Greta Thunberg trip: further report and thank you letter

Earlier Ella Jones wrote up the immediate impressions of young friends after their visit to see the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg speak at Friends’ House.

Now Judith Eversley has received this thank you letter after the trip:

I just want to say how utterly fantastic the trip we went on was, and how very thankful we are to have had lovely David to pay for it!!!

We got the train to Paddington and the tube to Euston Square, then we had an utterly delicious lunch at the restaurant in the Wellcome Collection (cheers David) and progressed on to Friends House.

Two of our young people, representing Quakers as a whole, introduced Caroline Lucas, who gave a stirring speech and introduced Greta Thunberg and Anna Taylor. They were interviewed (sort of) and then everyone had the opportunity to ask questions.

Hearing these three incredible people speak was so utterly inspiring, moving, motivational and generally an amazing experience.

Thank you so much to David for giving me this rare and brilliant opportunity, and thank you so much Pip, for enabling him to do so. I am indescribably grateful.

Love and thanks,

Malachy (on behalf of all the young Quakers in the Youth Project)

Here is meanwhile the report sent of the trip to Area Meeting Trustees:

Young Quakers hear Greta Thunberg speak at Friends house

A party of ten young Friends from Bristol and Bath travelled to London to a lively and packed youth climate summit at Friends House on 22 April.

Two of the young Quakers, Pearl and Sam, introduced the event’s first speaker, Caroline Lucas, Green MP. She gave a very passionate and rousing speech calling us ‘to do everything that we can to protect the world we love’.

Pearl and Sam welcome Greta to Friends House (photo:  Anne van Staveren, Friends House)

Caroline Lucas, then introduced the inspirational Greta Thunberg, celebrating that ‘she has shown us what the courage to take action looks like. She has shown us hope. Not false hope, not the kind of hope like a lottery ticket will have you sit on the sofa and clutch, but the kind of hope which is a rallying cry. Hope that is an act to break down doors in an emergency, the kind of hope that overcomes obstacles with clarity and commitment. The kind of hope that speaks the truth over and over again until people listen. There is hope all around us in the actions of people all around us who are change-makers.’

Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Swedish girl who initiated the global ‘School Strikes 4 Climate’, with her lone strikes in Sweden last year and Anna Taylor, who initiated the London strikes gave dynamic inspiring interviews, followed by an energetic hour-long Q&A on climate issues and how to effect change.

Here’s how young friends described the talk.

The event was organised by British Quakers with The Guardian and a range of environmental groups. Further reports are available here on the British Quakers’ web site, and here on The Guardian web site. To watch the full video, click here.

We also visited ‘The Wellcome Trust’, for a delicious lunch and a quick look at some of their exhibits, which provoked us think about the pharmaceutical industry.

Reflecting on what they’d heard on the train home, young people said:

‘It made me think about small things that I can do in order to make a difference. It made me want to put pressure on government to enact more change in a top down, system change way’

‘The speakers made me reflect not only on the issue itself, but also the necessary solutions to overcome the issue. Also made me meet new people I otherwise never would have.’

We returned weary after a long day, but inspired to connect more with one another, to find shared purpose and unity and start to make real change happen.

Here’s how young friends said they felt after the trip.

On behalf of all the young Friends and the Youth Development Project, we would like to say a massive thank you to Bristol Area Meeting for generously subsidising the trip.

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