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Transform your community with a free garden package from Local Places for Nature

Since the first year of Local Places for Nature in 2020, nearly 800 gardens have been created, restored and enhanced. Community groups and organisations of all shapes and sizes got involved – from disability charities and youth groups to social enterprises and carer groups.

Applications have now reopened, and communities are being urged to get involved early to avoid missing out. The new online application system makes it very easy to apply and review progress, as well as offering resources, guidance and updates from the Local Places for Nature scheme. You can choose from small or larger-scale wildlife and food growing gardens, or for the first time the scheme is offering a new community orchard package.

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said:

“The pandemic has given us all a greater appreciation of nature and its importance on our health and mental wellbeing.

“I’m pleased to be supporting another year of Local Places for Nature. The programme makes it easy for people from all backgrounds and abilities to get involved, as a community, to create and enjoy nature in the places where we live and spend most of our time.
“Valuing nature and taking small local level actions is so important as part of the collective effort needed to tackle the nature emergency, and support the variety of plants and animals we love to see in Wales.”

Deputy Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy Louise Tambini said:

“Over the past two years, people have really appreciated the value of nature and we’re delighted to offer again free garden packs to communities. We know that gardening and being out in nature has a positive impact on mental wellbeing, and it’s a great way to keep fit and meet new people. Through Local Places for Nature, we have created hundreds of new habitats and spaces for nature, which is vital in the current climate emergency and decline in biodiversity.”

“Thanks to the ongoing support of Welsh Government and our partners our garden packs include all the materials and tools you need to create a new space for nature and Keep Wales Tidy staff will be on hand to install the garden.”

The initiative is jointly funded by the Welsh Government, part of a wider Welsh Government ‘Local Places for Nature’ programme committed to creating, restoring and enhancing nature ‘on your doorstep’ and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

To apply for a free garden pack, visit the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru/nature

Foundational Economy Community of Practice

The foundational economy community of practice started in July 2020 as part of the Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy Challenge Fund. Its aim was to share learning and innovation, build relationships and encourage collaboration.

The Challenge Fund provided support to projects looking to try out new ways to address challenges – some emerging, some age-old – faced by foundational economy businesses or those relying on their services.

These included:

  • the recruitment, retention and skills of the workforce
  • the delivery structures and design of services
  • the recruitment, retention and skills of the workforce
  • the delivery structures and design of services

The aim was to explore a range of solutions that could potentially generate viable, adaptable models that could be scaled up and spread to strengthen local economies and community wealth-building.

Staring in 2019 with an initial 52 projects, it was always expected that some experiments would not succeed and conditions were made even more challenging by the impact of the pandemic.

A community of practice was also however put in place to help capture some of the rich learning and insights generated by all the projects taking part. The examples in the case studies below give a flavour of the projects supported by the Fund – their successes, challenges and above all learning, about how best the foundational economy in their area or sector can be supported. The Fund closed in March 2021 but, at the request of members, the community of practice has continued. Its role continues to be to share learning, encourage and expand dialogue and facilitate collaboration.

If you would be interested in joining a session or finding out more, please contact clare@cynnalcymru.com.

Scroll down to read some of our case studies.

Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly

In March 2021, it will bring together 50 people from the Blaenau Gwent area to address the question:

What should we do in Blaenau Gwent to tackle the climate crisis in a way that is fair and improves living standards for everyone?

The participants will hear evidence, discuss the issues, and produce recommendations for what local public service organisations, communities and individuals can do to address the climate crisis. The recommendations made will be considered by organisations including Blaenau Gwent Council and will help to shape the climate plans of local housing associations.

The Climate Assembly will explore the overarching question through learning about, and discussion of related sub-themes including housing, nature / green space and transport.

Lead Experts will present information on climate change and the sub-themes to provide context for the discussions.

The Assembly is being organised by four housing associations in Blaenau Gwent in collaboration with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Electoral Reform Society, Cynnal Cymru.

A Steering Group has been established to oversee the organisation and format of the Assembly.

Find out more >>

The Carbon Literacy Project

The Award-winning Carbon Literacy Project aims to ensure that every citizen receives at least one day’s worth of learning so that they understand the links between human activity and climate change while empowering individuals, communities and organisations to take action to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Official partner of the Carbon Literacy Project in Wales

Cynnal Cymru is the official partner of the Carbon Literacy Project in Wales and our principal trainer, Rhodri Thomas, was also the first resident Welsh certified Carbon Literacy trainer in Wales. To date he has trained over 450 people and has seen the concept take hold across Wales.

We have been working with the Carbon Literacy Project since 2017 to help accelerate action on climate change, by providing organisations with the training and support needed to reduce their carbon emissions.


