Following a bid to the Big Lottery Fund, the educational charity Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) has been awarded £978,147 to work in partnership with residents of Wingrove, Newcastle upon Tyne, build a sustainable future for the community. ‘Greening Wingrove’ will address issues of climate change in a ‘Sustainability Centre’ where people will learn how to grow their own food, reduce energy and water use, how to insulate their home and recycle.
Around 10 ‘Community Champions’ will be trained each year to give advice and support to the community in Wingrove including those on low-incomes or older people who are less likely to cope with the negative effects of climate change, heat waves or severe cold weather.
Some changes to the area have already taken place including improved allotments, free home insulation, bee conservation, garden festivals and eco projects. Gardening starter kits have been given to residents and volunteers have participated in street cleans ups and planting trees and shrubbery.
This new funding from Big Lottery will take the scheme one step further by engaging communities in how to live sustainably. Other partners in the scheme include, the Greening Wingrove community partnership, The Time Exchange, Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council and The Co-operative Group.
Nigel Todd, Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment & Transport in Newcastle, and a Wingrove resident, has been involved in the project. He commented: ‘'This is terrific news for an inner city area in Newcastle. The project builds on the work of the community based Greening Wingrove partnership over the past two years, and we're delighted that the WEA is a key partner.'
The WEA provides part-time course to over 70,000 adults a year. For many these provide the skills and confidence to change their lives and local community. Staff will use their teaching and lifelong learning skills to pass over valuable information to local communities, to improve the quality of life in the area.
Watch video on the project...