Coconut milk and Coffee.  Partnerships and People.

Coconut milk and Coffee. Partnerships and People.

By Peter Bell AKA Power Down Pete

The North East regional Sustainable Schools group has been in existence in one form or another for many years and brings together education professionals, local authorities and interested parties with the aim of raising the profile of environmental education across the region.

Our group is flexible and informal with new members joining as they wish. The key aim of the group is simply to support environmental education for young people. As we drink our coffee with coconut milk in our regular meeting haunt in a vegan eatery in York we discuss new partnerships, update colleagues and bring in guest speakers form leading organisations like Eco Schools. Many of our schools are still following the all-encompassing Eco Schools programme and it remains a key driver for environmental education.

Updates and introductions are a key discussion topic.
‘Do you want to know about the exploits of resident energy saving Super Hero Power Down Pete?’
‘North Yorkshires food for life programme?’
‘Farming and country side education?’
‘Global Citizenship or S.M.S.C?’

We all bring things to share!

It’s a very positive group as there are times when you may feel somewhat isolated as an education professional promoting environmental education.  It seems to have a habit of slipping down the agenda for some schools rather than being a whole school ethos that drives school improvement.

Group members regularly attend each other’s events or conferences. Recently the North Yorkshire Council Energy and sustainable team worked in partnership with group member Mike Cargill, an independent education professional on a “Power Race”. Working in teams of four, children had to collaborate to make the turbine towers out of paper, design and construct aerodynamic blades that were driven using the air movers. The activity brought together elements of design technology, renewable energy and teamwork. The feedback from this activity was exceptionally positive from both staff and students.

Banding together has always seemed to be a natural response in times of adversity when financial resources are tight. By bringing together decades of expertise into one group has delivered results and we look forward to welcoming any interested parties into our group.

For further information on this group please contact.

Peter Bell AKA Power Down Pete


Ruth Stacey