Youth centre goes green after getting grant

Evesham Journal: Kirsty Elwell, from Ourside Youth Centre with Councillors Clive Holt and Bob Banks, who donated the money and Gordon Bunker. Kirsty Elwell, from Ourside Youth Centre with Councillors Clive Holt and Bob Banks, who donated the money and Gordon Bunker.

OURSIDE Youth Centre in Evesham has been able to go green after receiving thousands of pounds in funding.

The club, which is now self sufficient, made the move in a bid to save money in the long term by running solely on renewable energy and even generating some for the local area.

They were able to install the equipment needed after being awarded £10,000 from the Severn Waste Environmental Fund’s Welcome To Our Future, through the Severn Waste Enviroment Fund.

And local Worcestershire county councillors Bob Banks and Clive Holt also pitched in and donated £1,000 each to make up the £12,000 required to complete the project.

Kirsty Elwell, a trustee and director of Ourside, said: "I was shocked and delighted when we found out we had been awarded all of the money, this will make a massive improvement to the building whilst giving the right message to you the young people who attend the centre.

"With all of the great sunshine we have had in the past two weeks it was a great time to have the solar panels installed."

Since receiving the grant Worcester Renewables have been busy fitting the new equipment in the youth centre, including new loft insulation for one half of the building, PV Solar panels on the roof and Air Source Heat pumps to replace the very old and inefficient gas heaters.

The solar panels have also been fitted with a feed-in tariff which means the centre has become a micro-electricity generator for the area. This means any excess power will help to generate funds and reduce UK CO2 emissions and the centre's carbon footprint.

Cllr Bob Banks said it was spending money to save money.

"The centre is trying to be independent and this is part of the process. It's spending to save because it's quite an expensive project but in the long term we are hopeful it will save them money.

"I am full of admiration for them. I would like to see them be successful and they are making headway. They are very good at helping themselves and I like to support organisations and charities that do that."

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