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West Bridgford girl wins national Green Heart Hero Award 2023

Eight-year-old Climate Activist Aleesha Gadhia from West Bridgford has won the national Green Heart Hero Award 2023 in the Future Leaders Category by the Climate Coalition.

The event was held at the Palace of Westminster, London on 27 February 2023 and hosted by Sky News Presenter Kay Burley.

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Theresa May MP, Alok Sharma MP and Aneeshwar Kunchala were all in attendance at these prestigious awards.

Aleesha said: “I would love to see more children fighting for our planet and especially children from minority groups.

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“We need to all unite and fight for what we believe in, otherwise, it will be too late”

The Green Heart Hero Award

The Climate  Coalition is the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action against climate change. Along with its sister organisations, Stop Climate Chaos Cymru and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, it is a group of over 130 organisations- including the National Trust, RSPB, Save The Children, and the Women’s Institute. This event is being organised by The Climate Coalition, with support from RSPB, Save The Children, the National Trust, Woodland Trust and other member organisations.

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Running since 2018, the Green Heart Hero Awards is a ceremony organised by The Climate Coalition in Parliament to recognise people, politicians, organisations, businesses and more who have gone the extra mile to help create a greener future.

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The awards are an opportunity to amplify and celebrate the great work being done across society to tackle climate change, and to show our leaders that they need to step up to match this ambition with action.

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The Green Heart Hero Awards marks the end of The Climate Coalition’s annual ShowTheLove campaign, in which we fight to protect the things that we love from the impacts of climate change.

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The award categories reflect the variety of activities taking place across the country and include: Small Business Green Hero, Large Business Green Hero, Schools Green Hero, Sports Green Hero, Outdoor Project Green Hero, Great Big Green Week Event Hero, Breaking Down Barriers  Action, Innovative UK Community Project, Inspiring International Project, Future Leaders Award, Inspiring Locally Elected Leader, MP Constituency Champion, and Parliamentary Climate Champion.

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Aleesha said “I want to change the world. We have no planet B and we need the adults to start listening to the children.

“This is our planet, our home, it’s a really important issue.

“If we don’t help the planet then climate change will get worse”.

“Micro plastics have been found in the Arctic in the snow, animals are dying and losing their habitats.

“If we don’t do something now it will be too late. Children use your voices! Speak to your local MP let’s make enough noise so they actually listen.”

At just six years old, Aleesha started writing hundreds of emails and letters to influential people and large businesses in order to find out how they are playing their part towards the environment.

Aleesha has worked tirelessly over the past two years to promote awareness about climate change and the environment.

With her parent’s help, she sent emails and letters off to large companies including McDonalds, Starbucks, and Proctor and Gamble, not thinking much would materialise but were they were wrong. Gadhia started receiving responses with explanations about what these large multinational companies were doing to protect the environment.

This motivated Aleesha even more and approximately 100+ letters and emails later, she waited for more responses. On her list were: The Queen, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Keir Starmer, environmental royalty Sir David Attenborough, and kid’s writer Julia Donaldson and many more.

A few weeks later she received a handwritten letter from Sir David Attenborough and in a cream envelope embellished with the Royal coat of arms was a response from the Queen.

The Queen was impressed of hearing Aleesha’s story so far and encouraged her to keep going and believe in herself.

Aleesha then wanted to do more and make more of a difference to help and protect the world’s rainforests. Gadhia researched charities that protect and support the rainforests and came across Cool Earth. Aleesha set up a Just Giving page and was determined to scoot 50 miles over her summer holidays.

So every day Aleesha rode her scooter, rain or shine to clock up those miles. At the end of the holidays she had raised over £4000 and scooted about 100 miles. Cool Earth was so impressed with her dedication that made her their first-ever mini-ambassador.

 

Aleesha then contacted her local MP because she wanted to get a message across to Boris Johnson. She met up with Ruth Edwards MP on numerous occasions her questions have been featured on PMQs. Aleesha and Ruth also planted trees across Nottingham to raise even more awareness and give back to the community.

Once Boris Johnson heard about Aleesha he presented her with a Points of Light Award in recognition of her exceptional service in raising awareness for climate action. She is the UK’s 1755th Point of Light. This was awarded on 7th October 2021.

Since then, Aleesha has set up a climate change club at school and is always encouraging her friends to act green. She is quite creative and makes a lot of art work promoting climate change. She has painted a canvas showing her interpretation of a rainforest which Cool Earth now sell as a tote bag, to raise funds for the rainforest.

Gadhia visited Egypt in 2022 and went straight to the beach to clear up the plastic in the ocean. She then spoke to guest relations and lobbied a team of 10 people to clear up the beach and sea together. She also planted a tree in Egypt and will do the same thing each time she is abroad to offset her carbon footprint and promote more awareness.

In June 2022, Aleesha won the Child of Britain Awards for the Environmental Category sponsored by the Bluestone Group. She headed to the star-studded awards on 24th June 2022 to the London Grosvenor Hotel, where Eamonn Holmes presented and Callum Scott performed. Aleesha managed to interview celebrities whilst she was there about climate change which included, Strictly stars Robins Windsor and Joanna Clifton and Eamonn Holmes.

In August she was personally invited to Downing Street by Boris Johnson PM to celebrate her Points of Light Award and grilled the PM about Climate Change and wouldn’t let him go without answering all her questions. Which included what do you teach your children about climate change? And what he wants the new PM to implement to benefit to environment.

Aleesha recently won the WeNaturalists awards for Climate change voice of the year 2022. She also won her local council awards for Young Person of the year.
If Aleesha visits another country she will plant a tree to offset her carbon footprint. We recently visited the Dominican Republic and she planted two trees there.

Every time Aleesha finishes one campaign, she surprises everyone again and comes up with a new challenge. Not only is she an inspiration to her fellow classmates but to us too.

Aleesha’s catchphrase is “We only have one planet, there is no planet B, so we need to look after it”.

 

 

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