LCRN: The Violets Are Blue Enews
Welcome to the London Community Resource Network's enews bulletin, your weekly source of resource and sustainability news.
In LCRN news: Technical issues affecting enews have now been resolved, while LCRN is always interested in people wanting to get involved in our new 'Build South London' project.
In London News: London's most prestigious dining establishments have committed to reducing food waste, schoolchildren perform a play to raise concerns over Thames Water's supersewer, and following metal theft from a war memorial, a scrap metal dealer has his 'finest hour'.
In National News: The recession has caused more than 100 landfill sites to close, a Tory minister wades into the row over a Hertfordshire incinerator, while Sainsbury's and WRAP team up to tackle food waste.
And finally... There are two stories this week, because enews spoils you. Compost has been found to have mind-altering qualities, while a disgruntled consumer serenades Britain's energy companies...
- LCRN NEWS
- MEMBERS NEWS
- MEMBERS EVENTS
- MEMBERS JOBS
- LONDON RESOURCE NEWS
- NATIONAL RESOURCE NEWS
- ENVIRONMENT SECTOR NEWS
- THIRD SECTOR NEWS
- CONSULTATIONS, FUNDING & TENDERS
- AND FINALLY…
* Technical Issues Resolved
Recently, LCRN's ICT has been undergoing a revamp, and during that time we were unable to access messages sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, all technical issues have now been resolved, so you may continue to send news items to email@example.com, or alternatively, you can send them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. All news items sent are gratefully appreciated (and make my job easier) so feel free to e-mail in your droves.
LCRN, in partnership with Carbon Smart and South London Business, has launched a new ERDF programme aimed at the building sector in South London. It aims to provide business and environmental support to SMEs in the South London building sector, whether they be a construction or cleaning firm, or a design or decoration firm, free of charge. It is designed to foster collaboration between organisations, share skills and resources, and provide advice and mentoring, helping firms access contracts and supply chains, while keeping resources in the London economy. Also provided free of charge will be bespoke Carbon Smart environmental training, supporting your organisation to achieve an active environmental policy and environmental accreditation. Further updates will follow in due course. For more information on the programme, please contact Julian Halse on 020 7324 4708 or e-mail email@example.com.
* Become an LCRN Member today
Join the network that’s innovating away London’s waste, the grassroots way. LCRN is proud to present our new membership scheme, open to organisations, charities, community groups and social enterprises in London dedicated to responsible resource management. Our new tiered system is based on both income and services so that you get the most bang for your buck. We strive to bring your organisation the right balance of business, organisational and communications support. Our free membership is still available, but come have a gander at what we’ve got on offer. Our rates are incredibly reasonable and our services can only be a boost for you in this economic climate. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact Julian between on 020 7324 4708 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
…for LCRN’s new membership scheme
The Premier Sustain team was delighted to have been shortlisted for the 2012 City of London Sustainability Awards under the category, 'Tackling Climate Change'. The City of London Awards reward UK organisations, from multi-national businesses to small charities, and promote outstanding achievements and innovation across aspects of sustainability. Premier Sustain entered their 'Five Step Approach to Sustainable Furniture Management' for the 'Tackling Climate Change Award', the focus of which is recognising and rewarding organisations who are taking steps to mitigate the effect of their activities on climate change. Said Operations Director, Phil Brown: 'It is wonderful to have our efforts in delivering a truly sustainable service recognised in this way. Our approach to prevention, minimising, reusing, and recycling redundant office furniture has so far delivered in excess of 1,600 tonnes of CO2(e) savings for our clients.' Premier Sustain is one of five businesses shortlisted in the category; the ceremony will take place at the Lord Mayor's official residence Mansion House on 1st March. Presentations will be made by Raymond Blanc, Chef Patron of Le Manoir aux Quat.
For more information.
