Tesla battery has arrived!

Since launching our clean local energy offer for Swansea residents and businesses, over 200 people have registered their interest.

This innovative project, called Gower Power Solar Storage, is the first of its kind providing local people with a chance to buy locally produced renewable energy over the local grid. When you sign up for our local energy supply offer you can rest assured that profits of the scheme will stay in the local area.

We are exploring how to expand the scheme; but if you live in or have business premised in Swansea you can still be part of the first roll out. Secure your clean local energy supply AND support community projects by starting the switching process today.

This Welsh Government backed scheme will supply affordable 100% green electricity to up to 300 local households and businesses.

Electricity will be generated and stored at a community owned solar farm in Dunvant, with Bristol Energy Ltd providing customer care.

 

Profits for projects

We are delighted to have awarded grants to the following projects… made possible from the sales of green electricity from Brynwhilach solar farm!

 

We’ve just awarded grants to:

 

Down to Earth Project

If you’ve read our website and blog articles, you’ll know about our concern that society needs to function differently if we are going to address climate change.

Key to this is good health and life chances being enjoyed by everyone. Swansea has huge disparities in educational outcomes, income levels and life expectancy between leafy West and post-industrial East.

That’s why we’re so pleased that, thanks to people who buy green electricity and invest in our community shares, we can offer funds to projects aiming to make a positive difference, such as…

Down to Earth Project is a sustainable construction company. Construction in the UK is fraught with environmental problems. Raw materials are often gathered in unsustainable ways, then processed via polluting methods (the “roasting” stage in cement production is a massive contributor to global warming, for example) and not dealt with responsibly at the end of their life. So it’s great to have a company right here on the Gower, showing how we can do things differently.

Through their “Build Me Up” project, Down to Earth works with adults who have been unemployed for a long time. The project enables participants to develop accredited skills in sustainable construction and sustainable land management, moving closer to a paid job whilst improving their well-being.

Down to Earth understands the importance of people developing new skills in co-operative settings. Their approach has been clinically proven to help people recover from physical and emotional trauma, build confidence and improve mental health. Director and co-founder of Down to Earth Mark McKenna said,

“We’re very excited about this new project which will allow more than 150 people to benefit from our clinically valid approach to improving health and wellbeing whilst developing amazing spaces for future groups to learn in and enjoy.”

And another really exciting part of this story is that our contribution helps Down to Earth to secure European funding from the Active Inclusion Fund.

Clydach Community Garden

With our interest in conserving nature and improving biodiversity, and given how keen we are on sustainable, co-operative communities, we were really interested to hear about Clydach Community Garden. And thanks to people who buy our green electricity and invest in our community share offers, we were pleased to support their work in January 2020 with a grant of £1,250.

Co-ordinator, Neil Barry, had this to say,

“This is really exciting … a new fruit growing area will reduce food poverty, promote healthier diets, be a great learning resource, improve health and well-being, reduce food miles and benefit pollinators!”

The Community Garden is run entirely by volunteers, led by the hugely knowledgeable horticulturalist and educator, Neil Barry. Frequently brought in to support community growing projects of various kinds, Neil’s commitment will often see him staying involved and providing advice and support well beyond the terms of his contracts. He has a deep appreciation for the therapeutic effects of gardening and growing, and Clydach Community Garden began as a “social prescribing” project for the local GP cluster to refer people to if they were struggling with poor mental health.

The benefits of physical activity in the fresh air are huge, and the garden, created out of a patch of barren wasteland, soon needed polytunnels to allow participants to continue their work during wet weather. A surplus of produce including salads and other fresh veg has been being gratefully received by the local foodbank.

Funding from our one of our renewable energy projects will go towards the development of a fruit orchard, adding to the produce available for sharing and the range of activities volunteers can get involved in.

New volunteers are always welcome. For more details visit the Clydach Community Garden Facebook page, e-mail neilbarryhorticulture@gmail.com or call Neil on 07808 502527

Cae Tan CSA

Readers of our website and blog will know all about our interest in food, our concern for nature and our desire for a fairer society where everyone can enjoy good health. You will also know that when people buy our green electricity and invest in our community share offers, profits go to local good causes.

We are delighted to support Cae Tan’s Sustainable Schools programme with a grant of £2,500 in January 2020.

The programme works with schools in areas of high deprivation, giving children the experience of growing food whilst learning about the environment and about sustainable methods of food production. Teachers love the programme, which achieves so many of the national curriculum’s learning outcomes whilst getting kids out in the fresh air and developing empowering new skills.

The “Seed to Plate” project enables children to grow wheat, tomatoes, onions and herbs which are made into pizza in a wood fired oven for the whole school to enjoy; also green beans, potatoes and other ingredients for a hearty soup shared at a special tasting event for families and friends.

Jessie Kidd from Cae Tan said,

“As well as enabling us to deliver our Sustainable Schools programme to 45 children in East Swansea primary schools, this funding will help us secure match funding to deliver the project to even more classes.”

We’re really grateful for what Cae Tan is doing to help ensure that consumers of the future think about food miles, packaging and sustainable agriculture, as well as hopefully having healthy diets and lifestyles and appreciating the value of fresh, local food.

Pontardulais Partnership

Because food is not treated as a basic human right in our economy which is set up to create poverty traps for so many on low incomes, we have seen the rise of food banks and hunger in our communities.

Food banks do not offer food security but they do enable survival, particularly when combined with an offer of survival skills. Claiming benefits is a confusing minefield. Cooking and eating healthily on a very tight budget is a challenge. Such skills aren’t always taught in school or at home, and many people living with low-income stress feel too overwhelmed and depressed to try.

That’s why we are so pleased that with proceeds from the sales of our green electricity, we can fund great schemes like the Pontarddulais Partnership’s Food and Nutrition project, who receive £1,250 from us in January 2020.

The project provides support to people needing to claim benefits, and needing to rediscover and develop skills in money management, food preparation and basic cooking. It also ensures that supplies from the food bank get out to those who need them.

Our funds will allow a sessional worker to train and support volunteers, increasing the reach of this project into the local community.

To find out more…

Have a browse through our website where you’ll be able to read about some of our projects as well find out why we up to what we are up to!

Gower Power

 

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