Monday, 15 November 2010

Greening Wallingford Wins Empowerment Award
(from the ORCC news bulletin)

Wallingford Greening Campaign, part of the Sustainable Wallingford group, has taken first prize of £1000 in The Oxfordshire Community Empowerment Awards 2010. Overall the judges were very impressed with the quality of applications from Oxfordshire’s community groups who all demonstrated the amazing work that is happening in the county.

The award scheme was organised here in Oxfordshire by ORCC on behalf of the South East Empowerment Partnership to encourage and reward the dedication and enthusiasm of local people, voluntary organisations or community groups who have worked with their local councils to improve their community and its services and who will continue to influence decision making in the future.

Greening Wallingford Campaign offered a simple way to involve the whole community, capture the carbon saving activities that they were undertaking and demonstrated the value of everyone coming together to share what they were doing to act on climate change. It involved the community deciding on eight actions they would do to reduce their CO2 and letting everyone know they were doing this by placing a small ‘Greening Wallingford’ card in their
window. This way they knew they were not acting on their own and could see the value of their collective action.

Following an extensive publicity campaign a wide section of the community got involved, including the schools, faith groups, Town Council, businesses and a raft of community organisations. So far they have had 759 households (over 2,000 people and 24% of the population,) sign up to be part of the Campaign. Over the last year Wallingford has saved 385 tonnes of CO2 and 398 tonnes of water.

Jacinta Thorley, one of the project organisers said “People in our community have told us that they feel they really can see that what they are doing makes a difference, that they really like being part of a collective partnership across the community and they are now feel empowered to take further action. We could not have achieved this without the community/statutory partnership which we built.”

Greening Wallingford will now go on to represent Oxfordshire in the regional Community Empowerment Awards next year. The two runner-up projects, Hailey Parish Action Consultation Team (PACT) and My Life My Choice will receive a plaque for their achievements at an award ceremony in December.
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