The London 2012 Zero Waste Events Protocol is designed to to support and encourage best practice for managing waste at events associated with the 2012 Olympic Games. It contains five action points to help reduce waste, so that everyone reduces the amount of event waste, boost average reuse and recycling rates, and demonstrate best practice is waste reduction, reuse and recycling. Also announced is the Zero Waste Events Initiative, supported by WRAP and Coca-Cola. Zero Waste Events is supported by the development of the Zero Waste Events Protocol and provides a portal for waste managers and event organisers alike to: share information to reach that all-important goal of reducing, reusing, and recycling as much waste as possible with the ultimate aim of zero waste to landfill; keep up to date with news from around the country; enter a prize draw to win a pair of tickets to the Olympic Games. The Zero Waste Events initiative will be gathering case studies over the next 6 months to present at an event after the Games, so please join the initiative and share your zero waste stories.
For more information.
Visit our friends at Project Dirt for more events across London.
* Join The Big Dig
Capital Growth is looking for as many people as possible to volunteer some time to help their local community growing space on Big Dig day, taking place on Saturday 17th March 2012. Over 70 Capital Growth spaces are looking for help and nearly 1,000 volunteers are required. To find and register to help a local Capital Growth space please go to www.capitalgrowth.org/jointhebigdig and enter your postcode. You will be able to see how near each space is to you, how many volunteers are required and read a short description of what help the space is looking for. By registering you will automatically be entered into a free prize draw to win a special Capital Growth related prize. Register today and give your community a helping hand.
* Community Composting For Local Food Seminars
Are you interested in composting and growing your own? Saving money, being involved in community activities and eating really good food? The Community Composting Network has received funding from Local Food for a two-and-a-half year project called Community Composting For Local Food - the aim of which is to help local communities grow their own food crops and to make and use their own high-quality compost. The project will increase skills in composting for local food by delivering specially developed accredited training courses at up to 15 training sites across England. To back up the training there will be further support in the form of networking workshops and equipment loans which will support the 'trainees' to put their learning into action on their own local food growing projects, and get their own Community Composting scheme up and running.
If you are a local food grower and would like to be involved in the project, why not attend one of the free seminars (below) to find out - with a complimentary locally sourced lunch included. They promise to be jam-packed with information and inspirational ideas. The seminars will run from 12pm - 4pm.
Tuesday 13th March, Brighton, Earthship Brighton
Wednesday 14th March, London, Hackney City Farm
Tuesday 20th March, Exeter, Embercombe
Wednesday 21st March, Worcester, The Pumphouse
Thursday 22nd March, Nottingham, Arkwright Meadows Community Garden
Tuesday 27th March, Burnley, Offshoots
Wednesday 28th March, Darlington, Teesdale Conservation Volunteers
Thursday 29th March, Sheffield, Green Estates
Wednesday 4th April, Bury St Edmunds, The Quaker Meeting House
For more information or to book a place please e-mail Hollie at email@example.com or visit CCN's website.
* Building An Effective Board Of Trustees
Do you want to strengthen your board of trustees? Are you interested in becoming a trustee for a charity? Would you like to find out more about a trustee's role? If this is the case, then the Hammersmith & Fulham Volunteer Centre can provide all the answers at an affordable, high-quality training day. The training will be delivered by Bybreen Samuels - who has more than 15 years' experience of developing organisations and individuals. From a fundraising perspective, she has generated over half a million pounds in one application for an organisation that provides day care services for elderly people. She is the CEO of Insights To Impact, who teach the not-for-profit sector, enterprising individuals and organisations on how to create and implement their personal and professional business models, revenue streams and marketing systems.
Date: Wednesday 29th February, 10am - 4pm
Location: Macbeth Centre, Macbeth Street, London W6 9JJ
Cost: £20 (non-refundable). Includes course handouts and refreshments
For more information, or to book, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Financial Sustainability Workshop
What can be done, in an increasingly difficult environment, to improve the chances of your organisation surviving, and even growing? This free one-day workshop for community and voluntary groups will help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation, and prepare a strategy for improving its ability to plan, to manage its finances, to diversify its income, and move toward greater self-sufficiency. The workshop will be led by Bruce Wood and Lana Hersak from London Rebuilding Society - a social enterprise that specialises in creating innovative forms of finance which benefit local communities and the environment.
Date: Tuesday 21st February, 10am - 4pm
Location: Innovation Warehouse, 1 East Poultry Avenue, EC1A 9PT
Cost: Free (community and voluntary groups only)
For more information.
