The high hopes once again rapidly dimmed to a glimmer behind thick layers of broken political and corporate promises, greenwashing, apathy and hellish statistics about species extinction, pollution and concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere.
While politicians urged environmental activists at COP26 to keep challenging the status quo, they ignored the mental and physical wellbeing toll of campaigning. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the laws on protesting in the UK were being tightened to ensure the continuation of that status quo.
In response, Surefoot and environmental campaigner, Audrey Baird joined forces to devise and secure funding for EAR Peer Support. Surefoot’s Managing Director, Pamela Candea shared her views on the need for EAR Peer Support,
“I’ve been doing what I can to help tackle global warming for 15 years and sometimes the emotional side of that gets lost because of the sheer scale of the emergency and the intense pressure to take action to adapt and mitigate. People get exhausted and burn out because the odds seem stacked against them. What I like about this project is that it’s about using the structure of self care planning and bringing people together in forums, in a book, training and podcasts to share their anxieties as well as their resilience, to help them move back into action.”
Audrey Baird, who is Peer Supporter for the project, added,
“The problem is bad news about global warming and biodiversity loss has been relentless for decades and it can often seem like ecosystem and societal collapse is inevitable and imminent. People who are emotionally or physically affected by the nature and climate emergencies understand our species is taking too much from Earth and our insatiable greed is fed by exploiting the powerless and the poor. Change must come and working out what we can each do to help builds personal resilience and self respect.”
Inspired by the spirit of Glasgow’s 2021 Climate Justice protest and with a £10k grant from The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland - Together for Our Planet programme, EAR Peer Support is funded until March 2023.