Our achievements to date include:

  • Training the Sustainable Development forum of Museum Wales, supporting initial efforts by the whole museum sector to develop bespoke Carbon Literacy training.
  • Co-founding Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru – a consortium of twenty seven housing associations and overseeing the training of around 140 staff including a ‘Train the Trainer’ programme as well as the development of a dedicated Carbon Literacy course for the social housing sector. Our partners in the consortium are launching a cascade of peer to peer training using their own course.
  • Funded by National Resources Wales, we worked with Manchester Metropolitan University and Great Places Housing group to train over 200 leaders and influencers from the organisations that make up the five Gwent Public Service Boards.
  • Trained the whole cabinet and executive management team of Newport City Council.
  • Developed an introduction to climate change e-learning course for Denbighshire County Council staff that will accompany their Carbon Literacy training.
  • Designed a Carbon Literacy for Engineers course in collaboration with the Flexis programme.
  • Trained and supported Cardiff Council colleagues and cabinet members enabling them to apply for the Bronze Carbon Literacy Organisation accreditation.
  • Regularly provide training for staff at The National Lottery
  • Trained the environmental champions of Sinclair Group
  • Continue to run monthly open courses online for people from all over the world.

We are aiming to develop Carbon Literacy courses for new sectors such as finance and law. This September we launch our ‘Train The Trainer’ course to enable people to run their own courses and an e-learn “introduction to Climate Change” that will support an organisation’s Carbon Literacy programme.

The Carbon Literacy Project

The Carbon Literacy Project is wholly owned by The Carbon Literacy Trust, a registered charity (No 1156722) established in 2013 to take responsibility for The Project in perpetuity, for the public good.

The Project delivers no training directly, but works with a host of people and organisations from all walks of life, that all deliver training that is accredited against the Carbon Literacy Standard. The Project then assesses participant’s and certifies successful candidates with their own uniquely numbered Carbon Literacy certificate.

Due to this ‘crowdsourced’ approach, working with everyone, from all walks of life, The Carbon Literacy Project is globally unique – there is nothing else quite like it anywhere. This was recognised by the United Nations at the UN climate negotiations, COP21, in Paris in 2015, where the Project was awarded TAP100 status, – one of 100 projects worldwide recognised as Transformative Action Programmes, that could materially change the way we deal with climate change.

Living Wage for Wales

Cynnal Cymru works in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation and other leading organisations in Wales to support employers with accreditation and work towards achieving the Living Wage for all workers in Wales.

Organisations that pay the Living Wage have reported significant improvements in quality of work, reductions in staff absence and turnover, and a stronger corporate reputation.

The real Living Wage across the UK for is £9:90 an hour and £11.05 an hour in London. There are over 5000 Living Wage Employers across the UK with 359 Living Wage employers in Wales.



You can find how to become accredited by visiting our new Living Wage for Wales website:

www.livingwage.wales

Project Sylfaen

In 2019, Cynnal Cymru, in partnership with Wales Co-operative Centre, won funding from the Co-op Foundation to take six community-led environmental organisations in Wales on a development journey. The aim was to deliver a bespoke programme of capacity-building support to help enhance the engagement, governance, business planning, income generation and other skills needed to sustain a successful community venture.

The six organisations that joined the programme were:

Each received a root and branch review of their skills and development needs. These identified common challenges around things like governance structures and resisting mission-drift amid pressure to generate income.

These insights were used to create a tailored 12 month programme of development support, complemented by virtual gatherings to share learning and experience. Sessions ranged from covering the basics – Financial Planning and Record-keeping – to the exploratory and aspirational – Rethinking Income Streams and Enterprising Leadership. Other topics included marketing, safeguarding, strengths mapping and business planning.

In order to maximise the benefits of the programme, each of the six ‘core beneficiaries’ were invited to bring along there other local community environmental partners to training and networking sessions. As a result, 15 other organisations were able to share in these capacity-building sessions with 102 training places being taken up by 40 staff members, councillors, project volunteers and trustees.

Although almost all of the programme had been expected to be face-to-face pre-Covid, inevitably the majority of the training, peer-learning and networking activities moved online. Some project visits and Open Days – the most eagerly-anticipated aspects of the Sylfaen programme – did take place however towards the end of the project.

Whilst feedback about the whole programme has been positive, The response to these visits has been the most inspirational, highlighting the importance of connecting environmental visionaries with others striving for similar aims and experiencing similar barriers.

“Thank you, Cynnal Cymru. I think it is a truly worthwhile project and one that I feel needs to continue.”