* Operations Manager
Healthy Planet is looking to employ an Operations Manager, who will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organisation, in accordance with Healthy Planet's mission, ethos, and communications and business plan. Reporting to the Director, this a strategic and supportive role, which requires strong leadership skills, as it enables the organisation and managers to deliver Healthy Planet's services successfully and efficiently. The Operations Manager will act on behalf of the Founder and Director, be part of the Senior Management Team, assist in business development, and ensure that Healthy Planet meets the objectives set out in the business plan. The role will require at least 2 years' experience of leadership and management, prior project management experience, strong interpersonal and communication skills, strong organisational skills, the ability to manage a varied workload, the ability to work strategically, the ability to deliver work on time and to budget, and keen interest in environmental and health issues. The role is full-time and remuneration will be £27,300 p.a. The deadline for receipt of applications is Tuesday 21st February. Interviews will take place on Wednesday 29th February. If you are interested in this opportunity, please e-mail your CV and a covering letter to Bryan Jersky at email@example.com. A full job description is available here.
* Sustainability Ambassadors
Question 1: Describe a time when you made a stranger smile and want to talk to you.
Question 2: How would you respond if an athlete strongly disagreed with the sustainability message you were sharing?
Question 3: Why sustainability is important to you?
For more information.
* Senior Policy Adviser - Resource Stewardship
For more information.
* Forest Recycling Project - Volunteer Opportunities
Forest Recycling Project has announced a number of exciting new volunteering opportunities (below), providing you with the opportunity to join a vibrant team, and be involved in a successful and ever-expanding community project, where you can learn new skills while benefiting local people and the wider environment. FRP are looking for people who are enthusiastic, flexible and reliable; with good communication and customer service skills, and an interest in wildlife, gardening, recycling and reuse. From these volunteer opportunities you will gain work experience and subsequent references, valuable transferable skills, you will be able to attend a series of social events, and you will be provided with the opportunity to make a difference in your community.
* Donated Plants Assistant
The purpose of this role is to help manage and distribute seeds or seedlings that are donated to FRP in a new 'Gardening Give or Take' initiative. This will involve organising the area at the Reuse Centre where seedlings, pots, compost etc are kept; making signs so that the space is easy to use during the week; helping to promote the new plant donation/swap scheme; attending events at the Reuse Centre and around Waltham Forest to help with workshops/give advice on planting or composting. Events are normally at the weekend, and training will be given. The role is expected to consist of 1 day per week (10am - 4pm though this is flexible), and some events on Saturdays.
* Reuse Centre Assistant/Personal 'Shopper'
The purpose of this role is to help run the FRP Reuse Centre and assist individuals in sourcing low-cost or free goods for their homes. This will involve working with individuals and families who have been referred to FRP for support in refurbishing their homes; advising them of other local reuse projects; helping them find goods on Freecycle/Gumtree etc; finding local tradesmen for their essential jobs. Day-to-day tasks might also include sorting, cleaning, pricing or repairing goods donated to FRP; setting up/taking down a stall; promoting FRP's activities; help with the maintenance of the paint reuse space; and working with customers. This role is expected to consist of 1 or 2 days' work per week (10am - 4pm). Training will be given.
* RePaint Driver's Mate
The purpose of this role is to support members of staff to prepare leftover domestic paint for reuse in the community and, as necessary, assist with FRP's collections and deliveries. You will be required to sort paint to be recycled according to kind and colour; to mix paint; to label recycled paint tins; assist with paint collections; and assist with paint sales and advising customers. This role will require a good level of physical fitness and good spatial orientation. This role is expected to consist of two days' work per week (10am - 4pm), on any day from Monday - Thursday.
* Children's Bike Repair and Recycle Volunteer - Two Positions Available
This role will consist of assessing donated bikes, and then mending and repairing them for sale. Some knowledge of bike maintenance is desirable for this role, however full training will be provided. Training will be provided in 2 x 4 hour sessions at Waltham Forest Bike Recycling Scheme, Low Hall Depot, South Access Road, E10 7AS.
If you would like to take advantage of one of these exciting opportunities, or know of someone who might, please call 020 8539 3856 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found at FRP's website.
