Supporting children to change the world

Nicky Cox MBE, Editor in chief, First News (photo: C4 Lens C5 CAMM)Nicky Cox MBE, Editor in chief, First News (photo: C4 Lens C5 CAMM)
Nicky Cox MBE, Editor in chief, First News (photo: C4 Lens C5 CAMM)
By Nicky Cox MBE, Editor in chief, First News

JPIMedia, which publishes this website, is in partnership with First News, the newspaper children trust.As part of the run-up to the critical COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow next week, we asked First News editor Nicky Cox to talk about why the voices of children should be heard in the climate change debate.

We all need to have our worries validated, with this often being the first step towards finding a solution.

Children are far more clued up than we give them credit for.

They bring a different perspective to the table and think outside the box in a much less cynical way than adults tend to.
But if children don’t have a voice and feel they are unable to ever bring about change, the likelihood is that they will become disengaged and apathetic.

Climate change is a stark example of this. We know from our First News readers that climate change and environmental issues are extremely high on their list of concerns.

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Many young people are passionate about these issues but struggling to see how they alone can make a difference to what is clearly a global problem.
With the media onslaught suggesting the environmental damage we’ve done is now irreversible, the attitude that ‘it’s too late to bother going green’ is becoming more widespread.

But it’s not too late. We have to support our children to understand that every little action they take now will absolutely make a difference in the years ahead.

Lots of little whispers will indeed turn into a loud shout – and as adults, it is our responsibility to ensure our children have the platform on which to make a stand and be heard.

This demonstrated a clear desire from Government to hear directly from the very people whose lives and futures will be most affected by the climate change and provided reassurance to these young people that they are, indeed, being listened to

This isn’t about pandering to children and pretending that all their views and opinions will change the world.

It’s about the acknowledgement that a child’s concerns and anxieties are valid; giving them the confidence to fight for what they believe as the next generation to be inheriting our world.