The M&S Energy Fund 2017 recently awarded twenty-five community energy projects with a share of £300,000. In an important bid to tackle energy concerns and develop awareness in the wider community, the competition is an exemplary display of how the Crowd can come together to implement environmental change.
With more than 130,000 votes cast in this year’s competition, the largest amount in the fund’s three-year history, it’s safe to say that it was the fiercest competition seen so far – with some projects breaking totally new ground.
You can see all of the winners from this year’s M&S Energy Fund competition here.
Let’s have a look at some of the innovators who won a share of the funds on offer.
The Avenues Youth Project, London
M&S Energy Grant awarded – £11,135
Match funds received – £4,300 from Trust for London & City Bridge Trust
Established in 1979 in response to the high levels of teenage pregnancies, child poverty and the limited life chances that children in the area continue to deal with, The New Avenues Youth Project aims to engage hard-to-motivate young people. Looking for funds to deliver a new 9-month project that will offer the incentive of getting varied work experience and CV building, they hope to tackle the continuing high levels of economic inactivity and child poverty.
Alongside collecting votes, the project also raised funds on Crowdfunder, crowdfunding an impressive £4,200 from the Crowd. They are also the first M&S Energy Fund project to ever receive match-funding from one of Crowdfunder’s partners throughout the competition’s three year history, gaining an extra £4,300 from Trust for London & City Bridge Trust.
The M&S Judge’s said, “A truly inspiring project situated in one of the most deprived communities in west London. The Avenues Youth Project put together a fantastic video showcasing the array of activities and services provided at the centre for children, including a number of lessons promoting energy efficiency and sustainable living. Over the past few years the organisation has had to find alternative means of funding and the judges were impressed by the organisation’s drive – in what has been difficult few years – to connect with some of the more marginal groups in society and educate them on the importance of living sustainably.”
Roundwood Tennis Club, East
M&S Energy Grant awarded: £12,000
Roundwood Tennis Club is a small community club in Ipswich, Suffolk, with a growing junior membership, and they received a share of the funds so that they could become a pilot scheme to use new technology developed by MacRebur (Virgin Media Business Start Up Voom Winner 2016). They want to tackle the urgent need to resurface their 3 asphalt courts with this innovative product that replaces the bitumen content of asphalt with plastic waste instead.
It’s a great example of a truly different type of energy project that promotes an innovative approach to a more sustainable future.
The MacRebur technology is specifically designed to improve the strength and durability of asphalt, whilst reducing the quantity of bitumen required in the mix. Made from 100% waste materials, it provides a unique way of enhancing asphalt to be more sustainable, cost effective and longer lasting.