Lots happening in Littleworth!

MEA are delighted to be working with community organisations across Stafford under the Warmer Homes Stafford scheme on an exciting area based project

A new programme of work is emerging in the Littleworth area of Stafford which will build on some existing fantastic community based activity.

This new and evolving programme is part of the Council’s wider work to ‘Promote environmental quality’ and to ‘Reduce our carbon footprint and encourage our residents to be more environmentally aware’.  

Over recent years the Council has, with a wide range of partners, been working on an area basis to help support and promote more sustainable communities. Recent initiatives have included the successful  Penkside Project, activities in Holmcoft through ‘Warmer Holmcroft’ and the first pilot low carbon community project ‘Derrington Way Ahead’ (please see the ‘sustainable communities’ webpage for further information on these initiatives:

This new project follows on from work in these areas and, working with a range of partners we ultimately hope to improve environmental quality and promote more sustainable lifestyles in the area. There is already a good foundation of organisations and activity in the area to build on. For instance existing links with Perkins Engines, (where we often hold Eco-Schools Network Meetings), Weston Road Academy and St John’s Primary School and local community links via work at Kingston Pool Covert (South) LNR.

The new project in Littleworth aims to support a range of sustainability related initiatives – perhaps new cycle parking, wildlife conservation, food growing - but in the first instance focussing on energy conservation. The work will commence with the offer of free energy audits at four venues/community centres. 

Some initial groundwork has been undertaken by representatives from local community group, Sustainability Matters, to concentrate on building relationships with organisations in the area.  The four energy audits and subsequent energy reports, will outline and identify priority measures that can be taken in order to save energy and reduce energy bills. Thereafter we would hope to develop links with the relevant venues/organisations, to carry out promotional work on energy efficiency, through an event/s or ‘energy advice surgeries’ or perhaps piggy-backing on existing events, to reach into local communities/households in the area. The Council are proactively working in partnership with a number of organisations such as Sustainability Matters, Marches Energy Agency and Beat the Cold particularly on energy conservation and fuel poverty work. 

MEA have now undertaken four audits (Feb 2015) at St John’s Church, Littleworth Guide Hut, Littleworth Community Centre and Perkins Social Club and the written reports have just been completed. 

Karen Davies, Partnerships Co-ordinator at Stafford Borough Council, is pleased that the initiative is now well underway and says: “Now for the next steps ….. prioritising energy measures, accessing funding, linking up with the wider community and showing that ‘we love Littleworth!’

Big Energy Saving Network Shropshire

We're working with Age UK and the Citizens Advice Bureau  in Shropshire to deliver a programme of outreach advice to vulnerable people, focussing on helping them reduce their energy costs and energy consumption.

Our first event was at the Gains Park Day Centre, Edgefield Green.

14 people were there and very enthusiastic about energy.

We had an enquiry about sealing/insulating solid wall properties from a lady that was sold something over the phone. We have agreed to look into this for her and see exactly what she is going to get and whether or not it is suitable.

We were also asked about exchanging a 30 year old boiler. We advised not really worth it as it is still working and due to the position would pay back slower than normal due to higher install costs.

We also had lots of interest about LED bulbs.

Our next event is at the Forest Way Day Centre on 17th February.

If you want advice about energy or affordable warmth contact us on 0800 112 3743

Developing a vision for local food in North Staffordshire

Over the last few years MEA has been working with an increasing range of partners to explore, map and develop a wider vision for local food in north Staffordshire.  
This has been made possible as so many local food growing initiatives have started to emerge.  There is also significant interest from Stoke-on-Trent Public Health who see this as an opportunity to address both physical and mental health and wellbeing issues, which are already emerging at grassroots level.  
There are opportunities around growing, food preparation, community development, localising supply chains and creating economic opportunity.  
It feels like it has the potential to be very creative and exciting space and we look forward to developing both the vision and the opportunity in the next few years.  
An immediate step is to run a conference in early 2015 to develop and strengthen the vision.
This work has been possible by the generous support of the Middleport Environment Centre. 

Free Energy Advice Sessions for Your Community

Free Energy Advice Sessions for Your Community
Available until 13th March 2015

Are there people in your community living in inefficient housing, on low incomes or in fuel poverty? Do they struggle to: 
  • Stay warm in their home?
  • Stay healthy in cold weather?
  • Keep their bills affordable?
Marches Energy Agency has funding from the Department for Energy and Climate Change to offer free sessions at which we can help people to:
  • Switch energy supplier and tariff
  • Understand and change their payment method for energy bills
  • Tackle fuel debt
  • Access grants to improve the energy efficiency of their homes
  • Make no and low-cost energy efficiency changes to their home
  • Make simple behavioural changes to use less energy and keep warm and healthy
If your community group or organisation can provide a venue* and bring together 10-15 people who would benefit from this help then we can provide an experienced Energy Advisor and a session lasting between one and two hours. Sessions include a short presentation, followed by 121 help and advice for all attendees who would like it. We can help people to switch and apply for grants during the session.

To find out more and book a session contact: Caroline / 07748 508704.

Working with Derbyshire Eco Centre

We've recently made some display boards for Derbyshire Eco Centre.  They were launched by one of the council's elected members at the council's Climate Change launch on 12th December.
Posters included:
  • What is climate change
  • What are the impacts of climate change
  • What can we do
  • Whats happening locally
For more information contact