LONDON RESOURCE NEWS
People on low incomes in London could receive leftovers from top hotels and restaurants serving haute cuisine in a bid to cut food waste. The initiative, Plan Zheroes, uses an online map to match up supermarkets, grocers, hotels, restaurants and even film crews offering free food with charities looking for some. So far 50 charities have signed up. Suppliers include Henri Brosi, head chef at the Dorchester Hotel, who organisers say has pledged to donate leftover supplies. The scheme will be launched by Lotti Henley, 86, of the London Sustainable Development Commission, at City Hall. Mrs Henley told of the starvation witnessed in Germany after the war, with people resorting to scavenging from bins, adding: 'I am horrified by how people waste food now.'
From the Evening Standard.
Children at an inner London primary school took to the stage to show a Thames Water boss how work on London's supersewer will rob them of a place to play. The play, performed by pupils from St. Paul's school in Whitechapel, showed the devastating effect that 'concreting over' King Edward VII Memorial Park would have on them. There are 220 pupils at the school, most of whom live in flats with no outdoor space. St Paul's does not have playing fields so the children walk for 10 minutes to the riverside park to take part in sports and run around. Thames Water plans to construct the £4.1bn, 20-mile tunnel to collect 39 million tonnes of sewage that is discharged into the river every year, though this will mean creating an access road to the foreshore shaft. The SaveKEMP campaign wants the works relocated to a nearby 'brownfield' site. In the play, 'A Space For Me', the children enacted a scene from 'ordinary life in Tower Hamlets', showing a family whose only escape from a 'cramped flat' is to a nearby park. But when the children get to the park they find a sign that tells them it is closed due to sewer works. After the play, children stood around Tideway Tunnel manager Phil Stride, and listed the reasons the park should be saved, before handing over a 10,500-signature petition against the construction plan. However Mr Stride was unmoved by the children's pleas.
From the Evening Standard.
A scrap metal dealer has donated £21,000 to replace stolen metal plaques taken from a war memorial in south London. Fourteen bronze plaques bearing the names of 243 First World War servicemen were stolen from Carshalton war memorial in Sutton last September. Stuart Nebbet, of Guildford, who runs a scrapyard in Merton, said that he was 'as outraged as everybody else' that it had been 'plundered'. The new plaques are made from Portland stone and were unveiled at a ceremony attended by Mr Nebbet and relatives of honoured servicemen. Mr Nebbet said: 'We wanted to make this gift to the community to make it clear that we run a professional operation, which had nothing to do with this theft, and that I was as outraged as anyone else that the local war memorial should be plundered in this way. We may not wear business suits to work, or work from a smart business unit, but that does not mean that we take advantages of any opportunies to accept and process any scrap metal to run our business.' Mr Nebbet is backing a campaign by Sutton police and the local council, calling for ID checks, a cashless payment system and a crackdown on unlicensed metal yards.
From the BBC.
NATIONAL RESOURCE NEWS
Over 100 landfill sites in the UK have closed since the recession began in 2008, according to recent research. The figures obtained from BDS Marketing Research also showed that in the past year, 27 landfill sites have closed, though this has been mitigated by 12 opening or re-opening. Landfill closures have been the result of a number of factors. Some sites have completed their void and planning has not been allowed for an extension, or the site has come to the end of its natural life. The recession has also hit waste volumes with some sites being mothballed. The development of alternative waste treatment options is also diverting waste streams away from landfill.
Plans for an incinerator in Hertfordshire have been criticized by a Government minister, who claimed that residents were being kept in the dark over the proposed plant. Grant Shapps, the local Tory MP and local government minister, said that the local authority responsible, Hertfordshire County Council, was not acting with full transparency and could face an 'obvious' conflict of interest. A statement on the MP's website read: 'Grant is concerned that Hertfordshire County Council released only a heavily censored (redacted) version of the contract, making it impossible for the public to know what is going on. The contract signed between Veolia and the county makes it clear that there are a range of penalties that would kick in if planning permission is not granted. Given that it is the county that who grant this particular planning permission concerns have been raised about the obvious conflict of interest...' Veolia Environmental Services has signed a contract with Hertfordshire for the 180,000 tonne energy-from-waste facility in July. The facility, to be built in in New Barnfield, Hatfield, has negotiated a minimum tonnage of 180,000, which means that it will not interfere with increases in recycling rates, and could allow the council to reach a 75% recycling rate.
