YOUNGSTERS at a city centre nursery switched off to help shed new light on ways to help the environment.

This week is Climate Week, which is all about promoting ways that people can live and work more sustainably and over half a million people are expected to support events across the country.

Staff and children at the St Mary’s Childcare Centre, based within the University of Sunderland, have been learning about the importance of saving energy and the little steps everyone can do to make a difference.

As part of the project, staff and children took part in a ‘Switch Off’, where all lights were turned off in the nursery and torches used instead.

The children also sang songs and made posters highlighting how important it is to save energy.

Childcare officers and Environmental co-ordinators Brenda Rowe and Shovon Eltringham, said the event was a great success with the children.

Brenda said: “The University is promoting a campaign to encourage students and staff across the University to switch off electricals when not in use to help save energy and reduce carbon so we decided to do something on this at the nursery.”

Shovon added: “The children really got into it and it proved that it really is never too early to start educating people about saving energy.”

The project links into the recent launch of the University’s The Big Turn Off campaign, which aims at getting staff and students to cut their energy usage through simple measures, ranging from switching off computers screens and phone chargers to sharing the cooking of meals to cut domestic fuel costs.

Collectively these small measures can have a massive impact on the amount of carbon produced by the University and help it meet bold government targets of slashing carbon levels by 48% before 2021.

The University meanwhile is running a series of events this week to highlight Climate Week including a mass student switch off of electricals, a lecture by Sunderland Phd student and arctic explorer Matthew Ayer about the impact of climate change and advice sessions on how to save energy.

For more information go to www.sunderland.ac.uk/bigturnoff