I am a respected environmentalist, with over 35 years of experience across the community sector. I founded and developed Friends of the Earth Cymru, Wales Against Opencast Mining, Sustainable Wales charity and community cooperative SUSSED Wales. I have wide experience within the voluntary sector:- managing, coordinating, campaigning, mentoring and board/committee positions; leadership, communication, event and project development; TV and radio interviewing, programme planning and film-making, researching, press and editing; training and grant applications. Former secondary school teacher, Cert Ed. Bath College of Education. I am energetic, positive and have a cheerful personality, resourceful and creative. Sustainable Wales (SW) has been involved in motivating ‘green’ and ‘ethical’ behaviour locally and politically for more than 20 years, exploring solutions and ways forward. Our Trustees feel that there remains an urgent need to stimulate local action, by helping the community to understand why and how to respond to this agenda. People are increasingly aware of problems like climate change, but still feel unsure about how to make changes to their lifestyle. We have over the years offered free support to groups and individuals and thus recognise the advantages in a peer-to-peer approach.
Tell us about one or more experience of your work with Renew.
SUSSED Directors wanted to reduce their Co2 emissions and save money by fitting appropriate LED lighting to the shop premises.
The group wanted to have a clearer understanding of how LED lighting would reduce the carbon footprint and a review of other bulbs/alternative technologies or practices available, considering the limited resources of the project, and how/where to procure them.
The group appointed Luke Evans as Project Officer, agreeing the best way to proceed was to establish a close working relationship between the directors and Margaret Minhinnick as the likely expenditure represented a large proportion of SUSSED’s grant funding.
The group decided after desk-top and retail research which bulbs and fittings would look good and do the job. Afterwards the group decided they would like to write a step-by-step guide to help others.
Luke said he required support in compiling and designing a guide aimed at helping other organisations replicate similar projects themselves. As a RENEW mentor help this was also achieved, publicised locally and is available on the website.
What is your vision of your region in 2050?
A profligate approach to the environment – energy, waste, loss biodiversity etc will be frowned upon and a low carbon future will be much more the norm.
Good practice activity will be shared, adapted/replicated in local communities. Local distinctiveness will be admired and better regarded. This will include the arts and local culture.
Bridgend prides itself on high recycling figures re: waste – this will become a zero waste county. Porthcawl will be a town running on renewables.
We will get there with an understanding of the local and the global connections. The importance of applying local responses. Financial support for backing the local economy, projects and activity. Encouraging more creativity and risk-taking and increasing political engagement – not necessarily party-political.