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Blog | Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit
By Aaron Wappler

NEScout welcomed The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Climate change skills workshop and then headed to COP26

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined a lucky group of Scouts in Glasgow before COP26, where they learned skills about sustainable transport, planet friendly cooking and rewilding with the young people. This involved refurbishing bikes to provide a low carbon option for local commuters, cooking plant based food and making seed bombs. Among those Scouts present at the workshop, was 12-year-old Lewis Howe, a member of 1st Laurencekirk Scout Group from the North East of Scotland. Lewis was chosen as a #OneStepGreener Ambassador after using the skills learned in Scouts to raise awareness of food wastage in schools.

In the lead up to becoming a #OneStepAmbassador, Lewis emailed all schools in Scotland suggesting an action plan to not only reduce food waste but use surplus food to create meals for those in need. He is now working with his scout leaders, local MSP's and his school to push his idea forward and challenge all Scottish schools to put their food waste to better use. Lewis has asked Aberdeenshire Council to consider piloting the scheme at his own school, Mearns Academy in Laurencekirk and is waiting to hear back. In the meantime, Lewis is starting to fundraise to buy equipment needed for the pilot.

Lewis, 12, said “I met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who were really interested in my project and asked lots of questions.  They knew I had cycled 5k for 50days during lockdown to raise money to put towards an end of lockdown activity so we talked about that. They asked me what badge was the hardest to earn and I said it was my environmental. We made seed bombs and spread them in the grass. It was great to meet them, they were very nice and it was a fun afternoon”.

Guiding the Royal’s visit in Glasgow, Scout volunteer Eddie O'Rourke said “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met Scouts taking part in our #PromiseToThePlanet campaign. They were a real inspiration to all the Scouts that are working hard to make changes to protect the planet. It’s great to see the Duke and Duchess work with our young people and recognise that everyone is capable of helping and everyone’s effort is important in the fight against climate change.”

On top of meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lewis attended the COP26 conference in Glasgow to showcase his idea and learn more about what others are doing to help climate change. Lewis met Scouts from all over the world as well as members of the Scouts Community Impact Group.  He also met personally with Alister Jack, Secretary of State for Scotland to discuss his idea.

On his time at COP26, Lewis said “It was good to meet all the other Scouts at COP26, they were really friendly and wanted to hear about what I had been doing.  There was lots to see and do at the green zone and I was really interested in visiting the space4climate exhibition and learning about how space is helping climate change, now and in the future. I would encourage people to make their #promisetotheplanet – if they have an idea put it out there.

Lewis’s Leader Paul Quigley, 1st has been supporting Lewis since the beginning of his project and said “The fact that Lewis has taken on this challenge with mainly his personal initiative shows that he is keen and passionate about climate change and reducing food waste. We are proud within our role as leaders. Lewis is a true role model for youths and even us leader to keep learning and improving the world around us by our actions.”

The Scout’s #PromiseToThePlanet” encourages 57 million Scouts from nearly every country in the world to take a stand and work towards a better world by taking action to reduce climate change. The initiative covers four key areas: recover, recycle, reduce and rethink Scouts in India have been replanting forests, in Ivory Coast clearing plastics from beaches and solar water disinfection in Mexico.

North East Scotland Scouts commented, "Lewis has worked exceptionally hard to drive his initiative through from an idea right through to clear actions on his part. Using the skills learned during his time with Laurencekirk Scouts, Lewis is a shining example of what it means to live by our organisation's values and how we as an organisation, help young people to do more, be more and share more by giving them the skills needed for life."

From tackling climate change to learning about morse code, Scouts offer over 200 adventurous activities and the chance for people of all ages to be more, do more and share more. Scouts gives people of all ages to learn the skills needed for life and to have one in a lifetime opportunities, both at home and abroad. You can enrol your young person or join as an adult volunteer by checking out today and filling an application.


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