4C uses philosophical dialogue and enquiry to help people to think, to speak, to listen, to learn and to live together more effectively.

There has never been a greater need for the kind of open ended exploration that P4Coffers. Children and young people are growing up at a time of significant uncertainty. The Climate Crisis, economic inequality, global health crises, racism and discrimination, armed conflict, and political polarisation loom large, even for very young children.

P4Coffers a way for children and young people to raise and explore their own questions in a supportive, educational space. 

Roger Higman - Network of Wellbeing

Building Wellbeing Together for People and the Planet. Our vision is people and the planet thriving together. Our mission is to connect people, support projects and inspire action for the wellbeing of people and the planet. We do this through sharing events and building a network of people who are passionate about wellbeing. In his spotlight talk, Roger will discuss how we can sustain our activism over the long term and will share news of an upcoming wellbeing for changemakers programme.

Youth Voices in Climate Education - a video presentation with Alison Anderson, Anna Turns and Climate Adam

Collaboration in Action
Spotlight Room 2

Get inspired by successful projects and learn from effective partnerships to build your own collaborative action plan. Hear from speakers and join in the discussion!

Spotlight Speakers:

Cliff Harris -  Schools Engagement Lead, Yealm Estuary to Moor Project (YEM)

Cliff is a Steering Group member for the YEM Project. He has a remit for the  Yealm "Catchment Schools" and Community Engagement. The YEM Project works across six parishes and engages seven catchment primary schools, together with Ivybridge Community College (ICC) .

Each of the catchment schools has a mini tree seed nursery, together with guidance books provided by YEM, to enable the children to grow trees from seed to produce  tree saplings. The saplings can be planted in the school grounds, or brought on in one of the four Community Tree Seed Nurseries in the YEM Project. YEM hold an annual "Tree Seed Sunday" a common date, when, in each of the six parishes, children and the community step out together to forage for tree seeds. The schools are also provided with learning support material for Forest School and Nature activities. In partnership with Devon Wild Life Trust, Parklife and the National Trust the children have had  the opportunity to be involved in real tree planting schemes, The schools have received help to plant orchards, build birdhouses, hedgehog nests, bat homes, bug hotels and plant wild life meadows .

Each year the Catchment Schools take part "The YEM Catchment Schools Art Challenge" , when following internal art competitions the schools offer their three very best pictures to be exhibited and judged at the Yealmpton Show. Last years pictures where judged by a Mermaid!

John Shellard - Ivybridge Community College

John  is the Lead Teacher of a new AQA A level course ay Ivybridge Community College. The College has a strong commitment to enabling its students to understand the issues of sustainability and climate change.  Johns course involves two modules on  research methodology. YEM is working with Parklife, Plymouth University and the land owner of a section of the river Yealm, Rubies Wood, that has been closed to human access for nearly forty years. The students are engaged in  setting up real  research and data collecting field work  projects in Rubies Wood. The data will be used to undertake comparative studies along the course of the river  Yealm. The students are also engaged in river water sampling, working with the Dartmoor National Park and Parklife to mitigate the effects of storm water runoff  from the Moor down stream.

Hayden Gabriel – Sustainable South Brent

Hayden is the Youth Liaison lead for Sustainable South Brent. SSB encompasses more than a dozen different projects, all working towards creating a resilient, low-carbon community where all life thrives.  Hayden will be talking about how collaborating with existing groups for young people, and liaising with primary and secondary schools, has proved to be an important and rewarding part of SSB’s endeavours.  

Mel Harvey & Annkatrin Hendry - Growing Devon Schools Project

Growing Devon Schools (GDS) exists to support teachers, parents, and community volunteers in the development and delivery of outdoor experiential learning. We aim to help builds skills, environmental awareness, a lifelong healthy relationship with food and an understanding of its production and preparation. We do this by delivering teacher training and networking events in schools and other venues, building the confidence of school staff and volunteers to work with the food cycle and outdoor learning, both in class and extra-curricular time. This short talk will introduce some of the work of GDSP over the last 10 years, and identify possibilities for what we might do next.

Bobby Hughes & Alex Mack - Devon Waste Education Team 

Bobby Hughes is a Senior Waste Management Officer for Devon County Council (DCC); overseeing both the Recycle Devon Waste Education Programme and Community Action Groups (CAG) Devon project.  Bobby is passionate about environmental and community action, both via her work with DCC and in her spare time volunteering with her local Repair Café, Wildlife group and by supporting her children’s schools with environmental projects.  

In their spotlight session, Bobby & Alex will provide an overview of Devon’s Waste Education work including the War on Waste (WoW) project, waste audits, workshops, school community events and visits to waste management facilities. They will also provide a quick look at resources available to download from the Recycle Devon School Zone website and their top tips on how to engage schools and youth groups.

Creative Community Engagement
Spotlight Room 3

Hear from two highly experienced organisations about what really works to engage your community in action for climate and nature and how to collaborate effectively.

Spotlight Speakers:

Nicky Bailey - South Devon National Landscapes

Creative approaches to community engagement

Using arts can be a great way to engage people who might not normally take part in environmental projects.

This workshop will explore how we are using creative crafts and the arts to open doors, connect with new people and tell the story of Life on the Edge – a £4.2 million project which will engage farmers, landowners, and communities to restore coastal grasslands for rare and endangered invertebrates.

This session will introduce the Life on the Edge project and the approach we are using, as well as sharing some ideas and activities that you can use in your setting.

Katie Wilkinson, Emma Smith & Fiona Blake - Devon Wildlife Trust Wilder Communities & Wilder Learning Teams

Join Devon Wildlife Trust for a ‘collaboration café’ session. The Wilder Communities and Wilder Learning team will be posing some questions to think about in relation to how communities and schools can best work together to enable local action for nature. This will be fuelled by cake and will be very much about chatting to one another informally and discussing this topic together.


For more information contact:
Rosa Hannaford rosa@sussh.org

With thanks to…

Our sponsors: South Hams District Council and Naturesave Trust.

And to...

All speakers, exhibitors and the extended Sustainable South Hams team, Kingsbridge Community College, SHDC councillors and Climate Officer Adam Williams, Popo Yung and Rob Nichols for design and graphics,  Feast Kitchen Deli for delicious refreshments and lunch.