Press release

Norfolk campaigner calls for climate action as survey shows changing sense of global community

King’s Lynn church member Diana Paulding (26) has joined with other young people across the UK to launch a campaign to urge Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stop funding fossil fuel projects overseas.
The move comes as a Savanta ComRes survey* commissioned by charity Christian Aid showed that 39% of people aged 18-34 across the UK said they felt more part of a global community than before the virus outbreak. This compares with just 21% of people aged over 55.
Throughout lockdown Diana, who attends London Road Methodist Church, channelled her spare time into working alongside other young people who have joined Christian Aid’s Prophetic Activist scheme which aims to help equip 18-30-year-olds to act for global justice.
Together they have launched a petition calling on Boris Johnson to end the use of UK Export Finance to fund fossil fuel projects overseas.
Diana, a school attendance officer and theology graduate, said: “Lockdown changed my routine a lot. In February I was working full-time in a school and spending my weekends going to conferences.
“By the end of March I was at home, with hardly any work to do and certainly no conferences. Activism became my focus.
“The results of the survey don’t surprise me, we are in the middle of a global pandemic and in one way coronavirus has brought the world together because we are all facing the same threat.
“But in another the pandemic highlights the inequalities and injustice of systems that leave people exposed and vulnerable. Countries suffering the worst effects of the climate crisis are less resilient when it comes to withstanding the impact of coronavirus.
“Countries that have contributed the least to global warming are often the ones bearing the brunt of unpredictable weather patterns and rising sea levels. For the UK to continue to invest in fossil fuel extraction in these countries whilst maintaining commitment to the Paris Agreement on limiting global warming makes no sense.
“Accusations of laziness and entitlement are often levied at young people, but in truth I feel hope and optimism every time I log on to a Zoom meeting with the other Prophetic Activists.
“Community is so important whether it is local or global. I hope that out of coronavirus we emerge with a stronger sense of connection and of what we can achieve together to make our world a fairer and safer place.”
Christian Aid is responding to the coronavirus outbreak in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. It is working together with partners and faith leaders to inform people about the risks, offering vital hygiene training, equipping health facilities with supplies, and providing food packages and soap to the most marginalised families.

The survey also showed that 48% of adults across East Anglia, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex felt an increased sense of community spirit in their neighbourhood.

This autumn Christian Aid is encouraging people to come together locally, either digitally or in person, to support their global neighbour in events such as a Brew and Bake.
For more information on how to join in with the appeal see


Photos of Diana available:
1 A trip to Israel and the West Bank led to Diana, pictured here in Jerusalem, joining Christian Aid’s Prophetic Activist scheme
2. Members of Christian Aid’s Prophetic Activist scheme were able to join together before lockdown began and have not let social distancing stop their campaigning. Diana is pictured far right on the back row.

*Methodology note: Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,315 UK adults online between 4th and 7th September 2020, including 124 in the East of England. Data were weighted to be nationally representative of all UK adults by key demographic characteristics including age, gender, region and social grade. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at