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27/09/12 - National Award for Blacon

Blacon Community Trust has received a prestigious national award at the House of Lords for its work in communities across Cheshire West. In the DEFRA Community-led Initiative section of the Water Efficiency Awards 2012, the Trust has received recognition for their innovative work by the Government and leading water industry organisation Waterwise.

The Award was presented for two related projects. Firstly, in the Blacon Energy Management Programme, 150 householders, concerned about water bills and reducing water consumption, met Chris Smith from Dee Valley Water who described how water is supplied and how to reduce what we use and our bills. The Trust went on to open The Eco House to help with water and energy efficiency advice. The Eco House is now a Regional Centre for schools, householders and manufacturers. Secondly, in their highly successful Save Money Keep Warm Project across Cheshire West, trained volunteers and staff welcomed 117 vulnerable householders to the Eco House giving advice on cutting energy and water use. The team then visited those asking for further help at home fitting water-saving devices from Dee Valley Water while also draught-proofing and advising on energy tariffs. The Trust hopes to run this project again in the near future.

Waterwise Chairman Alan Alexander said: “The Trust’s well-designed, well-executed, small-scale project has very broad implications. The level of community engagement is impressive, as well as the strong links made between water efficiency and other sustainability issues such as energy efficiency. Wonderful to see such an initiative utilising trained volunteers.”

Clare Babbs: Trust Chair, said: “BCT is absolutely delighted to be recognised yet again as a national exemplar. We've worked hard to harness the support of local volunteers and they have generously given their time & I think they've also learnt a lot from this experience. We know that our partners and volunteers will continue to work with us as we take this project to the next level.”

Chris Smith: Planning and Regulations Manager said: "Dee Valley Water was delighted to work with Blacon Community Trust. The key message is that the best way to reduce your energy and water usage is by changing the way energy and water is used in our homes, such as turning the tap off when brushing your teeth. The householders in Blacon have showed real initiative in looking for ways to reduce their water usage and this can only benefit the environment. Clearly there is an appetite from customers for more advice on saving water and we look forward to working with the Trust in the future."

For further information on the Trust and its work see www.blacon.org.uk or on the Eco House click here.

Dee Valley Water

Lord Chris Smith: Chairman of DEFRA and Richard Benyon MP: Minister for Water present the Award to Ged Edwards: Blacon Community Trust

Dee Valley Water

Waterwise Water Efficiency Award Winners 2012; Ged Edwards (Blacon Community Trust) and Chris Smith (Dee Valley Water) sitting front right.

Further details from

Ged Edwards: Sustainable Programme Manager
Blacon Community Trust
2 Stamford Road
Blacon
Chester
CH1 5DG

01244 380150
07961 077299

ged@sustainableblacon.org.uk

www.sustainbaleblacon.org.uk