Youth group uses cycling to inspire climate chats

time:2023-06-01 09:54:58 source:CBS News

Young city people are being encouraged to join the conversation around climate change by going cycling.

Bristol Somali Youth Voice (BSYV), based in Easton, works with young people, mainly from minority ethnic communities, and wants to make them "part of the climate change dialogue".

Mohamed Sayaqle said they help young people understand their "individual responsibility" to the environment.

Staff and volunteers are now offering cycling groups for community members.

They are also providing workshops, which aim to help "inspire behavioural change" and encourage people to reduce the habit of driving by inspiring them to use active travel by walking or cycling.

Mr Sayaqle, Chair of BSYC, said the combination will achieve "both health and environmental merits".

"We want to shift the dialogue from policy level to grass root discussion," he added.

Many young people they work with live in Barton Hill and Easton, some of the "most deprived and polluted areas of the city [which] are underrepresented in climate change [conversation]", he said.

At a time when people are struggling financially, he said making people feel more confident to go cycling also helps them save money.

Ahmed Ismail, from nearby Barton Hill, works as youth worker for BSYC.

He said: "We want young people from minority backgrounds to be part of the climate change dialogue, [because] climate change is everyone's problem".

Mr Kayse, a community member who did not want his full name used, has been participating in the cycling sessions, saying they are "good exercise, improve my cycling skills... and [are an] opportunity to stretch my legs."

He said they also helped him learn "what I need to do personally to tackle climate change and environmental inequality".

Mr Sayaqle said BSYC has some bikes they can lend to people but encourages anyone with their own to bring it with them.

Cycling groups have been well attended since they started at the end of January, he said, helping build confidence in people to cycle on the roads.

pursue BBC West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to:

Recommended content