My name is Jayne Mills and I am Director of Praxis, a Community Development and Enterprise Consultancy underpinned by values of social justice, equality and inclusion. I am knowledgeable and experienced in theory and practice of community consultation, engagement and empowerment; power relationships within and between communities and responses to structural inequality. I have a strong track record in community engagement, community-based economic development, particularly with working class communities, women’s organisations and other structurally disadvantaged groups, networks and communities. I have 35 years experience in all aspects of Third Sector management and trouble-shooting; strategic review and development, action and business planning, evaluation, capacity-building, training and facilitation. I got involved with Renew because I believe community development principles and approaches are critical to tackling climate change. I support voluntary and community groups and organisations to assess how they are contributing to climate change and what actions they could take to reduce their impact on the climate. I also have a role with Enterprising Solutions, assisting voluntary and community groups and organisations to develop their enterprise ideas.
Tell us about one of your experiences working with Renew Wales.
My work with AVOW for Renew Wales has so far included bringing in Silas Jones as a peer mentor from Cadwyn Clywyd, to work with Erlas Victorian Walled Garden to undertake a cost-benefit analysis in relation to installing additional photo-voltaic panels on their ageing garden outbuildings (used as offices) and on the newer main building which is used for work with volunteers and trainees. The outcome of the analysis was that this would not be a cost effective action as the PV panels would largely generate energy on sunny days, which is not when the energy would be needed, and would generate very little in winter, which is when more energy is needed for heating and lighting the buildings. Also, in recent years, the amount paid by Government for energy supplied to the National Grid (‘feed-in tariffs’ or ‘FiTs’) has reduced, and therefore would not necessarily generate enough income and energy savings to justify the initial outlay to install additional panels. The report produced by Silas included recommending a range of other energy saving measures, such as updating the heating system in the ‘bothies’, which could be implemented by Erlas as and when they have the resources and capacity to do so.
What is your vision for your area for 2050?
In Gwynedd in 2050 I will be working smarter and less hours so that I have time to grow organic vegetables and learn new recipes and ways of eating and cooking without meat. I will have my house insulated but also ventilated and we will generate our energy locally by using the village hydro-electric scheme and solar panels. We will have an electric car and cycle borrowing and sharing scheme in the village so we won’t need to own our own cars or use buses. We will have taken advice about what we can burn in our wood-burner without poisoning our neighbours and we will own and control use of our local wood-growing facilities. Our local farms will have diversified from beef, lamb and dairy production to grain and vegetable growing. We will grind our own flour locally and bake our own bread.