Over £6 million has today (25 January) been awarded to communities across the UK to help tackle climate change by reducing their waste.
The funding has gone to 21 community-led projects focused on waste and consumption.
The grants come from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. They include £150,000 to Circular Fashion Economy, in Norwich, to expand its successful clothing-swap shop concept across Norfolk, and £150,000 to Groundwork South and North Tyneside to create a ‘repair and reuse’ culture within the local community. Communities’ Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in Edinburgh is also benefitting from £150,000 in National Lottery funding – enabling it to support local people to reduce their waste and consumption habits while diverting items from landfill.
These projects will bring people together to create a lower waste society, that will not only help us get to net zero, but also support communities to prosper and thrive
This new community funding comes as recent National Lottery research suggests that four in five adults in the UK (79%) think local communities are responsible for taking action on climate change. The research also suggests that half (54%) of people are worried about the impact of climate on their local community.
David Knott, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We know communities have a big role to play in responding to the climate emergency. That’s why, thanks to National Lottery players, we are pleased to be supporting community-led action to address waste and consumption.
“These projects will bring people together to create a lower waste society, that will not only help us get to net zero, but also support communities to prosper and thrive.”
Circular Fashion Economy, Norwich
One of the projects to receive National Lottery funding is Circular Fashion Economy, in Norwich, which will use £150,000 to build on its successful clothing swap shop.
The project, run by New-U Enterprises Ltd, will host clothes swap events across Norfolk, helping to reduce waste and make exchanging clothes and accessories more accessible and inclusive.
It hopes to involve over 15,000 local people and put over 80,000 items of clothing back into circulation, avoiding landfill. The project will also run a local ‘Sustainable Conference’ to showcase how Norfolk residents, business, and charities can reduce waste.
Sue Buffon, CEO at Circular Fashion Economy, said: “Thanks to National Lottery funding, the Circular Fashion Economy Project will enable more people to reduce their textile waste.
“By encouraging the wider public to put used clothing back into circulation for something in return, we are offering an alternative shopping experience which gives everyone in the community an opportunity to contribute towards reducing the negative effects of climate change.”
Groundwork South and North Tyneside, Tyneside
Almost £150,000 in National Lottery funding will support Groundwork South and North Tyneside to introduce a new bulky waste service, including a pre-loved retail outlet and restoration skills workshops, created in partnership with South Tyneside Council.
The group hopes to create a ‘circular economy’ – extending the lifecycle of items and appliances such as fridges by reusing, repairing, and recycling products for as long as possible.
Alene Lee, Business and Funding Manager at Groundwork South and North Tyneside, said: “As a society, we are quick to look for new items, particularly when it comes to needing new furniture and household items.
“However, with this new funding, thanks to National Lottery players, we can develop our pre-used household furniture outlet and encourage people to reuse and repair items.”
Communities’ Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, Edinburgh
Based in Edinburgh, Communities’ Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – a partnership between Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council Limited (ELREC) and Networking Key Services (NKS) – today receives £150,000 to work with local ethnic minority communities, helping them to change their waste and consumption habits.
In a joint statement, Jean-Matthieu Gaunand (ELREC) & Naina Minhas (NKS), said: “We are delighted to have received National Lottery funding from the Climate Action Fund. We hope to encourage and support ethnic minority communities in Edinburgh to reduce waste, increase reusing and repairing, and shift to more sustainable consumption.
“Our two organisations will work together with local ethnic minority communities and deliver a range of activities including clothing repairs and alterations sessions, sewing classes, swap shop events, fashion shows, delivery of rescued food parcels to vulnerable families, leftover cookery sessions, upcycling and composting workshops, educational visits, and more!”
Today’s 21 awards have been funded through The National Lottery-funded Climate Action Fund (CAF) – a £100 million fund that aims to reduce the carbon footprint of communities and support community-led movements that demonstrate what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change.