Jane has worked within the sustainability sector for over 25 years, skills are turning ideas into realistic projects, enjoys helping community groups to achieve their sustainable aims. Since joining RENEW in 2014, has worked with 30+ projects around business and action planning, funding and energy projects; Including a number of social enterprises and community buildings, involving issues ranging from wind turbine development to food growing, health and well being. Whilst she sees Energy Efficiency at the core of sustainability, she has an MSc (Eng) Energy & Conservation and has worked at the forefront of renewable initiatives, with many successful funding bids including £2.45 million grid initiative award. She is a voluntary Director of Community Energy Pembrokeshire and Grannell Community Energy. With her husband Martin, she owns a small eco tourism business, North Lodge Eco Holidays, offering traditional camping and off grid quirky units including a converted horse lorry. Set in beautiful Pembrokeshire, since moving here in 2008, she have also worked as a sustainability consultant within the tourism industry, with leading organisations, improving policy and providing expertise to tourism providers through WRAP and other organisations’.
Tell us about an experience of your work with Renew.
My work with Renew has been varied, here are two examples:
Brynberian Community Centre is the hub of a small dispersed rural community, predominantly welsh speaking, at the foot of the Preseli Hills. Formerly a school closing in 1971, since then it has been community owned, it now requires updating and modernising. The group wanted to revitalize it as a Centre. I was asked by a local organization PLANED to attend the first meeting, this led to engaging them as a RENEW group. I was also able to obtain Village SOS, support run by DTA. With a completed Action Plan I referred them to REW for an audit of the building providing energy efficient and renewable installation options. As a mentor I went on to complete a successful RCDF EOI application for the Centre. With some guidance the group went on to do funding applications, events, and many other activities, setting up a vibrant working team to undertake these tasks. Their confidence and abilities have grown, they were finalists at the RENEW Wales awards and have received a £161,000 funding award.
Seren Energy a wind turbine developer approached Awel Deg a community group in Cardigan to deliver a wind turbine community fund, however following a meeting with myself and Awel Deg it was felt that a more local group near Lampeter should be involved, this led to a new group ‘Grannell Community Energy’ (GCE), I also referred the group to others including Ynni Fro. A few years on GCE have exciting news, recently purchased a reconditioned Enercon 48 and launched their share offer.
Renew Wales and other energy related work has enabled the development of my knowledge and skills addressing grid network issues for community groups, going forward I see this role as paramount in supporting groups to develop more complex projects.
What is your vision of your region in 2050?
Wales has the opportunity to harness its natural resources and develop them sustainably, my future vision shows current policies will have been converted into action with cohesive communities who share a strong welsh heritage
By 2050 addressing climate change and economic sustainability will have been combined into local systems, caring for our environment will be at the forefront of Wales, with local food and energy networks supporting local eco systems and economic vitality. RENEW Wales has a small but vital part to play within this development and step change from reliance on fossil fuels to a cleaner more resilient region.