WREN launched its first ever Community Fund with a pot of £5000 earned over the last year as ‘finders fees’ from the solar PV companies that we work closely with. The fund was widely publicised through the press and posters around town. Six applications were received from local community groups. All were short-listed by a panel drawn from local organisations and groups. The three winners were picked by a vote open to all of WREN’s 500 or so members. Wadebridge Foodbank and Wadebridge Youth Project had an equal number of votes and so shared the top prize with £2250 each. Wadebridge District Guides came close in third place and received £500 toward their ‘Dream Project’ – a much needed and overdue new Guide Hut which will be available for use by other community groups. The Foodbank will use their award to refurbish new and larger premises while the Youth Project’s £2250 will go towards the purchase of a replacement minibus.
WREN was delighted to be short-listed with a chance to become one of four towns in England to pilot an electric car share scheme. WREN is active in all aspects of energy generation and use, and transport is an important issue. Forty towns applied to be part of the scheme. Wadebridge sent in more on-line responses than any other town, and so is now one of ten short-listed towns. E-car will now carry out further on-line consultation to decide which towns will run the pilot. We are sure this is a scheme that will really catch the imagination of the public and provide a low cost and low carbon car sharing scheme.
In February WREN organised two Fuel Poverty training workshops which were delivered by Alec Rice who is a Fuel Poverty specialist employed by Cornwall-based Community Energy Plus. The workshops were well attended by WREN volunteers, local welfare benefit ad visors, staff from the Foodbank, and support workers from several social housing providers.