Thanks to support from Commmunity Energy London and over 50 local investors SE24 has now completed the installation of over 300 solar PV panels and over 1000 new LED light fittings to transform two schools in the Charter Educational Trust: Charter School, North Dulwich and Charles Dickens Primary School, Borough.
These projects will significantly reduce the schools’ energy bills and their carbon footprint.
You can find out more about how these projects happened and how they help the school and Southwark towards their net-zero target at the launch event on 6 July 2022 17.00-18.00. Click here to register on Eventbrite.
This is a gallery of screenprints that were made in Herne Hill, London. The prints and voices that go with them are from people who live in a way that is solving climate change. Their stories show what it feels like to face up to climate change, and show that living in way that brings hope to the future doesn’t mean giving up an enjoyable life, but instead is empowering, rewarding, creative, and fulfilling.
SE24 are pleased to welcome Will Shanks to the SE24 board following the resignation of Laura Wilson who has moved out of the area. Will has made a great contribution as a volunteer. He also brings down the average age of the SE24 board whcih we are very pleased about.
Will introduces himself.
“I am an SE22 native currently residing in E1. I have been concerned and passionate (although passionate feels like the wrong word) about climate change since I learnt about the greenhouse effect, and its consequences, in school at the age of 15. At the time I could not – and still can’t – understand why people didn’t seem to be taking it seriously; trying to tackle climate catastrophe became the motivation behind all the big decisions in my life.
I studied engineering at university and now work for an environmental research consultancy helping other organisations try to reduce their own carbon footprint or generate wider environmental benefits associated with things such as land use – a role I really enjoy. Before that I worked in France for an organisation in the energy efficiency sphere.
Frankly, I do not believe in the ability of the political/economic system which governs our lives to deal with climate change in a way which is just for everyone – particularly those in worse-off places in the world, or the ‘Global South’.
This is why organisations like SE24 are so important. I encountered SE24 through a friend and have been helping out in various guises for about 4 years, particularly on the more ‘technical’ issues like financial modelling of new projects. My heart is constantly warmed by seeing a group of local, friendly people take back power into their own hands for such a wonderful and critical goal. Achieving climate justice – by tackling things like fuel poverty in South London – is at the heart of what they do.
As a new director my only aim is to continue learning from the Board, allowing me to continue helping the local community into the future.”
Through 2021 our Community Fund has continued to help people facing fuel poverty. We all know how much energy prices are rising at the moment. Every little helps.
Each winter, many people struggle to afford to heat their homes. Living in a cold, damp home is stressful and very bad for health. Experts estimate that cold weather kills as many people each winter as smoking and alcohol abuse. For the elderly in particular cold weather increases the risks of heart disease, breathing difficultues, falls and injuries, and can deepen depression and sense of isolation. Such problems cost the NHS an estimated £1.36 billion each year.
This year our Community Fund has been boosted further by SE24 members who receive Winter Fuel Payments (a non-means tested benefit of £200 paid to all state pensioners each autumn) recycling their payment to those who most need it.
These payments have been channelled to those in most need via Christians Against Poverty (CAP) in the form of fuel vouchers and other emergency aid to help people keep warm this winter. (CAP work with people of all religions and none.)
CAP have entered an arrangement with the Fuel Bank Foundation (https://www.fuelbankfoundation.org/) who turn a one-off donation of £500 into £49 fuel vouchers for as many people as CAP refer to them this winter. Win-win! Any additional funds will be used by CAP to purchase additional items to help people stay warm such as duvets and scarfs.
So far seven members have added £1,400 to the Community Fund in this way. We will monitor the process this year and if we are satisfied with the way these funds have been used we will extend the scheme beyond members next year.
If you receive a Winter Fuel Payment and would like to donate your payment to SE24 Community Fund in future years please e mail us on [email protected]
As part of Eco Week, SE24 Sustainable Energy exhibited at the Y12 Symposium on ‘Being Green’. We enjoyed finding out what changes students were planning to make their own lives greener. There was a lot of interest in our solar PV installations on the Lord George Building and on the Sports Centre, and from the JAGS visitors a lot of interest in how to extend our project to include JAGS – maybe with a rootop solar project. JAGS neighbouring schools to north (Charter North) and south (Dulwich College) now host SE24 solar PV installations.
The third DAWN CC climate conference on 9 October 2021 was a resounding success. Herne Hill Baptist Church was packed. The presentations were dynamic and challenging. We had multiple congratulations from attendees. Local climate action groups presented their work in the market place. We intend to repeat the event next year.
Thanks to all the speakers and workshop leaders and volunteers who made the event so brilliant. You were fantastic.
The key note presentation was from Jo Haigh. Prof Joanna Haigh is Former IPCC report lead author and Former Co-Director of Imperial College’s Grantham Institute for Climate Change
She has kindly agreed to share her slides. See below
Abyan Farooq is ten years old and a right chatterbox who goes to a special school for the visually and hearing impaired in Liverpool – where they have put climate right at the centre of their curriculum. It’s just one of over 460 schools who have signed up to the coalition campaign www.letsgozero.org for all our schools to reach zero carbon by 2030.
Also backing the campaign are a number in South East London who will be gathering at an exciting event, supported by SE24 among many others, on 9th October to share what actions they are taking already – and to call on the Government to give them the support they need to reach zero carbon. It’s a crucial time to have some influence as world leaders prepare to gather for the COP26 climate talks to be held in the UK.
As Abyan Farooq in Liverpool explains: ‘It makes me feel very bad that we’re actually burning fossil fuels and making this earth hotter and sometimes killing the animals and trees”.
“It just makes me feel a bit upset and makes me want to do something to try and save the planet.”
Abyan stresses that we should all be doing something about this: “I’d say get out and do something. Visually impaired and blind people here are doing something, you better do it. Save our planet.”
At Abyan’s school, as at many schools across South East London and right around the country, children are growing food; debating if everyone should go veggie; planting wild flowers and growing green walls to clean up the air.
Some schools are saving rainwater or cutting waste while others are reducing meat in the schools meals – all part of a growing movement of schools, responding as best they can to the calls of young people. By joining the Let’s Go Zero campaign, schools commit to take action across 8 areas from curriculum to their energy systems.
At SE24, we always wanted to power up local schools which is why we are so excited about our solar panels on Dulwich College rooves – as well as our latest adventures with Charter School. We’ve also branched out into helping schools switch to LED lighting which, amazingly, can save them thousands of pounds as well as cutting their carbon footprint.
But young people and community groups alone cannot improve all our leaky old and cold school buildings, or improve the heating systems. For that, schools need our Government to invest in retrofitting or improving school buildings. That is why people at the conference will be asked to sign a letter to the Prime Minister asking the Government for such badly needed extra school resources, alongside a raft of wider measures to tackle climate change.
All these ideas and many more will be debated and exchanged at the exciting event in West Dulwich and Norwood. SE24 is an organising partner as part of our commitment to raise more awareness about the climate crisis – and about the solutions that do exist and which we need to roll out at scale and at pace. If children just get climate change; adults just need to get it done.