30 March 2020Sustainable community garden for Helmsdale

Congratulations to Helmsdale Kitchen Garden for all they have achieved since they took over an empty piece of land with a vision to create a sustainable community garden. The garden now includes a polytunnel, shed, orchard and a solar powered irrigation system. 133kg of veg was produced in 2019 and they hope to expand this in future years.

The garden also provides education, with skills and information workshops, helps reduce social isolation and provides local employment.

The Pebble Trust grant covered a range of work including completion of the access road, provision of topsoil and a sustainable water supply for the polytunnel.

24 March 2020Bike Revolution in Moray

Getting more people cycling is never easy so we were really encouraged to hear back from Outfit Moray about their Bike Revolution project. We granted funding for:

  • Installing bike lockers on their forecourt to facilitate collection and return of bikes for weekend hire
  • Sending two volunteers on a Velotech Mechanics Silver training course.
  • Running additional subsidised bike maintenance classes with local partner organisations. 

Outfit Moray's CEO Tony Brown summarised:
"This project has been a fantastic injection of resources into our Bike Revolution project, not only brightening the forecourt with the eminently useful bike lockers, but also enabling us to get out and about into the community, meeting new customers and training local people up in essential bike maintenance skills. Furthermore, supporting our volunteers to gain new qualifications has not only benefitted the capacity of the workshop, but has also enabled us to give something back, showing how valued they are to the organisation."

23 March 2020Energy in motion in the Western isles

The Outer Hebrides experience high fuel costs, high rates of fuel poverty, high dependency on personal car use (as the public transport is limited) and low uptake of electric vehicles and active travel.

To help change this, we were delighted to contribute funding to the Western Isles Energy in Motion project. The aims of this Community Energy Scotland project are to enable residents and community groups across the Western Isles to reduce their climate impact by:

  • Raising awareness and education
  • Replacing fossil-fuelled travel with more sustainable transport including active travel, shared travel options, electric vehicles and e-bikes.
  • Supporting communities to explore owning electric vehicle charge points linked to locally generated renewables and where possible earn an income while providing a vital local service.

A development officer based in the Western Isles will support communities  by coordinating information provision, electric vehicle try-out events with community groups, and coordinating strategic planning of travel options, encouraging car-sharing and active travel among residents.

21 March 2020Growing community supported agriculture in Scotland

A stronger connection between producers and consumers, access to good low-cost local food, providing a more stable and sustainable model for farmers - these are the aims of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project we recently funded. The funds will go towards building community supported agriculture in Scotland, in particular the Highlands & islands, supporting and growing the existing schemes and helping start new ones. Outcomes will include peer mentoring visits, webinars, a gathering in the Highland & Islands and publicity materials.

CSA farms give people access to good low-cost local food, produced in a way which supports farmers, builds communities and cares for the environment. People become farm members, offering payments or volunteer hours, and in return receive a share of the harvest. Visit their website to find out more. 

19 March 2020Engaging primary pupils in climate change and sustainability

Education at all levels is an essential element of the global response to climate change. So we had no hesitation in funding Highland One World's project to increase awareness among primary-aged pupils of the issues of climate change and sustainability.  The project plans to deliver training courses to primary school teachers across Highland to develop their knowledge and skills. Teachers would gain innovative, active learning and teaching strategies which would help engage pupils in the issues around climate change. Find out more and explore the resources and training on offer on the Highland One World website.

09 March 2020Successful Sustainable Renovation event in Edinburgh

We had a great turnout to the Sustainable Renovation event in Edinburgh last Thursday with over 100 people and some great speakers. Special thanks to David Somervell and The Scottish Ecological Design Association for organising.

Keep an eye on the Sustainable Renovation Guide Facebook page for future events round Scotland.

23 February 2020Antibiotics and you

We are very impressed with the outcome of the Talking Medicines project which we supported.
They have created a video  animation which shows how antibiotics work, how they should be taken, the effects they can have on the environment and how to dispose of medicines safely.

The future benefits include:

  • Connecting people in a meaningful way with their medicines.
  • Supporting healthcare professionals in their delivery of responsible medicines usage and disposal.
  • Working with local GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals to raise awareness and driving down costs and time.
  • Helping to reduce waste, environmental contamination, C02 and pollution of our waterways.

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