Community groups share £5,000
February 22, 2012
RENEWABLE energy and people power have combined to give three local groups in Wadebridge a share of £5,000.
The Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) had the money in its kitty after its community energy projects created a cash surplus.
Members decided to put the money back into the community and held a vote to make sure the most popular causes won.
After a month-long polling event, the democratic process officially ended last Friday when the ballot box closed at 3pm.
Representatives of the six shortlisted groups were invited to attend the vote count at WREN’s Energy Shop on the Platt, Wadebridge, which was overseen by PCSO Phil Chanter from Devon and Cornwall Police.
In a close-run race, the three front-runners were virtually neck and neck throughout the count.
“We ended with a dead-heat in top position with the third group, the Guides, only a dozen or so votes behind,” said WREN volunteer and treasurer, Richard Alexander.
Wadebridge Foodbank and StoreHouse and the Wadebridge Youth Project got the most votes and each receives a cheque for £2,250.
The third pot of money, £500, goes to Wadebridge and District Guides, who are raising money for The Dream Hut Project which will pay for a new fit-for-purpose Guide hut in Wadebridge.
Chris Penfold, youth leader with Wadebridge Youth Project, which runs three weekly youth clubs, said: “The project is thrilled to have won the vote to receive a grant from the WREN Community Fund.
“The support of the community expressed by voting for the much-needed community youth minibus is a great encouragement.
“This money is a big boost to our fundraising, as we now have more than £5,000 of the £25,000 we need.”
Wadebridge Foodbank and StoreHouse will use its share of the money to carry out renovation work on its new premises at Bridgend.
“We hope in future to work with the Foodbank in tackling fuel poverty in the area,” said WREN volunteer Lizzy-Jane Frankel.
“There’s been a lot of propaganda about renewable energy costing people money and it doesn’t have to be that way. If communities are enabled to take control of energy then the benefits can stay local and energy can be an asset not just a cost.
“As well as the Community Fund, WREN is currently working with the Cornish charity Community Energy Plus, to hold energy clinics around the area so that everyone can get the information and help they need to cut their energy bills, access grants and improve the energy efficiency of their homes.”
To find out more, go to http://www.wren.uk.com or drop in to the Energy Shop on the Platt.
Source: This is Cornwall (http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Community-groups-share-pound-5-000/story-15292381-detail/story.html)