Change-makers of the future

From sponsored knitting missions and upcyling old clothes to helping vulnerable women regain their confidence through entrepreneurial initiatives, Bristol students have devised imaginative projects to demonstrate the benefits of sustainable living.

The most innovative ideas give students the chance to be awarded change maker status under an awards scheme funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which places equal emphasis on awareness-raising and action.

NUS surveys showed that there is a strong desire amongst students to be more involved in environmental action, and that Bristol students want to play an active role in the city. The Green Capital Student Capital project aimed to build on this and mobilised students across community groups, schools and businesses.

In the Green Capital year, Bristol students from both universities contributed a mammoth 100,000 hours of engagement with the city. Volunteering, paid projects and research initiatives included environmental audits, mentoring disadvantaged children, waste management monitoring and a wildlife garden for children.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Education Professor Judith Squires said: "I am delighted that HEFCE committed to enabling our students to do even more in partnership with the city's residents, businesses and organisations. The projects will contribute to Bristol's green future".

Professor Jim Longhurst, Assistant Vice Chancellor: Environment and Sustainability and UWE Bristol project lead, said: "Unleashing student energy and creativity allows them to become active participants in developing a more sustainable Bristol and gaining valuable experience and skills that will be useful for their future careers".

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