Council offers cash to residents to ‘go green’ as it launches ‘Big Difference’ campaign

Lambeth Green Community Champions with Councillor Steve Reed and Councillor Sally Prentice at the launch of the scheme in KenningtonFunding of up to £500 is being offered by Lambeth Council to help residents set up ‘green’ schemes in their neighbourhoods, as part of the council’s new ‘Big Difference’ environmental campaign.

The money will help residents start up schemes that contribute to tackling climate change in their local area, such as food growing co-ops and community recycling projects. Groups and individuals can apply for funding of just a few pounds for a small project, up to a maximum of £500.

The offer is part of ‘Big Difference’ – a new campaign launched by Lambeth Council this month to encourage local people to cut their own carbon emissions.

Councillor Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council, said: “Many ways of becoming more environmentally friendly cost nothing at all, but a small amount of money can go a long way.

“For example, the funding could help pay for equipment such as spades and forks to help start a food growing scheme, or a print run of leaflets to help get neighbourhoods involved in a project running in their area, or maybe some extra insulation to help make a community building more energy efficient.

“That’s where our new scheme comes in. Part of the deal is that those given funding will be expected to share their skills and experiences with other groups across the borough, and pass on advice and information to their local community. The message of our new campaign is that small things can make a ‘Big Difference’ when it comes to carbon reduction.”

The Lambeth Council scheme is being run in conjunction with Project Dirt, a community portal in South London that is linking environmentally minded people together and helping them share their experiences of ‘going green’.

Mark Shearer, who helped to set up Project Dirt, said: “There’s a significant groundswell of Londoners doing their own green projects – and we’re delighted to see Lambeth supporting residents through setting up their “Big Difference Fund” on Project Dirt.”

Sue Sheehan has practical experience of setting up environmental projects in her neighbourhood in Balham. Sue knows what it takes to galvanise people into tackling climate change, having founded Hyde Farm Climate Action Network (CAN), a group of around 200 households who are now all working together and helping each other live a lower carbon life. Now working for the council, she is bringing those skills and experiences to bear by offering to help other people in Lambeth do the same.

Sue said: “Most people want to do more to reduce their impact on the environment and reduce their fuel use but they simply don’t know how.

“It’s important to give people practical help, inspiration and advice, whether it be helping them organise their first neighbourhood meeting, put them in touch with organisations that offer grants for home insulation or solar panelling, or advice on how to set up a food-growing group.”



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