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How does Renew Wales work ?

Renew Wales puts communities in touch with Peer Mentors who are willing to share their knowledge and experience to inspire, support and enable others, and stimulate action on climate change at a community level.

Since 2012, we have helped hundreds of communities across Wales take action on climate change and sustainability.  For instance, by developing local renewable energy resources, starting food clubs and growing projects, making land more sustainable and buildings more energy efficient, setting up sustainable travel initiatives, establishing community owned enterprises, and engaging schools in climate change action.

Renew has been particularly successful at reaching groups beyond the environmental sector and mobilising more of the ‘unusual suspects’ to take action on these issues. Above all, the programme is about peer-to-peer support to stimulate action at a community level.

The programme is based on the following principles:

  • Community groups will engage with and learn best from those who have travelled the same road – hence our focus on peer-to-peer support.
  • The programme is distributed- and builds on the experience and knowledge of existing networks all over Wales.
  • It is community led and empowering – supporting the needs and aspirations of communities to make lasting change through their own efforts.
  • The programme is inherently cost-effective and supportive of the third sector because peer mentors’ and coordinators’ organisations are paid for the work they do.
How does it work? - Reconnet in nature
How does it work? - Reconnet in nature

The process

  • Renew has around 25 Local Coordinators around the country, all based in local not-for-private-profit organisations, who are tasked with reaching out to groups who may be able to take action on climate change (whether they know it or not).
  • If the group has enough interest our Local Coordinator works with them to clarify their ideas and aspirations, and identify the things they could do about climate change. Through this process the group produces an action plan.
  • The Local Coordinator then matches the group up with suitable mentor support -other people or groups who have already taken similar action. They will then help them take the first steps in their action plan.
  • When peer mentoring is complete the group then moves ahead with delivering the rest of their action plan at their own pace, alongside their everyday activities.
  • The local coordinator keeps in touch, inviting the group to join in relevant networking opportunities – training, skill sharing, conferences and workshops.
  • Sometimes groups request a second round of peer mentor support to take their next steps and deepen their action on climate change –
  • And sometimes groups sign up as Peer Mentors themselves, to share their knowledge and experience with other groups and build the legacy of a thriving supportive network across Wales.