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Green Assist Project

da21 was responsible for delivering a Big Lottery funded project to deliver specialist support on environmental and sustainability services to Dorset’s third sector organisations. As a user-friendly label for use with community groups, da21 is called this work the GreenAssist project.

The project ran from 2009 to Jan 2012 and an evaluation report of the work undertaken is avaliable to download on this page.

The project was part of a wider initiative with partners Dorset Youth Association, Dorset Volunteer Bureau and Dorset Community Action (DCA). Dorset Community Action were the accountable body for the work as a whole. They also assisted da21 with delivery of this strand of work by line managing the GreenAssist project.

The GreenAssist project had two roles:

1) General community groups:

GreenAssist worked with any community-based organisation that would like to make its operations more environmentally sustainable (or “environment-friendly”). With increasing public awareness about climate change and other environmental issues, many community groups may want to do their bit by limiting their own environmental impact, but may not know how to go about it. GreenAssist helped community groups to understand the issues and the ways they could help, from small changes like recycling paper or using locally sourced food in catering, to more complex efforts like insulating buildings or installing renewable energy systems. The project’s Sustainability Officers (Paul McIntosh and Susan Anders) visited groups to talk with them and offer advice on:

  • understanding climate change
  • understanding carbon footprints
  • simple changes to make a differe
  • making more environmentally-friendly choicesnce
  • ideas for saving money & sources of funding for ‘green’ initiatives.

Simple advice which emerged from the project is avaliable to download on this page.

2) Community groups in the environment & sustainability sector.

Some community-based groups work specifically on issues connected with the environment and sustainability. For example, new Transition Town groups.

There are also many other ‘green’ groups in Dorset, such as those addressing issues like plastic bags or recycling, as well as more traditional groups like those helping to preserve their local green spaces or nature reserves and organisations like allotment associations and best kept village groups. The project assisted these groups which were already actively addressing sustainability issues by supporting them to do what they do more effectively. For example accessing funding for an idea; borrowing equipment for an event; or specific training. Any of the many things that community groups need to function more effectively. GreenAssist can helped these groups by giving advice, signposting to other sources of help, providing training and organising networking events sharing experiences, learn from each other and share resources.

This project has now ended and the charity is now focused on delivering its strand of the Communities Living Sustainably project.

Paul McIntosh - one of the officers responsible for delivery of the project is still avaliable to contact if you have any queries concerning this work.

The Charity would like to thank Paul McIntosh and Susan Anders for their efforts in meeting all of the targets of this project and the BIG Lottery fund for funding the work.