Huw Irranca-Davies: Ogmore Children Are Already Shaping The World Around Them

In this opinion piece, Ogmore MS and Welsh Minister for Climate Change, Huw Irranca-Davies, explains how children in Ogmore are already influencing their environment and the wider world

The future isn’t just something we inherit; it’s something we build. In Ogmore, our children aren’t just waiting – they’re actively shaping the world around them.

From global movements to local initiatives like Climate Challenge Cymru, their passion for protecting our planet is infectious. Wales is a leader in youth engagement with 90% of schools participating in the Eco-Schools Programme. Such as Betws Primary School and their dedication to recycling as an eco-school. A shining example of youth-driven environmental action whilst contributing to Wales’ impressive second place ranking in the world.

But their influence extends far beyond the environment. Children’s voices matter, and in Ogmore, we make sure they’re heard loud and clear. Whether it’s the student council at Ysgol Bryn Castell passionately advocating for human rights, or the inquisitive minds of the KS2 pupils from St Robert’s RC Primary School grilling me about my role in the Welsh Parliament and Welsh Government at a Q&A session, their enthusiasm is a source of inspiration.

It is wonderful to regularly visit local schools and welcome schoolchildren from Ogmore to the Senedd.

Recognising the power young people hold, Wales has taken significant steps to empower them. The lowered voting age of 16 for Welsh elections and the establishment of a thriving Youth Parliament are, I believe, testaments to this commitment. These initiatives along with supportive programmes within our ‘community-focussed schools’ like student councils, Young Carer ID card, and many others, create a supportive environment where young people can flourish.

By supporting their involvement, we’re not just building a better future – we’re building it alongside the very generation who will lead the way. Ogmore’s young voices are having a real impact, and together, we’re creating a world that’s ready to embrace their ideas and leadership. Their energy, passion, and dedication are shaping a brighter tomorrow, not just for Ogmore, but for Wales and the world.

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