My role is to develop partnership working and support the growth of the third sector in former Coalfield communities. A big part of that role is levering in additional funding and services and retaining assets in former Coalfield areas in Wales. Through this role I am well connected to grass root groups who are striving to deliver services or activities to meet their local community needs and I use my knowledge, experience and networks to strengthen them. When supporting groups, it is often apparent that they required a varied package of support to improve their sustainability, which often includes action on climate change. This is often associated with groups who currently manage community buildings who are looking to reduce their energy consumption but increasingly it is groups who are considering asset transfer of community facilities. The loss of community facilities is a huge issue across Coalfields areas. RENEW provides a resource that offers practical and technical support on climate change for groups, which is why the Coalfields Regeneration Trust is involved.
Why are you drawn to this area of work and/or how have you helped community groups take their first steps to action in the past?
Climate change is a global issue but there is a lot of local action being undertaken, which is wide and varied, which reflects my current role. The groups I engage with are so varied with different visions and issues but they are often inked to climate change. Examples of this is a community woodland that is hoping to create an outdoor education/tourist facility in an isolated Welsh valley or community buildings who are keen to improve comfort levels and reduce their energy use. I’ve helped groups through accessing technical advice, strengthening governance, business planning, reviewing energy tariffs, working with local authorities/other partners, accessing investment, etc.