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Overview We would like to start by saying thank you to everyone who has supported the Ecocentre during 2012; whether by attending events, working with us on our projects, donating your money, volunteering your time and all the other ways you’ve been involved. We have had a fantastic year and are starting 2013 with an amazing, motivated and skilled team to continue delivering high quality community work that reduces carbon emissions and makes Northfield a better place to live, work and visit. Our energy advice services developed dramatically in 2012 with two local homeowners receiving free solid wall insulation as winners of a competition we ran. We also completed the process of becoming an accredited Green Deal Advice Organisation.

Contents 1. Overview 2. Year in Numbers 3. Aim 1 5. Aim 2 7. Aim 3 9. Environmental Impact 10. Finance

Our Northfield’s Orchards project has been really popular. During 2012 we planted 729 trees, creating 10 community orchards. We started an exciting project Incredible Edible Northfield in 2012 seeking to develop community skills, and confidence as people learn to grow and harvest food locally including a community harvest project and starting work at Masefield Community Garden and Allotments in September, with 179 people working on site in the autumn and winter months.

The Ecocentre is honoured to have won the Best Community Project category in Birmingham City Council’s Recycling Awards. We have had a fantastic year and are really excited about 2013. Read more about our work in this report and please do come to visit us. Judith Jenner - Clerk to the Management Committee

Georgia Stokes Ecocentre Manager

“The produce of the Earth is a gift from our gracious creator to the inhabitants, and to impoverish the Earth now to support outward greatness appears to be an injury to the succeeding age” John Woolman, 1772 (from Quaker Faith & Practice 25.01) 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Year in Numbers Group work includes our regular Gardening and Sewing & Crafts groups that happen on a Thursday & Friday morning. Look out for our community gardening projects in 2013!

Our mailing list grew 20% over 2012, from about 900 to 1133. Our website has grown in sophistication and use considerably from our beginnings in 2009. In 2012 it had over 22,000 visits

Over 2012 our services have evolved and grown in new and exciting ways. Energy advice, group work & outreach remain the largest elements of our work with overall contacts reaching more than 3,500 people. 2012 saw us running more advice sessions in local libraries and community spaces as part of our outreach. We also attended 8 local fairs, farmers markets and carnivals throughout the year.

Contacts through our Energy Advice services dramatically increased, up to over 800 advice sessions in 2012, from around 200 in 2011. 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Strategic aim 1: to be recognised as an example of good practice across the city of Birmingham Developing People: Without the hard work and dedication of our fantastic team of staff, volunteers and supporters the Ecocentre would not be the success it is today. This year we have: Provided work experience placements for local secondary school pupils and run an internship programme to develop the skills of those seeking employment in a related sector. Team away days saw us volunteering at a Permaculture farm in Wales and visiting the Centre for Alternative Technology.

A member of staff did a one month placement at the University of Warwick and one month with AESS in Italy.

This year members of our team have achieved City & Guilds qualifications in Energy Use, first aid qualifications, ISO auditor status and Domestic Energy Assessor qualifications. Our staff team grew with the additions of Kara – Fundraising and Marketing, Sunny – Energy Advisor, David – Energy Advisor, Eileen – Cleaner, Jackie – Community Food Coordinator and Damien – Community Food Apprentice.

Our first apprentice: Damien “Hello everyone, I work on the community food growing project Incredible Edible Northfield and assist with the current day to day running of the office. I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here as it is a wonderful work environment and the staff are always friendly and welcoming. With the food growing project at Masefield Community Garden I help local volunteers find out how to grow their own food and I help out with the Thursday gardening group at the Ecocentre as well. Since working at the Ecocentre I’ve gained a First aid certificate and a City & Guilds qualification in Energy Awareness.” 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Communications, Media and Marketing Our monthly newsletter has a circulation of over 1,000 individuals , our web site has been viewed by more than 13,000 unique visitors over 2012 and we increased our social media presence. We also featured on BBC WM, BBC Midlands Today and had articles in Birmingham Mail. Still from BBC Midlands Today

Achievements & Recognition The Ecocentre was delighted to receive the award for Best Community Project category in Birmingham City Council’s Recycling Awards 2012.

Ecocentre Manager, Georgia Stokes, was invited to join Birmingham’s Green Commission to develop a Carbon Roadmap for the city.

Ecocentre staff and volunteers have met an array of high profile people including HRH Prince Charles, Ed Davey MP Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Greg Barker MP Minister of State for Climate Change, and welcomed Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Luciana Berger MP to the Ecocentre.

