Burnley boys and girls become 'Eco Warriors' to make their community a greener place

Young people in Burnley have become "Eco Warriors" to help make their community a greener place, thanks to support from Electricity North West.

Helen Seagrave of ENW, Graham Vernon of Burnley Boys and Girls Club, and Jill Hendry from ENW
Helen Seagrave of ENW, Graham Vernon of Burnley Boys and Girls Club, and Jill Hendry from ENW

Burnley Boys and Girls Club in Barden Lane was awarded £15,000 from Electricity North West’s 2019 Powering our Communities Fund for its Eco Warriors project.

The club was visited by Electricity North West staff, who held training sessions and workshops where club members learned about the importance of reducing carbon emissions and how they could control their energy use.

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The young Eco Warriors used their new skills to identify opportunities to make the club more energy efficient.

Some of the funding was used to replace the club’s lighting with LED lights, while a new energy-efficient boiler was installed and the sports hall’s noisy old heaters were replaced by infra-red lamps, which together will cut the club’s annual energy bills by £800.

The club also hosted information sessions during the half-term and Christmas school holidays, where young people were able to share advice about saving electricity and reducing energy bills with the local community.

Centre manager Graham Vernon said: “One year on, this scheme has been really empowering for our young members and has helped to bring the different communities in Burnley together.

“Our members can sometimes have quite chaotic home lives and this club is their safe haven. It means the world to them.

“The Eco Warriors project has taught them skills that they can use in their lives and it has given them the confidence to share what they have learnt.

“Some of our young people were even invited to attend the Electricity North West training centre, where they were able to learn about jobs in the industry and explore the career opportunities available to them.”

Now the club is going out into the community to promote Electricity North West’s Priority Services Register, which supports customers with additional welfare needs.

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Club members hope to sign up local people who are vulnerable, which could be due to age, ill health, disability, mental health problems, financial worries or language barriers.

Helen Seagrave, community energy manager at Electricity North West, added: “It’s incredibly heartening to see these young people coming together so enthusiastically to learn about energy efficiency and sharing their new knowledge to help their community.

“The Powering our Communities Fund takes applications from community groups across the north west aiming to tackle energy-related issues at a local level, especially those that want to reduce their carbon footprint.

“Groups can apply for up to £15,000 for projects that engage local communities in energy issues and support the developing of a community energy project.

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“The fund will be re-opening later this year so keep an eye out on the website for further information.”

Established in 1899, Burnley Boys and Girls Club on Barden Lane has around 360 members, who come together to play sports including football and volleyball, get creative in the art studio, enjoy drama workshops and more.

New members are always welcome.