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Whitby team awarded silver in Green Neighbourhood Challenge competition

Whitby 4 Sustainability.1 February

 

Following a special awards ceremony at York Theatre Royal’s De Grey Ballroom last Saturday (28 January), the Whitby 4 Sustainability group has been announced silver medal winner (second place) in the Green Neighbourhood Challenge, a year-long sub-regional carbon-cutting campaign.

 

The group, headed up by its champion and coordinator Wynne Jones, was picked to take part in the campaign in January last year competing alongside six other community groups from across York and North Yorkshire to make lifestyle changes that will create greener communities for themselves and for future generations, helping them to save money at the same time.

 

The Green Neighbourhood Challenge’s aim was to see which community group could do the most to save (and even generate) energy, cut emissions and encourage local people in their area to foster a low-carbon lifestyle. For example, the groups undertook actions to reduce unnecessary wastage in energy, water usage and waste going to landfill, without negatively impacting upon their own quality of life. Groups were challenged to achieve an 11% reduction in their carbon footprint by the end of 2011 whilst earning the laudable title of North Yorkshire’s ‘Greenest Neighbourhood Team’.

 

Whitby 4 Sustainability has been awarded £300 to contribute towards a future Whitby project for their community and a certificate congratulating them on their achievement of a whopping 12% carbon reduction and evidence of strong grass roots activity within their neighbourhood.

 

Of all the groups, the Whitby 4 Sustainability team actually saved the most carbon, and the judges pointed out they very narrowly missed out on first prize, but the criteria also considered the totality of actions around micro-generation, energy reduction, smarter driving, waste and water, with first prize going to a well established community group from Ryedale.

 

Members of the silver winning Whitby 4 Sustainability group are: Karen Charman; Elizabeth Cheyney; Zelda Hart; Fiona Holden; Walter Jones; Wynne Jones; Nicola Jordan; Chris Wales; Geoffrey Wilson; Doreen Wort; and Daphne Wright.

 

Wynne Jones, team champion and coordinator of the Whitby 4 Sustainability group and a councillor for Whitby Town Council said:

 

“I was delighted and surprised to win the award representing Whitby and the borough. Everyone in the newly formed group is already busy in the town and has supported the initiative, in different ways. Although remote and rural, Whitby has shown it can play a very active role in linking up with other authorities and feed strongly into the inclusiveness of Scarborough Borough Council.

 

“We look forward to the team continuing its role and working with Scarborough Borough Council’s strategy development policy to address realistic approaches and the borough’s pro-active participation in climate change initiatives.”

 

Fiona Holden a team member of Whitby 4 Sustainability who attended the special awards ceremony added:

 

“I am very surprised and delighted at coming second in the Greener Neighbourhood Challenge. A key lesson I have learnt from being involved is that unless you compost you would not know how much food waste you can have. Compost can be used to improve soil and it can help you think about how much food we do waste in general.”

 

Dr James Bridges, Sustainability Officer for Scarborough Borough Council and who is on the steering board for the Greener Neighbourhood project and has been supporting Whitby 4 Sustainability all the way is thrilled with the group’s success:

 

“I am absolutely delighted for the Whitby 4 Sustainability Team. The group of individuals have all been working very hard to do so well and thoroughly deserve to have won this award. Wynne Jones has done a fabulous job over the last 12 months in keeping the good momentum of this newly formed group advancing.

 

“This campaign has provided an excellent opportunity for households to work together as a group to not only reduce carbon emissions but also to have fun by learning, share ideas and to save themselves money in the process for heating their homes and powering appliances. Furthermore, the work has helped to embed a more sustainable community in Whitby and hopefully will help to inspire more communities in the borough to do the same because of the benefits, for example, by doing their bit in going green there is a financial saving to be made at the same time.”

 

The Whitby 4 Sustainability Group will be looking to hold a public open evening in Whitby in due course where the public can find out all about the types of actions they can undertake for a more sustainable and low carbon living. Wynne Jones is a member of Whitby Town Council, and part of the management teams in the Civic Society, Tourist Association, and Whitby Community and Cultural Arts and is keen to share the good work of the Whitby 4 Sustainability Group with other groups and the wider community as much as possible.

 

Supported by local councils across York and North Yorkshire, the project was funded by the Yorkshire and Humber Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (YoHR Space). It was managed by Denise Hall as the appointed Green Neighbourhood Challenge Project Manager from the Yorkshire Energy Partnership, and staff from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at York University.

 

The Green Neighbourhood Challenge website is now being re-launched to feature toolkits and resource packs so that any community group can organise and launch their own challenge or series of activities. In particular, there is a useful ‘guide to greener living’ top tips booklet which the Sustainability 4 Whitby group has used to help them achieve their silver award achievement. To find out more visit www.greenneighbourhood.co.uk

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