Granny’s gift that keeps on giving

10 June 2019

Rita McManus at COP24

Rita McManus from Sheffield holds a sign ahead of COP24 climate demo in Poland. Photo credit Rosie Heaton.

Thirteen months ago, Rita McManus from Sheffield became a granny for the first time. Meeting her grandaughter, Ada, filled her with a sense of hope, joy and excitement. But as Rita watched the news and witnessed the impact a changing climate was having on communities around the world, a sense of worry for what Ada’s future held prompted her to stand up and act.

Last year, Rita travelled to Poland with CAFOD to learn more about climate change from people who are experiencing its effects. While she was there, she marched with thousands of other campaigners.

“Marching alongside so many others gave me a chance to act and not feel so powerless,” Rita says.

Mass lobby on climate change

On Wednesday 26 June, Rita will join hundreds of others at The Time is Now, a mass lobby of Westminster, calling on politicians to increase their ambition on climate.

Becoming a campaigner was slightly out of Rita’s comfort zone but she found the experience of standing with people from all walks of life and all ages empowering.

“The years didn’t matter, and our age didn’t matter," she explains. "At the end of the day, we were different people who came together to act on an issue we care about.”

By raising her voice, Rita will help to ensure that the legacy left for Ada’s generation is a better one.

This story originally appeared in the spring issue of Side by Side magazine.


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