“Water is an integral part of everything but people tend to ignore it in the city”, Hugh Thomas.
What is your job about?
‘Learning Ships’ is led by – My Future My Choice (MFMC) a Bristol based education agency. MFMC work nationally providing CSR activity for businesses supporting education. Their work has been developed in collaboration with Bristol schools and businesses. Resources and projects have been used by most schools in Bristol at some point. The aim of the project is to create a generation of young people who are interested, active and politically aware, they are thinking about their future and can imagine a wide variety of jobs and sectors which they could work in, whilst gaining hands on skills and actually playing an active role in their schools and communities.
What issues do you address?
- Accelerating the education of young people towards a better understanding of greening their city, having a sustainable approach to energy use, understand biodiversity, and the history and heritage of where they live.
- Lack of identity for young people or a feeling of not knowing what they can do.
- Show that there are a wide variety of routes which you can take in life.
What moved you to take action?
I wanted to see a more expansive, complete learning for young people, It was the mission of an educationalist. I wanted to do something practical in the schools, and inspire and raise the aspirations of young people. There are so many issues today for young people to deal with (anorexia, depression, bullying, suicide), they are dealing with their own identity, the lack of jobs, pollution, the news. We aim to give them some control with better understanding. We want them to take action.
What were the obstacles that you had to overcome?
- Because we were grassroots we had to look at funding carefully
- Obstacles were overcome by the quality of people we worked with.
- We wanted to produce young people who are useful citizens.
What helped you keep going in hard times?
- Solutions are in the people and reputation of the organization
- Businesses taking some of the costs
- Schools wanting to be involved
- Inspiring the next generation
What first prompted you to become interested in environmental issues and when was that?
It has been lifelong. I grew up in a landscape surrounded by water and have always been interested in erosion and tides. At an early age I did a project on a drainage system. I saw the world from that perspective.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very happy) where would you rate how you feel about your life?