Robbie Bowman, Coed Dylan

For these organisations, Sylfaen provided not only “..a renewed faith in humanity” (Melissa Dhillon, Llyn Parc Mawr Community Woodland) but “.. a sense that we are part of a larger group” which makes “travelling this, sometimes lonely, road a nicer experience.” (Robbie Bowman, Coed Dylan)

This joining-up of minds and actions is something that Cynnal Cymru routinely enables – whether it’s through our awards, newsletters, summits or networking events. This is because, as neatly summed up by another participant, “There are many people doing amazing things, often in isolation.”

Breaking new ground, undertaking pioneering projects, or even struggling to maintain tried and tested methods in the face of austerity can be daunting. Bringing people together, not only to share ideas but to remind them that they are not alone, generates a tremendous energy and refreshes the determination to continue. Cynnal Cymru has been delighted to be a part of the Sylfaen programme because, as another participant shares, it is initiatives like this that boost not only individual projects but progress towards sustainability at a national scale.

“One of the best aspects of the Sylfaen project is finding out about other projects across Wales that are contributing to sustainable development and meeting the people who are behind them.

If there is to be a greater movement across Wales towards sustainability, it is important that initiatives like Sylfaen continue to facilitate this bringing together of people … to work collaboratively towards a sustainable future.”

Mara Morris, Denmark Farm

You can read more reflections about the Sylfaen project in the Resources section below.

Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru

The CLCC consortium came together in 2019 in order to increase Carbon Literacy within their organisations. By working together they were able to pool money and resources to increase capacity and knowledge across the consortium.

CLCC has worked with 29 different RSL’s and currently has 25 members across Wales, representing 128,539 homes.

Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales run the secretariat for CLCC, organising meetings, holding funds for use by the consortium, providing support around Carbon Literacy and facilitating community of practice sessions for CLCC trainers.

CLCC 20/21 and 21/22 members

Carbon Literacy is defined as a day’s worth of learning around the causes and consequences of climate change, action you can take on climate change and empowerment to make individual and group actions personally and professionally.

The Carbon Literacy Project has defined the standard of Carbon Literacy and accredits courses and learners.

29 different RSLs from around Wales have either worked with or a part of the consortium – demonstrating the motivation from the sector to collaborate to create change. The programme has increased the number of Carbon Literacy trainers in Wales from 1 to over 70.

The current chair of CLCC is Aled Guy, Sustainability and Decarbonisation Manager at Tai Tarian.

“We’ve done the [Carbon Literacy] training, it’s raised awareness and as a consequence, this has now happened. Would we be looking at electrifying our fleet this year? No. But we are. Would we be looking at half a million-pound investment to kickstart our carbon reduction plan. No. But we are. We are now re-procuring our energy to go to green renewables.”

Richard Mann, Deputy Chief Executive and Group Director Operations, United Welsh.

CLCC history

In October 2019 representatives from 16 different RSLs around Wales came together to learn more about The Carbon Literacy Project and hear a proposal to create a Carbon Literacy consortium of RSLs in Wales.

The delegates of this meeting edited the proposal which went back out to all RSLs in Wales. In January 2020 a meeting surrounding this proposal led to the creation of a Carbon Literacy consortium of 27 Welsh RSLs. The consortium was named Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru (CLCC).

Programme

  • February 2020 – Phase I; rounds of Carbon Literacy training for member organisations delivered by Cynnal Cymru.
  • March 2020 – Lockdown. Training continues remotely with a new online course and the whole CLCC programme is moved online. 65 member organisation employees receive training and became Carbon Literate.
  • May 2020 – Phase II; 5 training experts from within the consortium work with Cynnal Cymru and Manchester Metropolitan to develop a customisable Carbon Literacy course for Welsh social housing.
  • October 2020 – Phase III; Each member organisation will have at least 2 members of staff trained as Carbon Literacy trainers by Manchester Metropolitan. They will be trained to deliver the courses developed in Phase II.
  • The future – Phase IIII; Member organisations can use their trainers to deliver Carbon Literacy training internally to staff and embed Carbon Literacy into their induction process. Cynnal Cymru are supporting this with facilitated community of practice sessions for trainers providing a space for cross organisational learning, support and Carbon Literacy course development.
  • CLCC are also exploring collaboratively funding other projects to support their decarbonisation such as self-evaluation carbon footprint tools.

Journey of Carbon Literacy

  • Deliver Carbon Literacy course
  • Trainer facilitates achievable but ambitious actions
  • Learner evidence forms are sent to The Carbon Literacy Project
  • The Carbon Literacy Project assesses whether a learner is Carbon Literate based on their evidence form
  • Carbon Literacy Champions within CLCC organisations should follow up on actions
  • Organisational behaviour change on climate change is accelerated

If you would like to know more please contact:

Fiona Humphreys, Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru (CLCC) secretariat: fiona@cynnalcymru.com

Luke Penny, Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru (CLCC) coordinator: luke@cynnalcymru.com

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