Renfrewshire Council

MEDIA RELEASE: Community climate change projects awarded £50,000

Communities in Renfrewshire will reduce food waste and emissions, recycle old clothes and textiles, and create community gardens, biodiversity areas and food growing areas thanks to funding awards from Renfrewshire Council.

The Community Climate Fund was created by Renfrewshire Council to offer local communities the chance to make environmental changes in their local area that will contribute to the target of Renfrewshire reaching net-zero by 2030.

£50,000 was allocated from the Council's £1million Climate Change Action Fund, with up to £3,000 available to community organisations for each project - and a total of 18 projects have been successful.

One of a range of innovative ideas was a Climate Cooking Challenge devised by the Tannahill Centre in Paisley, which will reduce food waste by sharing techniques and skills with the local community around making the most of raw food, leftovers and surplus food.

Jamie Mallan, Business Transformation Manager at the Tannahill Centre, said: "This funding is going to make a big difference to families and individuals in Ferguslie as it will enable us to support local families by helping them to reduce food and energy costs at home at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is hitting really hard.

"Author Lorna Cooper will run workshops for residents from Ferguslie where she will share some of the recipes detailed in her book 'Feed your Family for £20' and some of the advice and tips she shares on social media which help families make leftovers go further, whilst also reducing their energy costs."

Lorna will also work with the local sewing group, The Feegie Needlers, to produce non-electric slow cookers. 

She said: "Made from a duvet and some fabric, non-electric slow cookers are a popular way of slow cooking all over the world. After bringing a pot of food to the boil and placing it inside the slow cooker, the retained heat will continue cooking for up to eight hours without any additional energy source."

Renfrew YMCA SCIO plan to teach young people in the community about the effects of 'fast-fashion' on the environment and support them to carry out upcycling of clothes and textiles, with the aim of hosting an eco-friendly fashion show.

Taylor Smith, Renfrew YMCA Youth Development Worker, said: "Our project is an upcycling project that provides children and young people with the skills to take old clothes and make something new as we try to tackle the fast fashion problem and help with climate change.

"We are so excited that we have received this funding and have already started making upcycling hair bands and bangles in our summer programme."

The Council's Climate Change Action Fund provides initial funding to pilot new ideas and approaches, to support engagement and partnership working across Renfrewshire, and to accelerate the pace of change already being delivered through existing initiatives.

It is one of a variety of initiatives in place to support Renfrewshire's aim of reaching net-zero by 2030.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council's Planning and Climate Change Policy Board, said: "It's fantastic to see the level of enthusiasm and creativity from our local communities as they help to tackle the climate change emergency in any way they can - and these projects are a shining example of what can be done.

"As a Council, climate change is considered in every decision we take and we are reducing our carbon emissions at every opportunity, but we know that we need our communities and businesses to do the same.

"We've set an ambitious target of reaching net-zero by 2030, but I am confident that as a Council we can lead from the front with the initiatives we have in place now and to come.

"Climate Change is a key priority of this administration, and we will continue to do all we can to reduce our emissions and support all of Renfrewshire to do the same."

Other projects which received funding include food growing initiatives in Lochwinnoch, Williamsburgh Primary; community gardens in Kirklandneuk Primary, Langbank Primary, The Good Shephard Centre in Bishopton, Johnstone Castle Community Centre, Bishopton Community Centre and the Finding Your Feet centre in Paisley; biodiversity improvements in Ferguslie and Lochwinnoch; funding for bike repairs to support active travel; environmental improvements to the Howwood Park pavilion and Ferguslie Cricket Club; 'Repair, Make Do and Mend' sewing workshops, videos and a Mending Skills toolkit by Mossvale Community Church; and a community dye garden in Paisley.

All applicants whose projects did not receive funding have been supported by the Council and Engage Renfrewshire to identify other possible funding opportunities.

For more information on climate change projects in Renfrewshire, visit Climate Change.

Published 18 July 2022.