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Sheffield Climate Alliance Can Do South Yorkshire

New climate action project led by Sheffield Climate Alliance seeks to 'empower individuals to take climate action at home, in their workplaces and in their communities'.

SCA Can Do logo RGB

In Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, we are already experiencing the effects of the climate emergency, from harmful air pollution to the degradation of nature. It is crucial that we take action now to protect our planet for future generations. But the enormity of the problem can often be overwhelming, leading people to feel helpless or unsure about how they can make a positive difference. Therefore, it’s essential that we empower individuals to take climate action at home, in their workplaces and in their communities.

The Can Do South Yorkshire project is all about ways to emerge positively from lockdown, when people are looking for things that they can do - rather than what they can’t do - to connect again with people, nature and climate. We also want to create systemic change - when citizens care about the climate, it creates a mandate for our councils and governments to act. Politicians are elected to represent us, so the more we pressure them on climate issues, the more likely they are to take action and vote for legislation to protect the climate.

This is a big opportunity for South Yorkshire as we are one of only a few Lottery-funded Climate Action projects, run by Sheffield Climate Alliance and our 35 partner organisations, which range from campaign groups to business networks and community arts organisations. As SCA, we work with even more groups to achieve our vision for a more sustainable region.

Our public engagement programme kicked off in April, with The Bare Project (in partnership with Festival of Debate, Opus Independents and SCA) launching ‘A Bit of Earth’, a project that encourages us to celebrate our local green spaces. People across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield were invited to share their stories and images of nature, in exchange for a packet of seeds to plant their very own bit of earth. We are looking forward to watching this project bloom over the next couple of months as we prepare online and physical exhibitions.

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Kids Plant Trees

The Sheffield Sustainability Network hosted a training event for businesses, in response to Sheffield City Council’s Pathways to Zero report. They offered examples of things which businesses, and other organisations, can do to help contribute to the transition, save themselves money and maximise the opportunities that a shifting local economy will bring, as Sheffield works to meet its carbon targets. Businesses also had the opportunity to share ideas with other network members.

To ensure we connect with everyone across the region, we are working with Diva Creative to create a South Yorkshire digital climate hub - free and easily accessible online, taking a creative approach to inspire and enable people to reduce emissions, providing information about the climate and how you can make a difference in your home, workplace and community.

Using their innovation and research base, students at the University of Sheffield worked with us as part of Can Do South Yorkshire and their Live Projects. Masters architecture students work in Live Project groups with a range of not-for-profit clients, making a real difference in communities. The students have shown creativity in their approaches to creating a physical Climate Hub, and they have been out and about talking to people in Sheffield city centre about barriers to climate understanding and action.

Photo Credits Food Works
Food Works

Now, we are running a series of public engagement activities at Live Works on the Moor in Sheffield. On Monday 9 August, we are kicking off the programme with a launch party, with free activities and time to chat more about our plans. On Tuesday 10 August, led by ShefFood, we are hosting a day of Good Food Conversations, where people can learn more about plans to build a sustainable food system for Sheffield. Activities also include a free workshop with Madame Zucchini, who uses performance art and vegetables to teach kids about the climate emergency. On Wednesday 11 August, CycleSheffield are hosting free bike maintenance workshops and cycling activities.

We hope to empower people across South Yorkshire to take climate action. No matter who or where you are, we can all make a difference in our communities.

To keep up to date with the Can Do South Yorkshire project, follow us on Twitter @CanDoSouthYorks, Instagram @candosouthyorkshire, or Facebook at facebook.com/candosouthyorkshire, and use the hashtag #candosouthyorkshire to share your own climate action!

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