Two Cumbrian climate activists have had the opportunity of a lifetime to visit the European Parliament.

The pair joined 15 other young environmentalists from across the north west as they went on a trip to Brussels to discuss climate change with the European Parliament, NGOS, and other climate activists.

It was organised by Gina Dowding, the Green Party MEP for the north west, who has given her support to the Fridays for Future youth strikers in the region.

Katie James,18, from Cleator Moor, is one of the young people who went on the trip

She said: “This trip to Brussels was an amazing, inspiring experience as I got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to look around the European Parliament and speak to NGO members and MEPs whom I would have never been able to meet otherwise.

“The trip overall made me feel hopeful that we are making more progress and change to deal with the climate emergency than I had previously thought as it is a main priority in the European parliament and there are many people in Belgium who attend protests and are sustainably conscious, as shown to us by the Belgian climate activists.”

Young people across the world have mobilised their climate activism through social media - setting up protests and connection with one another - but sometimes seeing the actions that other people are taking in person is is useful in planning your own revolution.

Whilst in Brussels, the British activists got to meet their counterparts from the Fridays for Future campaign to find out how they are getting people involved and enthusiastic about taking a stand.

Matthew Sowerby, 18, from Kirkby Lonsdale, said: “The most hopeful part of the trip, for me, was meeting with the Belgian national coordinators of the Fridays For Future movement.

“The scale of the movement in Belgium seems so much further on than what we have in the UK, and I had a very useful conversation with two activists who were advising us about ways to advance what we are doing in the UK.

“The dedication they have is truly astounding.”

The trip came ahead of the global strikes that have been planned by Fridays for Future on September 20.

Strikes taking place across Cumbria, the UK, and the world, have received the backing of schools, politicians, and international businesses.

Gina Dowding said: “Last week in Brussels, I witnessed the motivation, dedication and energy of 17 climate strikers who came with me to Brussels."

“Their awareness and commitment to really pushing policy-makers, decision-makers, businesses and civil society to make change has really given hope and inspired me.”