A mother and son from Sussex were both acknowledged for their inspirational environmental work at the WWF Earth Hour Parliamentary Reception at the Palace of Westminster on 28th February.
Carrie Cort was shortlisted for the WWF Community Hero Award for climate justice work within her community, whilst her nine-year old son Adam won the KS2 WWF Climate Challenge ‘The Future We Want’ poster competition.
The Schools competition, aimed at 7-11 and 11-14 year olds, asked pupils to reflect on the possible impacts of climate change on the things they love and to produce a creative response entitled ‘The future we want.’
Adam – a pupil at the William Penn School in Coolham – designed a poster which depicted polluting images from forestry, waste, water and transport and offered a sustainable solution alongside each. He clearly conveyed the varied impacts and solutions to climate issues.
Adam said “I was really happy to win the WWF award, and it was so exciting to visit the Houses of Parliament with my Mum. It was amazing that we both were nominated for an award, and we had a great day out meeting an Olympic hero.”
“My school friends and I really care about protecting the planet from climate change, but it makes me feel sad when adults don’t seem to care about it, so it was so nice to see so many adult award winners like my Mum who are also doing amazing things for our planet.”
Carrie was also commended for her relentless work with her community iniative business Sussex Green
Living, which educates children and families on sustainability, climate change and environmental issues. The WWF Earth Hour Community Hero Award recognises an individual who has brought their community together to help make a real difference to the environment.
At the age of seven Adam earned his Blue Peter Badge for inspiring other children with his greener living knowledge. In 2015 he attended the BBC Surrey and Sussex Community Hero awards, where he and Carrie were recognised for their environmental education and awareness work in their community, winning the Green Champion award.
Carrie says “Adam and other children like him fill me with hope and inspiration for the future; they so understand the need to look after the planet which sustains them. They are my green warriors helping to convert their parents and other adults in their lives”. She continues “‘We now need to urgently inspire and motivate everyone else to conserve natural resources, reduce the effects of climate change and live in greater harmony with nature”.
Naomi Hicks of WWF, said “The inspiring stories we hear about in the Earth Hour Hero awards shows how it’s possible for all of us to help protect our amazing planet.”
“The standard of submissions this year was our best ever, and for Carrie and Adam to achieve this recognition demonstrates outstanding levels of commitment, passion and care for future generations. The Corts are an example to all of us that we can do so much more to ensure future generations after Adam have the opportunity to experience this amazing planet.”
Readers inspired by Carrie’s achievements can get involved in WWF’s Earth Hour – the world’s largest demonstration of support for action on climate change, by signing up and switching off their lights at 8:30pm on Saturday March 25.
Carrie’s work in her local community this year includes:
– An Eco Beast Sculpture Competition (upcycling) for schools, nurseries and children’s groups throughout West Sussex.
– Running a community creative sewing group which deliver workshops to encourage people to reuse, redesign, remake and repair clothes and textiles.
– Continuing her work with a Climate Change and Energy Group she helped to set up with the local Transition Horsham group, who are communicating with West Sussex policymakers.
– At the national and international level Carrie is working with other Climate Reality Leaders to help the UK to fulfil its commitment under the Paris Agreement. She also delivers Al Gore Climate Reality presentations.
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