Young people speak out about environmental issues

Alderman Tommy Jeffers, Chairman of the council's Environmental Services Committee, and TV presenter Paul Clarke are pictured with the top three winners in the Junior and Senior sections of the Environmental Youth Speak competition. Pic by Philip Magowan
Alderman Tommy Jeffers, Chairman of the council's Environmental Services Committee, and TV presenter Paul Clarke are pictured with the top three winners in the Junior and Senior sections of the Environmental Youth Speak competition. Pic by Philip Magowan

A total of 26 pupils from 20 schools across the council area participated in the 2018 Environmental Youth Speak competition at Lagan Valley Island.

The primary and post-primary pupils confidently displayed their public speaking skills in front of a panel of judges.

The participating pupils in the 2018 Environmental Youth Speak competition at Lagan Valley Island. Pic by Philip Magowan

The participating pupils in the 2018 Environmental Youth Speak competition at Lagan Valley Island. Pic by Philip Magowan

The event, hosted by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, was categorised into a Junior Section (P6 and P7 pupils) and Senior Section (Year 8 to Year 10 pupils), with this year’s respective themes being: ‘My Waste’s Got Talent, what can it become?’ and ‘The trouble with Plastic Packaging’.

Jolie Johnson and Amy Boyd from Dundonald Primary School in the Junior Section and Casey Rix of Lagan College in the Senior Section took the Winners’ Cups back to their schools.

Beth Ward and Catherine Bowler from Pond Park Primary School (Junior Section) and Molly Henton from Friends’ School (Senior Section) took second place. The third place winners were Olivia Rooney of Friends’ Prep School (Junior Section) and Grace Rowley and Victoria Lavery from Lisnagarvey High School (Senior Section).

Alderman Tommy Jeffers, Chairman of the council’s Environmental Services Committee, said: “It was an educational morning for me as part of the judging panel at this year’s Environmental Youth Speak competition, and hearing how the younger generation view waste and the benefits of recycling. Each of the young people who participated delivered excellent, well-structured presentations on the nominated recycling topics; and made it a very difficult decision for us judges to determine the winners.”

He continued: “Protecting the environment is something that everyone can do and it is encouraging to hear the pupils talk so passionately about how they believe we can reduce waste and improve waste recycling. I am sure that their speeches will play a part in influencing fellow classmates, friends and family to reduce, reuse and recycle in the years ahead.

“Public speaking is not an easy task and nerves can often creep in, but I must say everyone did a fantastic job; and I have no doubt that your parents and teachers are extremely proud of your achievements.”

All the participants at the Lisburn Castlereagh event, organised by the council’s Waste Management Section, received a certificate and a reusable shopping bag made from recycled material.