Schools' Climate Café Kicks Off
Year-Long Initiative for Positive Change

Hebden Royd Town Council's second School Climate Café, held at Hebden Bridge Town Hall on 10th November, has set the stage for a transformative year-long programme aimed at empowering local primary school students to take action on climate-related issues and foster collaboration between schools across Hebden Royd.

This broad-reaching and innovative climate emergency youth project aims to provide Key Stage 2 students with a framework to develop skills in leadership, communication and creativity to help drive positive and sustainable change in their respective schools and communities. As part of the session, participating schools received their own wormery, as well as hi-vis vests and baseball caps, to kickstart their own sustainability initiatives.


Cllr. Howes encouraged students to collaborate and share ideas from ongoing projects currently underway. He then gave them the task of auditing their school and grounds, and the challenge to raise funds for future initiatives.


Rachel Lightbird, Climate Emergency and Biodiversity Coordinator for HRTC, then gave a practical workshop focusing on composting, worms, and how to establish and maintain a wormery, so that the schools can take this knowledge away with them and start their own.



This second School Climate Café was a great success, with four local schools: Burnley Road, Scout Road, Hebden Royd Primary School and Riverside Junior School participating. Furthermore, other schools in the Hebden Royd area (along with some beyond), have signed up to three follow-up events, all due to take place in 2024. These include:

  • An environmentally focused audit of the local community and curriculum. Taking place on 2nd February, which will also feature an art and science workshop concerning invertebrates, plants, and ecological pathways, led by local artist Katie Bates.
  • A workshop combining art, activism and student leadership to prepare for the 2024 Climate Café finale event (June 2024, date TBC). Here students will design their own patches for a banner with slogans and images they have created themselves. The patches will be sewn together and displayed as part of a student march through Hebden Bridge, as well as at a conference, where they will present their ideas, findings and feelings to local politicians and dignitaries.

HRTC's School Climate Café series continues to promise to be an enriching and collaborative learning experience for students, educators as well as the community at large.

On reflection of the 10th November Climate Café and the upcoming future sessions, Cllr. David Howes said:

It's clear children are passionate about the future and that is going to be needed if they're to rewrite the negative climate narrative they're being presented with on an almost daily basis.  We wanted to bring them together to collaborate on ideas and inspire them that even at their young age, they can still take action to make positive changes in the school, community and world they live in.  It was amazing to meet these spirited individuals and with events like these, the equally inspiring work being done by the HRTC Climate Emergency and Biodiversity Action Plan at places like High Hurst Meadow, step-by-step, we're shifting the narrative.'

Cllr. Nikki Harvey said: 'We are delighted that the school Climate café has been so well attended by local schools. The skills and enthusiasm that the children bring are inspiring. These workshops provide an important opportunity for children's views on climate change to be heard, listened to and feed into our HRTC Climate Emergency and Biodiversity Action Plan. 

I can't wait to see the ideas and creativity that the come from the workshops in 2024!'


For more information email Hebden Royd Town Council Climate Emergency and Biodiversity Coordinator: / or call: 01422 842181

Added: Friday, 17 November 2023

Photos from Hebden Royd