Great Big Green Week Swap Shop

UCW Celebrates Great Big Green Week


Over the last two weeks we celebrated Great Big Green Week, and UCW went all out to show our dedication for creating a more sustainable future! 

Great Big Green Week is the UK’s biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature. It sees beacons within the community like schools, colleges and universities come together to stand against the threat of climate change.  

All sorts of activities take place throughout the celebration, aiming to highlight the need for sustainable solutions and call upon the community to get involved. 

What went on? 

UCW were no exception! Over the week, our wonderful staff and students held several events and activities, with participation from the public, that encouraged us all to stop and think about the impact we have on our world! 

These activities included a beach clean, ‘Swap Shop’ and student-led sustainability presentations – just to name a few! Joe Abdulgani, Deputy Director of Higher Education at UCW, told us what a triumph the week was. He had this to say 

“At UCW we understand the importance of creating a more sustainable world. Great Big Green Week is an excellent opportunity for our students to interact with the community and showcase the innovative and creative ways we can stand together against climate change. I have been so impressed by the drive and enthusiasm our students have shown, and how keen they were to get involved over the past two weeks. It has been amazing to see everyone come together for such an important cause.  

However, it’s important to recognise that this is just the beginning! Moving forward, we are dedicated to continuing with these green initiatives and creating further opportunities for students to get involved.” 

Beach Clean 

UCW teamed up with students from across Weston College to spend the afternoon cleaning up Weston-super-Mare’s beach. With just over 100 volunteers turning up to represent the college and UCW, the beach clean was a tremendous success!  

Rubbish, including coffee cups, plastic bottles and cigarette butts were litter-picked and responsibly disposed of away from the beach, preventing further plastic pollution and damage to our wildlife.  

Ensuring we have clean beaches is essential in the fight to save the planet. According to the organisation Save Our Seas, “Thousands of marine animals worldwide have been affected by plastic pollution, including sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals. Therefore, Beach clean-ups are vital to mitigate the problem caused by ocean debris and the danger that plastic pollution poses to marine life.” 

To see some of the outstanding work our students did, check out this TikTok that documented the event:  


@westoncollege For part of Great Big Green Week, we held a Beach Clean with Weston Pier, and over 100 of our learners volunteered to take part🤩👏🏼 Check out our other socials to see what’s going on this week! #LetsGoNetZero #westonsupermare #westoncollege #beachclean ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

Swap Shop 

UCW also hosted a new and far more sustainable alternative to traditional shopping; the Swap Shop. 

Participants brought in bundles of pre-loved items – from clothes to children’s toys. People could then exchange an item for another.  

This was an excellent way of breathing new life into second-hand items! The Swap Shop saved clothes, books, toys etc., from landfill – to go on being used and loved by their new owners. Initiatives like this vastly reduce unnecessary waste and pollution.  

Excellent work to all students, staff and members of the community that took part! 

Sustainability Presentations 

Another activity that took place during Great Big Green Week saw our incredible students hold presentations to propose their ideas on making UCW more sustainable. 

One group conceptualised ideas around fitting the Winter Gardens’ roof with recycled solar panels from previous council projects.  

Another group put forward an idea to use exercise equipment within classrooms to recharge electrical devices. 

We were so proud to see the thought and creativity that went into each presentation. It was brilliant to see our students’ dedication to finding innovative solutions to climate change! 

Well done and a huge thank you to everybody that took part in Great Big Green Week! 

To find out more about the cause, click here.