A new government intitiative aimed at helping households save energy was launched in Oct 2012, called the Green Deal, involving the installation of energy saving measures. The process starts off with an independent assessment. This can now be offered by the Ecocentre who became a Green Deal Assessor Organisation after going through the accreditation process in 2012. 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Strategic aim 2: to be a trusted, independent hub for advice to promote environmentally sustainable living. Building on previous years experience we now offer a range of services to individual householders, including Energy Performance Certificates, behaviour assessments, advice on switching tariffs and energy efficiency assessments. We have worked on a variety of energy advice projects this year: Local Energy Assessment Fund: Through this government funded intiative the Ecocentre was able to offer over one hundred energy assessments and run a competition for two local homeowners to receive a home energy makeover. Both these properties received solid wall insulation through our partners the Energy Saving Cooperative and The Jericho Foundation. Working with the Energy Saving Cooperative: Between March and December the Ecocentre worked with the Energy Saving Co-op on a Green Deal pilot scheme in Birmingham with Ecocentre advisors conducting advice visits to 171 households locally. Many of these properties have gone on to have work done either with the Co-op or with other Green Deal Providers. Northfield Community Energy Saving Programme: working with Carillion Energy Services on behalf of Birmingham City Council, the Ecocentre delivered home energy assessments to 450 households. The majority of these households had solid wall insulation fitted to their properties dramatically improving the energy efficiency.

Case Study: Irene is a resident in Northfield who will receive free external wall insulation as part of the above project run by Carillion. Irene received a free home energy audit from Northfield Ecocentre. She has this to say: “The project is fantastic and I am pleased I might finally be able to get insulation after being told previously by other companies they could not insulate my walls. I am a very eco minded person around the house and it’s great that I can make the house more efficient. I look forward to a warmer home.� 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Birmingham Energy Savers: this flagship scheme for Birmingham City Council is in the third phase, rolling out the Green Deal to households across Birmingham. At the end of 2012 the Ecocentre successfully bid to deliver community engagement work and Green Deal assessments with this project. Non-Domestic Energy Services: It’s not just our homes that have an impact on the environment and the Ecocentre has been working hard to develop affordable energy advice services for community and third sector organisations. During 2012 we delivered assessments on buildings as diverse as Quaker meeting houses, libraries and community centres.

Case Study: Museums We’ve been working with a range of musuems across the West Midlands, helping them reduce their environmental impact. For the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum we have helped them reduce their fuel bills by 30% through tariff assessments and advice on heating controls. EcoTeams: In partnership with Optima Housing and Global Action Plan we delivered 10 EcoTeam sessions to 100 people. These sessions worked with groups on activities around energy efficiency, water saving, travel and recycling encouraging discussions and idea sharing.

Other projects included: Working with Housing Associations to help their tenants reduce their fuel bills, delivering bespoke home energy visits to vulnerable adults through the Council’s Stay Warm Stay Well scheme.

Look out for our new energy services in 2013: ● Domestic & Non-Domestic Green Deal Assessments ● Domestic & Non-Domestic Energy Performance Certificates ● Non-Domestic Display Energy Certificates & bespoke environmental impact assessments 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Strategic aim 3: to build strong, sustainable communities working with partners wherever possible We launched Incredible Edible Northfield in autumn 2012 to bring together all our community food growing projects. Northfield’s Orchards: during 2012 we designed and planted 243 fruit trees and 486 broad leaf whips, creating 10 community orchards. This project brings lasting benefits to our community: reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, providing habitat for wildlife, increasing bio-diversity, contributing to food security and providing fresh nutritional food to encourage healthy eating.

Manor Farm Park Orchard: Daniel BrysonPeart, Secretary of the Friends of Manor Farm Park explained the benefits of their community orchard: “The orchard will provide somewhere for local people to come and get free fruit. Nothing will get wasted. The stuff that isn’t collected will be used in other ways. We hope it will be a major success.”

Masefield Community Garden and Allotments: 2012 saw the exciting beginning of our community garden project where we’re renovating unused community land to make it accessible for the community. We will be creating allotment plots, a forest garden, a wildlife area, an outdoor classroom, an orchard, and raised beds – all permaculture inspired. Look out for our workshops covering topics such as gardening for beginners, composting, permaculture, building plastic bottle greenhouses and loads more. We also hold regular workdays for anyone to come and get involved.

