From nappies to eco-therapy: Funding for grassroots projects helping Bath tackle climate change

January 31, 2020

Eight organisations helping Bath residents tackle the climate crisis by reducing carbon emissions and addressing fuel poverty have received money from a city-based energy fund to support their work.

The £28,370 has come from the Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) Fund, which supports projects that raise awareness of climate change and encourage behavioural change as well as backing schemes that cut carbon emissions. 

The fund itself received the money from member-owned Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE), which for the past six years has given its surplus income to the independently-run BWCE Fund to support local communities.

BWCE is a not-for-profit community benefit society that generates clean, renewable energy. Grants have gone to a range of projects including those encouraging people to reduce waste, such as the Bath Cloth Nappy Library, and those improving the city’s environment, such as Alice Park Community Garden.

Quartet, the community foundation for the West of England, administers the grant programme on behalf of the BWCE Fund trustees.

Chair of trustees Sophie Hooper Lea 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 for giving its surplus income to the fund for us to redistribute to local organisations.

“Since 2015, the BWCE Fund has awarded 58 grants worth more than £170,000 through Quartet Community Foundation.”

Quartet philanthropy executive Claire Wynne Hughes added: “We’re very grateful that BWCE Fund has chosen to work with us and to provide this grant funding to support local communities 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.”

One of the organisations to receive funding is Family Action on Climate Emergency (FACE).

Pauline Harris of FACE 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, Bath and North East Somerset 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.”
Alice Park community gardener Carol Stone said the grant would boost its 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,” she said.

“We’re excited about choosing suitable edible trees and shrubs that will also benefit wildlife and attract pollinators. We’ve developed a planting plan of edible plants and our community volunteers have prepared 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.”

The organisations receiving grants from the BWCE Fund are:

Bath Mind – £2,900 towards 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 – £4,163 to update and expand the cloth nappy library’s stock and help more people switch to reusable nappies.          

Alice Park Community Garden – £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 – £4,200 for the cost of a volunteer coordinator to train and support volunteer ambassadors for its Energy Sparks programme that provides energy advice and an education toolkit for local schools.

Family Action on Climate Emergency (FACE) – £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 (Cold Homes Energy Efficiency Survey Experts) Project – £4,500 to establish a pilot replica project in Bath of the project, providing thermal surveys to help householders make their homes more energy efficient.      

Keynsham Community Energy – £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 12 home energy advice visits.

Kilter Theatre – £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 – £4,500 toward the installation of 26 solar panels and electric storage batteries.    

Pictured: Members of Family Action on Climate Emergency (FACE) 


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