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Inspiring hope through action: Parents for Future Sheffield

Parents for Future are one of the many local groups to host their events at Union St. We caught up with Sarah from the Sheffield branch to learn more about how they're trying to inspire parents to take action in the climate crisis.


 

Hello Sarah! Could you start by explaining to us what Parents for Future is?

Sure. Parents for Future is the largest parent-led climate movement in the UK. We've currently got around 30 local groups across the country. The aim of Parents for Future is to build power and resilience through community. We believe the parent voice is really powerful and can lead to serious change, but obviously parents don't have a whole lot of time!


It’s also just a welcoming and supportive place where parents can come in and do what they can to help - which could be anything from sharing a few Instagram posts to volunteering for a couple of hours a week.


What kind of activities do Parents for Future take part in?

The main campaign that Parents for Future UK is running at the moment is the campaign to stop the Rosebank oil field. We're also a member of the Warm This Winter coalition, which is working to lobby the government to insulate more homes and bring down fossil fuel heating costs. 


One of our newest campaigns is called Courageous Conversations, which aims to give parents the skills to be able to bring up climate issues in their day-to-day lives, like when they're at a school pick-up or play group for example. The thinking behind it is that the vast majority of people are concerned about climate change, but only a very small percentage of people actually talk about it. So if we can get people talking about it, then that can plant a seed and encourage more people to take action.


Why is the group focused around parents?

Parents have a lot of power. There was a report that came out recently by an organisation called Potential Energy, who found that protecting the planet for future generations was the highest motivation for people to get involved in climate change. 


So thinking of our own children, the children around the world and even children in the future is a huge motivator for people to do something. And the steps that parents will take to protect their children is really moving.


parents for future sheffield

Tell us about the Sheffield branch of Parents for Future.

The Sheffield branch launched around a year ago. We're still quite a small, young group. It's a really casual space for parents to come and talk about the feelings we're having around the climate crisis, how it relates to being a parent and what brought us here. Getting things off your chest is really important, so having that community space where you can make friends and speak with people who are having similar feelings is so valuable.


For me personally, when I joined Parents for Future the emotional support and the community of it all was amazing. I just wanted to have casual meet-ups that people can come to and meet other parents who are going through similar emotions - people who are also feeling compelled to do something about it.


Joining a group like Parents for Future and taking action (no matter how small) by being part of a community can really inspire hope. It doesn't have to be doom and gloom! The idea of inspiring hope through action is a really big part of what Parents for Future is, and it has been transformative for me.


Could you tell us a little more about that?

So after my daughter was born in 2022, I fell into really bad climate anxiety. I'm someone who has always cared about the environment, and always tried to do my bit. Even when I was deciding whether to have a child, I had to think about what kind of world she is being born into. But once she was born, it really hit me like a rock. It kind of affected my ability to function, and after several months of dealing with that I came across Parents for Future.


I eventually summoned up the courage to join a welcome call, and ever since then it has been super helpful to be in that community and see how many people are working on this. Also, being connected to so many different resources means I have a better understanding of what's going on. It has been such a positive experience for me.


Who can attend your Sheffield events?

Anyone can come along. Children are always welcome at our events, so you don't have to worry about finding childcare. You can bring them along and we'll have books and art activities that the kids can do.


Thanks Sarah!


 

The next Parents for Future Sheffield meeting will take place on Sunday 24th March, 10.30am - 12pm at Union St, S1 2JP.


You can follow Parents for Future Sheffield on Instagram or drop them an email on parentsforfuturesheffield@gmail.com.



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