LEWES FC midfielder Bradley Pritchard will kick off a climate change “pilgrimage” after the team’s match against Horsham on Monday.

After the final whistle, Bradley will don the Coat of Hopes, a community-patched piece of “performance craft”, and walk a lap of the Dripping Pan to start the garment’s trek to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

Along its 500 mile journey, the coat will be embroidered with patches from the communities it passes through, with each one expressing hopes for the future, and their connection to the environment.

Bradley said that being involved in the first leg of the coat’s pilgrimage to Glasgow is very special.

“The coat represents the need for positive change - it’s a fluid collaboration of ideas and hopes of what change means to everyone,” he said.

“It’s about making a connection between this local community and the governing powers at COP26, so they know just how important addressing climate change is.”

World leaders will be invited to try on the garment when it reaches the conference and see different communities’ passion for the planet as they make crucial decisions on carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.

The coat’s creator, Barbara Keal, said: “I’m so pleased to see the Coat of Hopes becoming part of the lives of lots of different communities and the people who make them up.

“For this reason, it’s wonderful that Bradley is going to wear the coat round The Dripping Pan. From what I know of Lewes FC, it believes in building connections with local people, and this is also the work of the coat - opening conversations about the future of our local places right along its 500 mile walk.”

  • READ MORE: Parts of Brighton to be underwater as city is 'most at risk' from climate change

Director of Lewes FC Karen Dobres said: “The Coat of Hopes makes a wonderful point about what places mean to people, and The Dripping Pan - sunken as it is into the beautiful South Downs - is very dear to all of us at Lewes FC.

“We’re delighted that Bradley will wear it around our historic ground after the match - we’ll give it a good send off up to COP 26.”

The Rooks will take on Horsham at 3pm on Bank Holiday Monday.

World leaders and representatives of 196 countries, alongside international organisations, will gather at the UN’s 26th climate change conference in Scotland in November.

The conference comes in the wake of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which warned of increasingly extreme weather events and sea level rise unless urgent action is taken to cut emissions.

Have you got a story for us? Email news@theargus.co.uk or contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01273 021 400.