Big changes start with small steps

by Laura Rudland Climate Change

When it comes to tackling climate change it can be seen as an overwhelming topic. We often feel like we don’t know where to start and there is so much to do we end up asking ourselves what impact can I have, can I really make a difference?

The office for national statistics for Opinions and Lifestyle survey found that:

Around three in four adults (74%) reported feeling (very or somewhat) worried about climate change and that climate change was the second biggest concern facing adults in Great Britain.

There are 43 Active Partnerships (AP’s) that cover the whole of England, bringing together people and organisations to increase physical activity levels. As a network we reach an enormous amount of people across the whole of England. This collective reach gives us an opportunity to encourage change and get people thinking about what they can do to have a positive impact on the climate change crisis.

This is where the creation of the AP Climate Change Steering Group comes in. Led by David Gent, CEO of Active Humber the Steering group is made up of 8 people from across the network with a passion for positively making a difference. One thing we recognised early on is you don’t need to be a climate expert to implement change or encourage others to do so.

Over the course of the last few years the steering group have been working with experts to provide learning opportunities and to identify actions we can all do to positively make a difference in both our internal organisations and externally with our networks.

Below are some of the pieces of work we have done together with the network to take small steps that can make a big difference, hopefully this will highlight some important steps everyone can implement:

Having an advocate for Climate change in each Active Partnership

Recently we have worked together to identify a climate lead in 42 of the 43 AP’s. This has allowed us to share key information and to have someone in each organisation being a voice for the climate change agenda. We hold climate lead calls from time to time to understand what active partnerships would like support with & to help implement change. This group has also provided a space for shared learning, this has led to different active partnerships sharing their environment policy documents.

Being a voice for the topic

Sharing the message: Climate change calendar

A climate change social media calendar was put together and shared with the network highlighting all of the awareness days throughout the year that link to climate change. We wanted to encourage all AP’s to use their sport and physical activity platforms and reach as positive advocates for change. If we keep sharing the message and sharing what we are doing individually this can encourage others to implement change and keep climate change on everyone’s agenda.

Linking up with professionals to work with the network

Climate change events for the network:

Over the last few years several webinars have been held for the AP’s, we have had guest speakers at each of the events who are experts in the filed! More recently these sessions have been structed around what we can do as a network and how the sport and physical activity sector can make the biggest change.

This is just a snapshot of some of the work being done across the network and we are still early on in our journey. The main takeaway from this blog is that no action is too small, if everyone takes small steps it can lead to a big impact.

For further information visit The British Association for Sustainable Sport (BASIS) website here.

Watch this short animation by Club Matters around tackling climate change and sustainable sport here.

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about the author

Laura Rudland

Marketing and Administration Officer

T: 0117 32 81881