Sainsbury's, in partnership with WRAP, has launched a new packaging labelling initiative which could stop £2bn worth of food being wasted. The labels are being rolled out throughout all of Sainsbury's stores, and will advise customers to freeze food as soon as possible up to the product's use-by-date. Currently most food products in the UK advise shoppers to freeze on the day of purchase. Research by WRAP has found that 60% of consumers believe that food has to be frozen on the day of purchase. Changing this advice will help stop over-cautious shoppers from throwing away up to 800,000 tonnes of edible food every year. Research from Sainsbury's shows that 62% of consumers regularly use the freezer to extend the life of food, while in a separate study by WRAP, 21% of people had frozen food nearing its use-by-date during the past week. For this reason, it is hoped that the new labelling will have a great impact.
ENVIRONMENT SECTOR NEWS
* No Trust In Wind Farms
The National Trust is now 'deeply sceptical' of wind power, following an outspoken attack on the 'public menace' of turbines destroying the countryside. For years the conservation charity has been a supporter of renewable energy, including wind, to reduce carbon emissions and help fight global warming. However, its chairman, Sir Simon Jenkins, warned that wind was the 'least efficient', and risked blighting the British landscape. He said that 'not a week goes by' without the charity having to fight plans for wind farms that threaten more than 700 miles of coastline, 28,500 acres of countryside, and more than 500 properties owned by the Trust. The official position is to support renewable energy, including wind, although only in places where the turbine will produce the maximum amount of energy and 'with regard to the full range of environmental considerations'. The landowner already has 140 renewable energy projects installed on castles around the country, including a few small individual turbines. The Trust's climate change target to cut energy use by 50% by 2020 will go beyond national targets and could save more than 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide - equivalent to taking 4,500 cars off the road. However most of the renewable energy will be generated from hydroelectric plants, and by burning biomass. Sir Simon Jenkins said: 'We are doing masses of renewables but wind is probably the least efficient and wrecks the countryside and the National Trust is about preserving the countryside.' The National Trust's new stance puts them at odds with the Government who have already installed more than 3,500 turbines and plan 800 more this year.
From the Daily Telegraph.
* Nuclear Fall Out
Anti-nuclear protestors have taken squatting rights on farmland owned by EDF after it was given the go-ahead to clear the proposed nuclear site in Somerset. Campaigners are angry over EDF's plans to build a nuclear plant on the Hinckley Point C site near Bridgewater, which contains protected wetland, arguing that approval from the council to clear the site before planning permission had been granted sends out a message that it is a 'done deal' for EDF. West Somerset Council has already approved planning permission for EDF to prepare the site for the controversial new power station, which has now signed an agreement to provide £30m to mitigate the impact of the works and agreed to reinstate the land if its application to build the station is rejected by the Infrastructure Planning Committee. Campaigners have already taken to trees on the site, in a bid to stop them being felled, arguing that removing the trees would unnecessarily destroy the site were planning permission refused. Meanwhile, campaigners are also furious that new energy secretary Ed Davey has made a 'complete U-turn' by promoting nuclear power in the UK after he produced the Liberal Democrats' anti-nuclear policy in 2006.
* Public Sector Number One (At Carbon Reduction)
According to a new survey by Guardian Sustainable Business, the UK's public sector is demonstrating a greater commitment to reducing carbon emissions than the private or third sectors (hardly surprising). The survey revealed that 58% of public sector respondents said that their organisations planned to make 'tangible investments' in carbon reduction in 2012. Of those, 77.9% said that carbon reduction remains a key facet of their organisation's long-term goals, despite the difficult economic climate. By contrast, only 46% of private sector workers said their company will be making such investments in the coming year. Meanwhile, 78% of respondents said that they were looking to the public sector to lead the way on carbon reduction by cutting their own emissions.
THIRD SECTOR NEWS
* Mayor Opens New Social Enterprise Support Centre
A new headquarters and hub for social enterprise support organisations has officially opened in London. The 'Fire Station' centre, situated in the refurbished Tooley Street Fire Station near London Bridge, is the new HQ for Social Enterprise UK and the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and also hosts a business club for Price Waterhouse Coopers social entrepreneurs. Central to the Fire Station's social output is the Brigade bar and bistro, which provides up to 145 apprenticeships and work experience opportunities for people who have been homeless, supported by the Beyond Food Foundation. Part of the revenue raised by Brigade will be invested in nationwide community projects. Boris Johnson, who attended the launch alongside 150 representatives from London's community organisations, charities and social enterprises, declared the centre to be 'social enterprise at its best'.
