Haberdashers’ Monmouth School Hosts Landmark Local to Global Sustainability Conference

Haberdashers’ Monmouth School proudly hosted their inaugural Local to Global sustainability conference, marking a significant milestone in our school's commitment to environmental stewardship and community leadership.

This event celebrated the school’s dedication to fostering sustainable practices and brought together other schools from across Monmouthshire and further afield, making it the biggest Climate FRESK event ever held in Wales, with over 250 students participating over the two days.

The conference was designed to bridge the gap between local environmental actions and global sustainability goals, reflecting the “global” perspective that emphasises local actions with global impact. Attendees, including students, educators, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations), and sustainability advocates, engaged in a variety of workshops, presentations, and collaborative sessions aimed at enhancing their understanding of sustainable practices and how to implement them effectively in their communities.

A highlight of the conference was the appearance of renowned wildlife TV presenter and environmental advocate Kate Humble as the guest speaker. Kate's engaging keynote address provided valuable insights into the importance of sustainability and the role individuals and communities can play in protecting our planet. Her passion and dedication to environmental issues resonated deeply with attendees, inspiring them to take actionable steps towards sustainability in their own lives. “What really impressed me about all the young people that have attended is how many ideas they have, how inventive they are, how engaged they are, how much they want change and are prepared to act on it,” said Humble. “I think what this day has done has enabled people to realise that as a single person, an individual fighting for something, you often feel overwhelmed and disbelieving that you can make any sort of difference. The FRESK system allows people to inspire and engage other people; build up an army, if you will, of climate warriors who are going to make a difference.”

Dylan, Sustainability Prefect and Sixth Form student at Haberdashers’ Monmouth, played a significant role throughout the conference as a facilitator and supporter of The Mammal Society. Dylan’s passion and dedication saw him become an ambassador for The Mammal Society, and his leadership and influence significantly enriched the event. “Every once in a while, you meet somebody who you just want to dip in gold, put on your mantelpiece, and say, ‘That’s a little hero or heroine!’ Dylan is one of those,” said Kate Humble.

As a school, we have been collaborating with Climate FRESK to train our A-level students, teachers, and community volunteers to become FRESK facilitators. The three-hour workshops teach the fundamental science behind climate change, empowering those to take action. As well as being the biggest FRESK event in Wales, the conference also saw the youngest group of facilitators ever assembled for a FRESK event. Congratulations to those facilitators who were awarded their yellow belts.

Tom Deacon, Lead FRESK Coordinator for the event, highlighted the importance of the Climate FRESK, saying, “The Climate FRESK is a really important tool for climate education because it brings people together and people can own the process of exploring climate science. By having a voice in it, rather than being told about it. This is vital because it allows people to feel it more and in feeling it, it allows us to process it more, to not get stuck there but to move towards empowered action.”

With Sustainability being one of the school’s four pillars, we are proud to have hosted this historic event and look forward to continuing our efforts in promoting sustainability within and beyond our school community. As we reflect on the achievements of the Local to Global conference, we are reminded of the critical role that education plays in addressing global challenges.

Each school left the conference with a wonderful goodie bag containing a wildflower-seeded pledge card, where students could write their climate pledge and then plant it. Additionally, each school received a beautiful book titled The Future is in Our Hands: Climate Action, written by Georgine Stevens and illustrated by Katie Rewse.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all the participants, facilitators, and NGOs who contributed to the success of this conference. Your dedication and passion for sustainability are truly inspiring, and we are excited to see the lasting impact of your efforts in our school, our community, and beyond.

For more information on Climate FRESK, please visit Climate Fresk (world) - Climate Fresk.