Tuesday 14th July saw the culmination of 12months work with Oldham Council’s policy team. Over the last twelve months we have been apart of Generation Oldham, a pioneering new initiative which aims to support communities in Oldham, to develop their own renewable energy schemes, to tackle fuel poverty and protect the environment.
A package of custom-made support and training opportunities was developed for Youth Councillors, to equip them to help drive forward a renewable energy projects in their communities. This also developed skills and experience which are invaluable for future employment in the low carbon and environmental sector – one of the growing sectors nationally.
The opportunities involved:
Field Trips to renewable energy sites
Training and development
We were also given the opportunity to attend training in leadership, engaging and influencing. Allowing us talk with community leaders and the public moving forward any ideas that we have regarding eco friendly technologies in Oldham. Finally the training ended with a project management course enabling us to plan, organise and deliver an Eco Conference to take the next steps.
Our Eco Conference took place on Tuesday 14th July at the Oldham College. We invited year 9 students from all the major secondary schools across Oldham to come along and take part in what was a great day. To start with after registration young people were able to play with different models to demonstrate the main energies sources we covered at the event. These 4 sources were solar, wind, hydro and bio-energy. We would like to thank Hack Oldham and The GM (UTC) for providing the models, we all had a great time playing them.
His worshipful, the Mayor of Oldham and Lady Mayoress, along with our very own Youth Mayor Saskia Edwards were on hand to get things started with a welcome speech from YCllr Amber Powell, Member of Youth Parliament – The Member of the Youth Parliament is elected to represent the LA on a national level. More for Oldham. Amber also showed a short film created by YCllr Khadija Akhtar Ali with spoken word poem by Youth Council Champion Daud Malik.
After some more fun with experiments we moved on to the Dragons Den Workshop. The young people got into small groups and tried to come up with creative ways to use the technologies they were given. The ideas they brought forward were amazing and some may even have a realistic chance of being used.
The ‘wind’ group’s idea was for Wind Mirrors – small wind turbines on your car wing mirrors that charge batteries to use as an energy source.
The ‘solar’ group wanted to combine different solar technology and use mirrors to direct and concentrate the suns rays making them even more efficient.
The ‘hydro’ group wanted to use the water that leaves a sewerage treatment plant to drive turbines and generate electricity that would be used to provide energy to run the plant or maybe the local communities houses.
The group that got the Dragon’s vote for being the most inventive was the bio-energy group. This group wanted to attach the dog poo bins that you see around parks to lamp posts. The poo that is placed in them would produce methane and this methane would be use to produce electricity that would charge batteries. The lights themselves would have light and movement sensors on them that when triggered would use the charged battery to light the park. An ingenious idea that won the group a phone charger provided from the Council’s policy team.
The day was a success and we think everyone got a lot out of it. All the pupils were asked to take what they had learnt back to school and pass on the information to teachers and pupils. We had a great time planning, organising and running the day but couldn’t have done it without help from many different groups and people. We would like to thank:
- The pupils of Crompton House School, Newman RC College and the GM (UTC) for attending and bringing enthusiasm for eco energies.
- The support staff from the schools. Every single one got involved and did everything they could to make the day great.
- Hack Oldham and the GM (UTC) for providing the ‘toys’
- Andy from Hack Oldham, Alison from Saddleworth Community Hydro and Alan from Oldham Community Power for supporting the day and helping come up with ingenious, fun ideas.
- Oldham College – we felt completely welcome and the staff were amazing going out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed.
- Finally we would like to thank Oldham Council’s policy team, in particular Andy and James. Without them this whole project would never have happened.
Now it is up to our new Eco Ambassadors, young people who signed up on the conference. You now have the same opportunities that we have had over the last year, enjoy it and make sure you get the most out of it.