Stretton Climate Care
Church Stretton is a small market town of five thousand people, in South Shropshire. It is home to Stretton Climate Care which was set up in April 2007, following a showing of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth by the National Trust. At the end of the showing, the organisers asked the audience if they were interested in forming a group to deal with the issues raised in the film. With over 50 people interested, a steering group was formed onto which ‘key’ agencies were invited including the District Council, a local housing association, the town council, and the local secondary school. The group decided not to launch into immediate activity but rather, spent the first four months planning their aims and objectives, and establishing as a charity, with nine appointed trustees and twelve additional volunteers. The group’s aim is to help the local community become aware of environmental issues, to encourage a culture of climate care and to reduce CO2 emissions. The 15 volunteers have split into 3 groups: the committee, the funding and finance group and the events and publicity campaign group.
What are they doing
Stretton Climate Care is running a number of activities. The first is ‘Carbon Footprinting Classes which run daytime, once a week, in the local library’s IT suite. The groups uses Defra’s Act On CO2 online calculator which provides a Home Energy Report.
With wide ranging local communication tactics, which includes press coverage, newsletters and knocking on doors, the group had managed, within one and a half months, to complete Energy Reports for 30 households. However, with early adopters sated, the group is experiencing a slow-down in uptake and are planning more ‘upbeat’ communication style in order to engage the wider audience.
Stretton Climate Care also goes into secondary school assemblies, and has started working with local primary schools, for whom they run the very accessible 6-minute Costa del Marches Energy Saving film. This same film is also being shown either before or after films in the local community cinema. The group runs an Advice Service at local farmers markets, and finally, it has identified all local communities of interest, contacted them and asked to be on their speakers list. This has given them a full booking of public talks for the next 8 months.
The group feels it is essential to have funding – and whilst they have received something like over £25,000 in trust funds, they have also set up an agreement with a local insulation provider to receive commission on sales to help provide a more secure form of income.
Stretton Climate Care Top Tip
Take the time needed to get your organisation properly set up.
Most Helpful resources
Reading material: Mark Lynas, ‘Carbon Counter’
Websites: Energy Saving Trust
Organisations: Charity Commission
Web address: www.strettonclimatecare.org.uk