Going for green
East Thames' Russ Mclean (right) at the project launch with Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman
An East Thames project using the inspiration of the 2012 Olympics to help residents live healthier, more sustainable lives has been awarded £200,000 funding from DEFRA.
East Thames was one of four organisations awarded the funding, as part of DEFRA’s Inspiring Sustainable Living grants which will use the 2012 Olympics as inspiration to give local communities practical and achievable ways to live more sustainably.
The projects were launched last month on the Olympic site by Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, who said that the projects will have positive effects for the environment and lead to people living healthier lifestyles.
East Thames’ project, Inspired for Sustainable Living, is aimed at helping our Newham residents with:
- A home resource toolkit with tools and tips on saving water and energy and increasing recycling
- Workshops and training for resident environmental volunteers who will help their neighbours learn to be more environmentally friendly
- Two food growing sites for young people from East Thames’ foyers (supported accommodation for young people at risk of becoming homeless) to learn about growing, cooking and enjoying better health with fresh seasonal foods.
The project is expected to deliver results by 2013 and East Thames will conduct research during that time to observe environmental behaviours and find out the best methods of helping residents adopt greener lifestyles. The lessons learnt will help East Thames develop a final sustainable home toolkit to be used by households in the Athletes Village post 2012 and also rolled out to other landlords across the region.
East Thames Director of Social and Economic Regeneration, Pamela Gardner said: “This programme provides a fantastic chance for East Thames to help our residents live greener and more sustainable lifestyles. It will also ensure a vital legacy beyond the 2012 Games as we can use the knowledge we gain to help people living in urban environments like east London to lead more sustainable lives for generations to come.”
The other three grants were awarded by DEFRA for the following projects:
- One Planet Living (Bioregional) – will recruit 2,012 inspirational role models, including Olympians and Paralympians, to help them achieve more long-term sustainable lifestyles, and act as community leaders for sustainability. An interactive sustainability centre at the Games will encourage athletes to make and keep their sustainability pledges. Olympic sponsor Coca-Cola will also provide support for this project.
- Transform Project (Groundwork London) – will transform 20 areas of derelict land into local green spaces or community gardens, as well as improving local recycling rates.
- Active Travel Volunteers (Sustrans) – will develop a network of volunteers providing one-to-one assistance to local residents to make healthier and more environmentally-friendly long-term transport choices.