PACT has this month kicked off a five-year programme of activities that will give Eden residents a helping hand to save money, reduce waste and play their part in tackling climate change.
We are proud to be one of eleven organisations around the county that will be running activities under the Zero Carbon Cumbria project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.
PACT’s role in the project got under way on 1 April, and will see the group running a wide range of community events and activities - albeit with some adjustments this year due to the pandemic.
“This is a hugely exciting time for PACT,” said John Bodger, chair. “We’ve already reached our first big milestone, with the appointment of contractor Rosie Bradshaw as our part-time community action officer, thanks to the Lottery funding, greatly helping with our mission to engage the local community in making real changes.”
Rosie, who hails from Kirkby Lonsdale, said:
“I’m very excited to be joining the PACT team and being part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria project,” Rosie said. “While I’m from south Cumbria, the Eden area is one very close to my heart and I’ve spent many a pre-pandemic weekend escaping into the hills up here. It’s also a joy to be able to take my professional path in such a positive step, with an experienced and outstanding group like PACT.”
With a passion for tackling the climate crisis and encouraging community cohesion, Rosie is also a community coordinator for the Kirkby Lonsdale Community Cupboard, an organisation she helped to establish early last year to tackle food poverty and waste in the area. She’s involved in carbon auditing in the agricultural sector and is a Beaver Scout leader.
“Having gone through my own struggle towards more climate positive habits, I’m looking forward to invigorating and supporting residents of Penrith and surroundings to make their own path,” Rosie said. “We’re all part of a very carbon rich lifestyle, and shifting away from that won’t always be easy. But what’s on the other side makes it worth it.”
With Rosie boosting the capacity of PACT’s volunteers, we’re currently finalising our plans for the first year.
“The Lottery funding means we can expand some of our popular initiatives, like the Penrith Repair Cafe and Freegle Give and Take events, when the Covid situation allows,” John said. “It will enable us to explore some new initiatives, such as a ‘library of things’, where people could rent tools and equipment they only need from time to time, rather than having to buy their own. We’ll be able to involve more people in the community in tackling climate change, too, and a big part of that will be engaging with young people in particular, bringing their voice into our plans as well as involving them in our initiatives.”
PACT will support efforts to set up a community hub in Penrith, which is being explored by the town council, as well as contributing to the council’s wider climate change strategy. The group will also take part in some of the initiatives led by other partners in the project, such as citizens’ juries.
The Zero Carbon Cumbria project is managed by the county’s climate change organisation, Cumbria Action for Sustainability, based in Penrith, which put together the successful bid to the National Lottery on behalf of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership. The Partnership brings together more than 70 organisations working towards the goal of a net zero-carbon county by 2037, and the Lottery funded project is one aspect of its wider work.
“With Rosie now on board, we’re very much looking forward to getting started,” John said. “This global pandemic is a sobering reminder that we simply have to learn to live in harmony with the environment, in all of its forms. As we gradually emerge from the necessary changes that have occurred over the past year as a result of Covid 19, we now need to keep our focus on the much larger challenges posed by the climate and ecological crisis.
“We must also understand the enormous opportunities for positive changes to every aspect of our lives that we can all make - not just for our own good, but for the benefit of future generations. I’d invite local people to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be first to hear about the initiatives we’ll be running, and sign up for our newsletter.