This year the BWCE Fund awarded £1725 to FACE (Families Acting on Climate Emergency) to help them build the FACE community in schools and other settings across the B&NES area, and to research needs, opportunities, barriers and triggers for climate action amongst local families. Members describe what FACE is doing and how the funding has helped.

FACE started as a playground conversation between parents back in 2018, following the publication of the landmark climate report from the UN / IPCC. We decided to set up the FACE network to raise awareness about the climate and nature crises, and bring people together to scale up action and push for change.

This year BWCE funding is helping FACE build our network in school communities across Bath & beyond. There are some fantastic parent led eco-groups doing great work in schools, (a bit like PTAs for the environment) and FACE is helping to bring these groups together to share ideas, resources and people power. Here are some examples….

Clean Air Day 16th June

We are working with schools across Bath to coordinate actions on Clean Air Day, to raise awareness and make some noise about air pollution around our schools. We’ll be putting on some fun and colourful activities outside our schools on the day, including giant poster making, cycle rides, handing out the winning clean air flyers from our kids competition, sharing information about walking buses, idling and active travel options to spark conversations with families, writing and drawing clean air messages for our local council.

Global Action Plan have some brilliant Clean Air Day resources and assemblies that we’ve shared with teachers and student eco-committees, so they can make it part of their learning on the day. We’ll all be making lots of noise on social media and in the local news, and delivering our messages to councillors. Please get in touch (see below) if you’d like to be involved, or let us know what your plans are!

School gardening clubs

Several schools in our network are using their fantastic grounds to better support nature and learning, by growing food, creating meadow areas or tree nurseries, and starting gardening clubs. We’re pooling our knowledge and resources so more schools can get these things set up, so if this is something you could help with either by providing expertise or hands-on help, we’d love to hear from you.

Dr. Alice Boden, a local GP and founding member of FACE giving an assembly on climate at Oldfield Park Junior School

Our network has been sharing knowledge and building people power on everything from…

  • Ways to reduce school emissions and energy bills, especially with help from the fantastic Energy Sparks programme
  • Walking and cycling to schools, how to set up walking school buses, road safety, school streets
  • Making school events sustainable: plastic-free fairs, world book day costume swaps, re-usable crockery hire
  • Encouraging take up of veggie and vegan school lunches
  • Funding for eco and schools projects

Being part of this network feels really positive. So many local schools are starting to work on green projects together, it gives me hope.” Ruby Hazael, member of the FACE network

“I love that we’re part of FACE, we get to do cool stuff that’s really good for the planet, with really nice people.” Gwen, age 10

West of England sustainable transport forum

Part of this year’s funding is also for research, it enables FACE to listen to local families, parents and children and amplify their voices. We recently gathered views on the issues faced by local children, young people and families who try to travel more sustainably in B&NES, and gave a presentation to the new West of England sustainable transport forum. This forum (formerly Moving Bristol Forward) brings together community groups across the region to push for a greener, healthier, more inclusive transport system.

The main point we made was that there are 40,000 young people under the age of 18 in B&NES, which means essentially 40,000 residents who don’t get a say in decision making about transport. These young people can’t drive, and our over-dependence on cars limits their freedom and their ability to get around, yet they currently have very few ways to make their perspectives heard.

Continued positive effects of last years’ funding…

We are hearing lots of positive comments on how beautiful many of our streets are looking as wildflowers are left to grow. With support from BWCE, last year we started a petition to B&NES Council to stop using toxic weed killer on our streets, which was signed by over 3,000 people, and resulted in a permanent ban.

Get in touch

If you are connected with a school in any way and would like to join or start a group, or already have one established and would like to join the network, please get in touch!

[email protected]