Groundwork London Seeks Faith Community Leaders to Help Energise their Community

The following is a release on behalf of Groundwork London, a social and environmental regeneration charity working to improve some of London’s most deprived areas.

Groundwork London is looking for faith communities to participate in a new energy saving initiative called SPIRIT. Local community members will be trained as SPIRIT Energy Champions, who will be able to offer valuable energy saving advice and support to their friends, families and the wider faith community.

The Energy Champions, supported by Groundwork London’s professional energy advisors – known as Green Doctors – will deliver energy efficiency advice sessions within their community. The sessions will be a mixture of energy efficiency advice, the installation of small measures and other relevant advice including fuel switching, income maximisation and signposting to further support.

The project is extremely flexible, and no experience is required – full training will be provided.

SPIRIT, a European-funded project running in eight EU countries, aims to support and empower faith-based communities and networks, offering face-to face energy saving advice to those who would benefit the most from this assistance. In this way, local communities are supported in using energy more efficiently, bringing down their energy bills and improving their health and well-being, as well as contributing to tackling climate change.

An increasing number of faith groups are becoming active in calling for action on climate change on an international scale, participating in the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference in Paris. SPIRIT is an opportunity for faith groups to take part in action on a local scale. Many leaders are clear that the fight against climate change is one which everyone needs to get involved in as an expression of their faith.

Bilgen Tuncay, a Green Doctor supporting volunteers in Ealing, said “SPIRIT has many different valuable elements, and is a great opportunity for the volunteers to support their own community, show their faith through action and spread the word in order to protect the environment. They are also able to learn about and understand energy saving methods, which could lead to potential career opportunities in the future.”

The project is taking place in the boroughs of Ealing, Barnet and Hackney.

Please direct any enquiries to Boglarka Meixner, SPIRIT Volunteer Coordinator, at [email protected] or 07903 765128.

More information can be found at: www.spirit‐project.eu or on Twitter – @EE_Spirit_EU

SPIRIT is non-denominational, and will be working with a number of different faith groups in London. The project will not fund religious activity of any kind, but will draw on the sector’s considerable strengths and assets, such as the ability to deliver services and initiatives through its established formal volunteering networks and informal peer-to-peer support. The project aims to deliver 1400 in home visits by May 2016, and to train at least 70 volunteers.