As the new year dawned many community groups across Wales were excited about potential extra funding to help them implement their ideas to help tackle climate change.
The National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Boost scheme is giving some groups already supported by them, a financial ‘boost’ to assist them deliver new and innovative plans. Renew Wales is involved too- at the very beginning, meeting with the groups and enabling them to draw up their action plans in order to see exactly what they want to achieve. We then pair them with mentoring support if they require it.
Although 35 groups in total are a part of the scheme and they have until March to put in their applications, some have been quick off the mark and have already had their funding approved.
So, let’s have a quick look at some of those.
Aber Food Surplus has been funded to develop a ‘Ridan’ composting facility so that they can produce local compost for growing projects, to work explore their ‘carbon accounts’ and act on reducing the organisation’s carbon emissions and lastly to reduce their transport emissions by introducing a bike scheme that will enable more volunteers to transport food and get to gardens and kitchens by bike.
With their funding, Huggard, a support organisation for the homeless in Cardiff, will employ casual staff to cover improvements to services and embed sustainability into their ways of working such as litter picking, textile recycling, recycling education for clients and staff and improving their position on using disposable items such as cups and meal containers.
Manage Money Wales is looking at one topic – that of recycling. They want to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and combating the stigma of pre-loved items, by influencing, inspiring, and pursuing a recycling trend. They will also mentor and support community groups, organisations, and businesses to run their own sharing projects.
In RCT, People and Work’s ‘Play It Again Sport’ project has purchased a second-hand electric vehicle which will make their driving around to pick up collections more environmentally friendly. They are also installing an electric vehicle charging point for wider community use.
Amman Valley Trotting Club are looking to tackle a few variety of issues with their funding- new seating bought for the site will be made from recycled plastic, new recycling bins to encourage people to dispose of waste responsibly, planters will be installed to grow herbs, produce and soft fruit to supply the cafe and provide additional volunteering opportunities to members.
Innovate Trust, provides support and guidance to disabled people across South Wales and have identified two very different ways of using their funding. The first is to review the energy efficiency in their respite house in Cardiff and carry out any work necessary to make the building more energy efficient and sustainable. The second action is to develop and implement a further range of digital activities to promote energy conservation and food production via their dedicated digital community platform called Insight which currently has 589 members.
Y Dref Werdd in Blaenau Ffestiniog will use their funding to employ someone to help engagement on several environmental projects including invasive species management, and to take forward the green spaces projects they are developing such as the community orchard in conjunction with Ffestiniog Town Council and a community garden with the Social Centre.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wales will work specifically with 7 of their youth clubs who will set up growing and recycling projects. The young people will develop unused land within their club boundaries into small allotment areas and will have informal training to provide them with the skills and knowledge to grow their own produce. The recycling projects will work in similar way with training and then implementation of scheme. Support from a mentor will also enable the clubs to set a Climate Action Boost competition and appoint Climate Change Champions.
Cardiff Circuit of the Methodist Church (Trinity Centre/Global Gardens Project) is also looking at a multi-pronged approach, involving; raising awareness and expanding interest in local food growing through a range of workshops and seed-saving work and also about seasonal and nourishing cooking; they want to install a range of simple systems at the garden to raise awareness of different ways of harvesting energy and water, and generally connecting more people with nature by working with vulnerable groups and other organisations.
With more projects and applications in the pipeline we look forward to giving you another update soon and then following some of the projects through their delivery in more detail.