Chance to shape a greener future for Harrogate

‘Don’t miss the chance to play a part in Harrogate’s first ever Climate Action Festival!’

That’s the message from Harrogate College as preparations firm up for an event that aims to showcase the many different ‘solutions to climate damage’ that are being pursued by individuals, groups and businesses.

The inaugural Harrogate District Climate Action Festival (CAFé) takes place from October 1 to 23 and Harrogate College will play a key role by hosting the launch day on Saturday 2 October.

Sponsored by Techbuyer and entitled What Does the Future Look Like? the launch event is being run through the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition and will feature exhibitors from across the country.

Sign up for Climate Action Festival launch day

Harrogate College’s Performance and Projects Coordinator, Holly Hansen-Maughan, says lots of people have already signed up  – but there’s still time to get involved.

She said: “This festival will be a huge asset for the Harrogate District and play an important part in the wider drive to protect our environment.

“The event will raise awareness of climate change and the need for sustainability to be embedded into everything we do.

“The college wants to be at the forefront of helping to provide the skills that are required for the green economy and jobs of the future.

“That’s why we want as many people as possible, including charities, community groups and businesses, to come along to the launch event – which has been generously sponsored by local firm Techbuyer – and explore what the future looks like.”

An opportunity to make a difference

She added: “Please get in touch to secure an opportunity to network with other businesses, exhibit to the public and make a difference!”

The CAFé launch event and community action day runs at Harrogate College from 10am to 4pm on October 2 and will include a variety of hands-on demonstrations and talks celebrating achievements in the green economy.

To register send an email to

The festival will also include a business conference, entitled Towards Net Zero Business and sponsored by Chameleon Technology, at Harrogate Convention Centre on 15 October. 

Businesses that wish to be involved can be directed to the relevant members of the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition by emailing Holly or visiting

A variety of fringe events, including a Digital Sustainability Conference for Children, will also be held by businesses and community groups across the event’s whole three weeks.

Harrogate College has made becoming a Net Zero Carbon College one of its strategic priorities.

A Chance to Meet an Employer

Holly Hansen-Maughan – Performance and Projects Co-ordinator at Harrogate College

Yorkshire businesses are being urged to join a pioneering project that is empowering students and jobseekers.

Harrogate College started Meet an Employer last year as a way of keeping businesses connected with potential new employees and supporting the local community during the coronavirus pandemic.

The scheme – a partnership venture with the Department for Work and Pensions – is the brainchild of the college’s Performance and Projects Coordinator, Holly Hansen-Maughan. Holly has organised and hosted a series of webinars to let employers from different sectors explain their work and field questions from jobseekers and students.

A total of ten events have now been held and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive: so Holly is seeking more businesses to sign up for a second series of webinars that will begin later this year.


She said: “I started the Meet an Employer webinars last September as a response to lockdown and there being less opportunities for people to engage.

“They can be viewed by students from across Luminate Education Group – which includes Harrogate College, Leeds City College and Keighley College – as well as jobseekers in Harrogate and York; I work with the DWP to advertise the webinars to their clients.

“We have had a range of different employers including people from healthcare, construction, retail, energy, and sales – and would now like to ask businesses to come forward to be involved the next series.”


Some of the area’s top businesses took part in this round of talks, and they all found the experience rewarding.

Holly said: “There’s been a lot of positive feedback from the employers who have been involved and from those attending. This has been recognised as a great opportunity by the businesses to showcase their work, give back to the community, advertise vacancies and give a sense of what the jobs entail.

“And for the students and jobseekers it has been a chance to find out more about a particular sector or role, put questions directly to the employers and hear about local opportunities.

“As a result there have been job offers and one-to-one follow-on conversations after the webinars.”


Holly is now keen to keep the momentum going: “This project was created as a vital tool to boost opportunities and mobility, and it allows the college to serve its community – which is its purpose.

“It is important that these type of opportunities are being provided not only for students but for people across our district.

“I began this as a response to lockdown but it has actually had a really positive effect as it has allowed more people to benefit.”


She added: “Hosting the series has been really interesting, and I have learnt a lot.

“The breadth of businesses that have been involved already has been incredible and I would encourage others to get in touch.”

Any employer interested in signing up for the next series of webinars is asked to contact Holly by sending an e-mail to

Find out more about Harrogate College and what it offers here.