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As communities

Advice and support for the community

Millions of people around the world are taking action to improve quality of life now in a way that safeguards the environment for future generations. In the UK too, by thinking globally and acting locally, community groups up and down the country are helping to secure a better future for everyone. Your community can join them by taking small everyday actions which add up to make a big difference. This page serves as a gateway to helpful ideas and information about the things your community group could do.

Click on the links to find out more:

Third sector a critical force against 'climate change'

Voluntary and other non-profit organisations can mobilise millions of people in the fight against climate change to help create and safeguard a better future, Environment Secretary David Miliband and Minister for the Third Sector Ed Miliband said today as they launched a declaration on climate change for third sector organisations.

Thousands of voluntary organisations are expected to sign up to the public commitment to a sustained, comprehensive response to the challenge of climate chance.

By signing the declaration, voluntary organisations, charities, and social enterprises across England will affirm their intention to improve energy efficiency in their own operations and to raise awareness and action on climate change among the people and groups they work with.

David Miliband said:

“When we act together, the scale of our achievements far outstrips what any of us could achieve alone.  The thousands of organisations that make up the third sector are powerful forces for change in our society – and it’s a force we need on our side in the fight against climate change.  

“We know that climate change will hit the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people first, both here and abroad.  I believe this declaration will empower every voluntary organisation in the country, regardless of its size or location, to be part of the broader movement to tackle climate change with urgency and determination.”

Ed Miliband said:

“The third sector has shown time and again its ability to reach out to all sorts of people and inspire them to take steps to change their lives and their communities.  Today’s declaration is an opportunity for the sector to make its voice heard and make a public commitment to use its talents to help to tackle climate change.  I hope this declaration will be a catalyst for action – and add to the growing momentum behind our national response to this crucial challenge.”

The declaration has been spearheaded by a group of voluntary organisations already taking part in the Defra-funded initiative Every Action Counts, which enables community groups to make the world greener, cleaner, fairer and safer than it is today.  

In its first year, Every Action Counts has reached more than 500 groups and resulted in a range of achievements, including recruiting and training 400 volunteer community champions to inspire action in local communities and training community workers in environmental issues.

No special knowledge or previous experience is needed to volunteer as an EAC community champion, just an interest in making a positive difference within your community.

If you are interested in volunteering as a EAC community champion contact BTCV on 01302 388841 or 01302 388836, or alternatively visit www.everyactioncounts.org.uk

In it’s first year, the Every Action Counts initiative has also resulted in:

  • 400 community workers trained on environmental issues so they can help their own community groups take action
  • 25 national voluntary organisations putting in place their own action plans covering energy, waste and travel.
  • 6 national voluntary and community sector organisations putting in place a new Environmental Management System
  • New environmental policies agreed by trustees of participating national voluntary organisations
  • Staff training on environmental issues in national and regional voluntary organisations

Notes to Editors

Voluntary organisations can sign up to the declaration at www.everyactioncounts.org.uk/declaration, or by calling 0845 241 0957. 

Every Action Counts logo

Every Action Counts

Every Action Counts is a three year initiative to empower, engage and enable communities across England to take simple everyday action on the environment. David Miliband, Environment Secretary launched the scheme on the 28th June 2006. It takes forward commitments made by the Government in Securing the Future and is also part of the Government's Together We Can action plan which shows how Government and the public are working together to make life better.
David Miliband said:

"Every community group big and small, rural and urban, can do something to make a difference. Every Action Counts will help unlock the potential of local groups and clubs across the country to encourage more people to join in and help meet the big environmental challenges all of us face."

Every Action Counts helps community groups get involved in simple environment-friendly actions which make a big difference. The initiative is focusing on the following themes:

  • Travelling wisely
  • Saving our resources
  • Shopping ethically
  • Saving Energy
  • Caring for your environment

It helps voluntary organisations contribute to national targets on climate change, sustainable procurement and other environmental sustainability issues. It is delivering:

  • Community resource bank - improving community access to ideas, advice, toolkits and information which can help community groups make a difference on sustainable development. The report bank is web based, with paper versions of key information for community groups that do not have access to the web.
  • Community Champions have been recruited and trained to help local people make a difference to their environment.
  • Individual sustainable development action plans have been prepared by key voluntary community sector (VCS) organisations to put environmental sustainability into practice.
  • Community workers have been trained to make links between environmental sustainability and their existing work with community groups.
  • New good practice guides have been prepared especially for VCS bodies covering issues such as sustainable procurement and green office management.

'Every action counts' is being delivered by a consortium of VCS bodies. Between 2006 and 2009 Defra awarded the consortium £4m to deliver the initiative. The management team includes the following organisations

This group is backed by a further 16 organisations, all making a bigger tangible contribution to environmental sustainability in their own work.
Alison Seabroke, Co-Chief Executive of the Community Development Foundation, said:
"On behalf of all the voluntary and community organisations involved, we are delighted to be playing such a big part in Every Action Counts. Voluntary and community sector organisations have traditionally been at the forefront of a drive for greater social justice in communities. This initiative will help a wide range of voluntary and community sector networks to make a big contribution to national targets on environmental sustainability and to put this at the heart of all our work with communities."

For further information about the Programme, go to the Every Action Counts website.

Updated: 8 January 2009

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