£28,000 boost for climate crisis projects in Bath and the surrounding area

By Lucy Slade   |   Reporter   |
Tuesday 25th February 2020 7:00 pm
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Family Action on Climate Emergency (FACE) pictured in Bath in January 2020. ()

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Bath and West Community Energy (BWCE) Fund has awarded £28,370 in funding to eight organisations which are helping Bath area residents tackle climate change, by reducing carbon emissions and addressing fuel poverty.

For the sixth year running, member-owned Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) has given surplus income to the independently run BWCE Fund to support local communities. BWCE Fund Trustees ask Quartet Community Foundation to administer the grant programme.

The BWCE Fund aims to reduce carbon emissions and, in addition, the fund supports projects that raise awareness and encourage behavioural change. The panel awarded grants to a range of projects, including projects encouraging us to reduce waste, such as the Bath Cloth Nappy Library and those improving the outside environment, such as Alice Park Community Garden.

Sophie Hooper Lea, Chair of Trustees for the Bath and West Community Energy Fund, said: “We are delighted to be funding a really impressive range of projects this year, all of which are helping to tackle the Climate Emergency in their own, unique way. We are really looking forward to watching these projects unfold. As always, we are very grateful to BWCE, a not for profit community benefit society that generates clean, renewable energy and gives surplus income to the BWCE Fund for us to redistribute to local organisations.

“Since 2015, the BWCE Fund has awarded fifty-eight grants, worth over £170,000 through Quartet Community Foundation.”

Claire Wynne Hughes, Philanthropy Executive at Quartet Community Foundation, said: “We’re very grateful that BWCE Fund has chosen to work with us and to provide this grant funding to support local communities to address the climate emergency. These projects are fantastic examples of the kind of small, local community project that can tackle the big issues that matter to so many of us.”

Pauline Harris, from FACE, who received a grant, said: “Concern about climate change is growing rapidly, and families want to know what they can do about it. FACE is building a local network of action groups, based around neighbourhoods, schools and other communities, so people of all ages and backgrounds can take collective action to tackle the urgent tasks of reducing carbon emissions and protecting nature. We organise family-friendly events to raise awareness about climate, we work with the Schools Climate Network, B&NES Council, and many fantastic local organisations like BWCE. This grant will mean we can spread the word even further and provide some great resources to get new groups off the ground. We would like to say a big thank you from all of us to BWCE and Quartet Community Foundation.”

Community Gardener, Carol Stone, said: “This grant will really boost our efforts to create an edible food forest in the community garden at Alice Park. We’re keen to encourage growing edible perennials, as a way of reducing our carbon emissions, and to promote eating more plants in general. We’re excited about choosing suitable edible trees and shrubs that will also benefit wildlife and attract pollinators. In January we’re developing a planting plan of edible plants, and our community volunteers will prepare space ready to receive the new plants in early Spring. This Summer, we’ll invite the community to learn about using the produce and to join us for a food feast, so foraging and outdoor cooking will be on the agenda.

“We were particularly touched to learn that our grant was made possible thanks to the generosity of the family of a BWCE member, who made the donation in memory of their loved one.”

Liz Barling, from Keynsham Community Energy who received a grant, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded this grant to help people in Keynsham make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat, as well as tackling the very real issue of fuel poverty in our town. Energy efficiency measures will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is an urgent priority as we are facing a climate emergency.”

The BWCE Fund grant programme for 2019/20 has awarded £28,370 to:

Bath Mind received £2,900 toward the cost of a polytunnel for training and food production for the Greenlinks eco-therapy allotment project and the Food for Thought catering enterprise.

Bath Cloth Nappy Library received £4,163 to update and expand the cloth nappy library’s stock and help more people switch to reusable nappies.

Alice Park Community Garden received £960 for the ’Edible Food Forest’, which includes buying and planting food producing trees and shrubs for the community garden, volunteer training and a food feast community activity.

Transition Bath received £4,200 for the cost of a Volunteer Coordinator to train and support volunteer ambassadors for Transition Bath’s Energy Sparks programme that provides energy advice and an education toolkit for B&NES schools.

FACE Family Action on Climate Emergency received £1,177 for awareness–raising activities throughout 2020, targeting different communities in Bath and the surrounding area, empowering families to take action to reduce carbon emissions.

CHEESE Project Cold Homes Energy Efficiency Survey Experts received £4,500 to establish a pilot replica project in Bath of the C.H.E.E.S.E. Project, providing thermal surveys to help householders make their homes more energy efficient.

Keynsham Community Energy received £2,970 toward the cost of paying the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to train six local volunteers who will provide five energy advice community events and attend twelve home energy advice visits.

Kilter Theatre received £3,000 toward workshops in Bath schools that focus on discussions about climate change and the creation of a song that articulates the pupils’ feelings about climate change and their proposed solutions.

Merriott Village Hall received £4,500 toward the installation of twenty-six solar panels on the village hall and electric storage batteries.

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