Other Incredible Edible Northfield initiatives in 2012 included; a Community Harvesting project with partners Urban Harvest, a Grow Zone where 5 ladies helped each other grow food in their gardens, and the Ecocentre Garden which continues to flourish under the watchful eyes of our regular gardening group on a Thursday. 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571



Harvest / Apple Day: working with Friends of Victoria Common and 60 amazing young people volunteering on The Challenge we held a rainy apple day celebration on the Common.

The Big Lunch: We held a Brazilian themed Jubilee Big Lunch to raise awareness about the climate talks in Rio and celebrate the Jubilee year.

Green Christmas: This year we made paper lanterns and decorated the beautiful pine trees in the park while singing carols. Back at the Ecocentre we enjoyed hot spiced apple juice and mince pies.

Green Generations Over 2012 we ran 4 Nappuccino events demonstrating the benefits of real nappies, and 9 EcoKids events during school holidays; teaching families about the environment and doing crafts using recycled materials.

Travelling Sustainably: We ran a number of activities to encourage people onto bikes including; working with Centro and SusTrans running bike maintenance and bike ability sessions and starting a regular summer family bike ride to boost confidence for new learners.

Check out our website to find out what’s happening in 2013 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Environmental Impact Our impact on the environment is complex. We continually try to measure the impact of the Ecocentre building but have yet been unable to measure the much larger positive impact of the advice we give. This is something we’ll be working towards more in 2013. We have maintained our ISO14001 accreditation and installed 11 Solar PV panels, 6 donated by EH Smith and installed for free by Eco2Solar. Thank you. These panels helped the Ecocentre reduce our electricity consumption in the latter part of the year and we hope to see a more significant reduction in 2013 as long as the weather isn’t too bad. Fingers crossed!

Waste In 2012 we recycled or composted 82.8% of our waste. Our landfill total was 65kg. We’ll be aiming to reduce that further in 2013. 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571



Statement of Financial Activities 2012 General INCOMING RESOURCES Grants from Trusts Central England Quakers Project Funding, Grants, & Consultancy Donations from Members & visitors Bank Interest & other Total Income

£ 38500 22500

Community Projects £

Energy Advice £






2011 Total

£ 38500 22500 152834 9833 83 223750

£ 27500 32500 57226 8043 65 125334

126470 40445 41450 2402 210767

70190 24084 18009 0 112283

Income less Expenditure



Balance Brought Forward at 1/1/12 Balance Carried Forward at 31/12/12

57616 70599

44565 57616

9833 83 70916

RESOURCES EXPENDED Employment costs Project costs Operating costs: Building restoration & Furnishing: Total Expenditure

2012 saw an increase in our work programme and therefore increased financial activities. Some of our income was restricted for work in 2013. We know that in 2013 our work load will increase again so we are seeking funding to secure this. Our accounts are audited independently.

BALANCE SHEET 31�� Dec 2012

2012 (£)

2011 (£)

Current Assets: Debtors Short term deposits Cash in bank and in hand Total current assets Current Liabilities (due within 1 year) Creditors due Net Current Assets Creditors due after 1 year Reserves as at 31/12/12 Funds: General Fund

2585 46868 21146 70599

5038 41530 11048 57616

0 70599 0 70599

0 57616 0 57616 29409

Projects Funds Total

28208 70599 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571



Thank You We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff, management committee, financial supporters and everybody that volunteers for us. Without your ongoing support and hard work none of this would be possible.

Staff Georgia Stokes Luke Pearson Jackie Green

Luke Olly Jane Baker Kara Moses

Stuart Bowles Sunny Qayyum Eileen Oakes

Anne Dasgupta David Chapman Damien Bennett

Management Committee Judith Jenner (Clerk) Stephen Holt (Ast. Clerk) Harriet Martin Peter Ullathorne (Treasurer) Tom Greeves (Ast. Treasurer) Peter Carter Duncan Miller Nigel Harris Ali Jeffrey Steve Wigzell

This report is also available to download from our web site Find Us: General Opening Times Tuesdays to Fridays 10am - 5pm For group visits call to arrange

Northfield Ecocentre


Northfield Ecocentre 53 Church Road Northfield Birmingham. B31 2LB 0121 448 0119

Annual report 2012  
Annual report 2012  

Here's our Annual Report for 2012. This tells the story of the Ecocentre for 2012, how we developed, what projects we ran, how we tried to a...