Chris and Toqueer were at a Friends of Highgate Green Spaces community day on Sunday 11th September. At Highgate Park (near the Birmingham Central Mosque) they met local community members and talked about Footsteps and Central England Quakers’ new Energy Champions project.
We registered our first five energy champions and had wide ranging conversations with local community members. Highgate is a deprived area and one of new champions said that the people who were likely to be hardest hit by rising energy prices were people in low-paid employment. The need for simple, low cost energy saving advice was also emphasised. The top tip was to use a lighted incense stick to look for draughts, and then block them up. It was also emphasised that we should always talk about ‘insulation’ – terms like ‘retrofit’ are not a well understood, and jargon like ‘whole building deep retrofit’ is irrelevant to most inner city community members.
“It was a good opportunity to learn from community members how energy champions could play a role. Several people mentioned that the timing was right as there was a feeling of urgency in communities to act as energy prices rise. It is important to listen to what community members say and what each energy champion can give, as well as needs, from the champion network.”