From the Office for Civil Society.
* The Only Way Is Up For Employment, Says Survey
According to a new survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, employment levels in the voluntary sector are set to grow over the next three months, in contrast with the private and public sectors. A fifth of charities surveyed said that they planned to hire rather than cut staff over the quarter. The net amount of voluntary sector organisations planning to create jobs rose from 14% in the previous quarter to 20%. The percentage of organisations expecting to make redundancies fell from 42% to 31% since summer 2011. The number of organisations planning to give a pay rise increased by 3% to 28%, compared with the previous quarter. Across all sectors, 8% more employers expected to cut jobs rather than hire staff this quarter - the worst level since the recession began. However, the voluntary sector results should be treated with caution, as only 7% of respondents were from the sector.
From Third Sector magazine.
* Financial Downturn Boosts BHF
New figures from the British Heart Foundation show that its retail arm bucked the Christmas slump, recording an increase in its Christmas sales of one-fifth. In the five weeks leading up to Christmas Eve BHF reported a 17.3% increase in sales. Last year's figures show a £2.2m rise on the previous year's figures, making it BHF's most profitable Christmas to date. BHF has now opened more than 700 shops, selling a total of 90,000 items every day. This includes over 130 second-hand furniture and electricals stores, which reported sales growth of 13.3% over the Christmas period. BHF's strongest sales figures came through clothing, knitwear, handbags, and shoes, with a sales increase of 29%. Sofas and armchairs were the popular choices in the furniture and electrical stores, enjoying a 17% increase in sales.
From the Office for Civil Society.
CONSULTATIONS, FUNDING & TENDERS
* Southwark EnviroGrants
For more information.
* Funding To Support Collections Of Food Waste From Businesses - Demonstration Projects
The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) administers the Collections of Food Waste from Business - Demonstration Projects scheme. Through the scheme, funding is available to to develop a number of demonstration projects which will help improve services to businesses, divert food waste from landfill and support the development of the Government's AD strategy. Funded projects will demonstrate good practice approaches to collecting food waste from businesses, look at ways to reduce service costs, and maximise food waste recycling. The overarching purpose of this programme is to encourage the collection of food waste from small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), public sector buildings and larger businesses. All collected food waste will be required to be recycled through an AD or IVC process in England. The scheme can fund capital costs such as vehicles, bins, and publicity materials for projects that will significantly increase the amount of food waste collected. Up to 75% of the eligible capital costs will be considered. Operating costs can be funded; however the applicant will need to ensure that they have a budget available for the ongoing operation of their project post-commissioning, and for at least the two-year contractual period. There is a budget of approximately £500,000 for 2011-14. The maximum value of a grant under this current round is £100,000. The scheme is available to local authorities, private sector, or community sector organisations operating in England. Please note that the funding round for the financial year ending 31st March 2012 ended on 3rd February 2012. The closing date for applications for the next round is 13th April 2012.
For more information.
* Home Grown
Do you enjoy home composting? Do you enjoy home composting in a darkened room while listening to repetitive electronic music? Then you could be in luck - as M.vaccae, a living creature that resides in your compost pile, has been found to act like a mind-altering drug once it enters the human body, functioning in the same way as anti-depressant pills. It has been shown to boost the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the systems of both humans and mice. The drug-like effects of this soil bacteria were discovered by accident by Dr Mary O'Brien. She created a serum from the bacteria and gave it to lung-cancer patients, with the hope that it would boost their immune systems. Instead it had another effect: the patients perked up. They reported feeling happier and suffered from less pain than those who had not received the serum, and regaled anyone who would listen with anecdotes about their lives, before asking for some chewing gum. (Disclaimer: I made that last bit up).
From the Atlantic.
AND EVEN MORE FINALLY…
* Valentine's Day Special
A love letter has been written to Britain's energy companies, from the viewpoint of one of their (countless) disgruntled customers...