A young environmental campaigner Amy Bray has won an award from the Prime Minister.
Amy, 19, of Matterdale, who is studying marine biology at Exeter University, is founder of Eden-based charity Another Way, which shows people how to become more eco-friendly.
She has been working on a number of projects over the last three years to raise awareness around the positive contributions to environmental and ecological change which people as individuals can make.
Amy was specifically selected for recognition in the Prime minister’s Points of Light awards scheme in the run-up to next month’s UN climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow to highlight climate leaders and volunteers going above and beyond to inspire others to become greener.
She said: “Over the last few years, I have dedicated my life to fighting the climate and ecological emergency because it is the responsibility of all of us.
“If one person was to spread a message to 10 people in one day and the next day those 10 people each spread that message to ten more, it would only take 10 days for the whole world to have been inspired.
“That is why I believe that each one of us should do everything we can to live with compassion towards each other and our planet. Our collective actions really can make a difference, but only when each of us puts the health of our environment at the centre of every decision we make, in our everyday lives, in businesses and as governments.
“I am honoured that my work with Another Way has been recognised by the Points of Light Award and I would like to thank everyone who commits their lives to making the world a better place.”
Points of Light are outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community. Every week day the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Daily Point of Light award.
First established by President George Bush in 1990, over 6,000 US Points of Light have been recognised in the USA.
UK Points of Light was developed in partnership with the US programme and launched in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street in April, 2014.
Since then hundreds of people have been named Points of Light by the Prime Minister, highlighting an enormous array of innovative and inspirational volunteering across the length and breadth of Britain.
At the end of October this year, world leaders will meet to discuss their plans and targets towards reaching net zero at COP26 in Glasgow.
“I cannot emphasise enough how critical COP26 will be to the future of humanity,” said Amy.
She said ambitions, targets and words are all very well, but what is needed is for the Government to start putting urgent action behind these words.
“We need a holistic plan for how we are going to change our entire system to stop taking indefinitely from our planet but start sharing and giving. This is humanity’s chance to transform into a better society; one in which we tackle inequality, poverty, prejudice, colonialism, health crises, soil degradation, ecosystem exploitation and climate change. All of these are linked and ultimately stem from a lack of compassion in our modern, fast-paced, consumer-drive society.
“We need our government to use COP26 as a chance to show the world how tackling all of these issues holistically can create a healthier, happier world for all who live in it. There is no silver bullet to the climate and ecological crisis.
“I am worried that our government and indeed the rest of the world has focused too much on technological solutions when we have such a unique opportunity to change so much more,” said Amy.
At the moment she is filming for a new BBC series, The Regenerators, which will be part of an online platform for young people to learn about climate change, and is due to launch in the run up to COP26.
“It will hopefully empower young people to speak out for issues that they are passionate about,” said Amy who is also contributing to a film by the Tree Council about the importance of nature and young people for COP26.