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Welcome to our Annual Report for 2013. It has been a busy and exciting year.

We became a Green Deal Accredited Organisation and completed our 1,000th home visit energy assessment, successfully crowdfunded £10,000 to run Urban Harvest and worked in partnership to help win £50,000 through the People’s Millions to set up a bike hub, Cycle South Brum, in Northfield. We developed and strengthened partnerships with community organisations, schools & local businesses, and worked directly with almost 3,500 people. Responding to the rapid development of our services we revisited our strategy to make sure we remain focused on our key aims. We concluded we are delivering the work we set out to do but needed to tweak some of aims to be more specific and relevant to our community. These aims reflect the ambition, vision and values of the Ecocentre and this report is set out to demonstrate how we are achieving them. During 2013 we updated our strategy: 1. Build strong communities with the skills, resources and learning to affect a long term cultural shift to sustainable behaviours. 2. Develop the Ecocentre as a trusted hub for all aspects of 1. Overview sustainable living. 2. Aim 1 3. Develop the Ecocentre as an exemplar sustainable 5. Aim 2 community, making best use of available assets and 7. Aim 3 opportunities to achieve all our aims 9. Aim 4 4. Research & demonstrate the impacts of the Ecocentre’s 10. Finance work and activities on the environment, our communities and inspiring lasting behaviour change. 5. Support the Religious Society of Friends towards their commitment to sustainable living as set out in The Canterbury Commitment. We hope you find this report interesting. Please do get in touch if you have any questions and hopefully we will see you at an Ecocentre event soon.


Harriet Martin - Clerk to Management Committee

Georgia Stokes Ecocentre Manager 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Aim 1: Building strong sustainable communities Community Food Growing Projects All achieved through the help and support of our amazing team of volunteers. Thank you. Masefield Community Garden: is flourishing now with: an outdoor classroom, polytunnel, plastic bottle greenhouse, earth oven, forest garden, wildlife area & soon a compost toilet. Open every Wednesday to visit or volunteer. Courses include building an earth oven, beginners gardening, composting, fruit tree pruning and building raised beds. The Ecocentre garden: is a highly productive small space. Our volunteers grew apples, pears, currants, gooseberries & even grapes. Royal Horticultural Awards: both our community gardens won awards. Masefield was awarded Level 3 Developing, the Ecocentre garden won Level 5 Outstanding. Urban Harvest: £10,000 crowdfunding success to pick unused fruit across south Birmingham and put to good use in the community. We picked 3 tonnes of fruit supplying free fruit , encouraging healthy eating, to 9 children’s centres, 2 nurseries, 4 schools, 2 food banks, 4 children’s clubs, 4 community events & one homeless project. Northfield’s Woodlands & Orchards: Project Success! In 2012 we set out to plant 1,400 trees by March 2014. We exceeded this target & planted 1,600 creating 20 community orchards. We were awarded a further grant to plant 2,300 trees in the next 2 years & create a community fruit tree nursery at Masefield Community Garden as a sustainable resource. 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Green Generations: Exploring our environment together. EcoKids: our holiday programme was very popular with parents & children. We went on nature treasure hunts, made junk model pirate ships, and got creative with mud. All sessions have a sustainability theme, handouts to take home and provide lots of fun. EcoStars: We piloted our new interactive classroom activities programme exploring a wide range of sustainability & environmental themes. Sessions link to KS1 & KS2 curriculum. Pupils explored issues, have fun & learn together. Family Forest Schools: In 2013 we introduced Forest School activities building confidence, learning about nature & having fun outdoors. Sessions included den making, knot tying, musical instruments & some magic! Masefield After School Club: After anti-social behaviour at the community garden we invited local children aged 4 to 12 to the garden They planted tomatoes, salads, potatoes & strawberries learning about healthy eating. The anti-social behaviour stopped. Growing Together: Working with home school groups, nurseries & local families children & adults have fun exploring our gardens & learning to grow food together.

Nappuccino: discussing the benefits of real nappies with newCheck out our website to find out & expecting parents. what’s happening in 2014 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


In July we launched our partnership project on a zero budget, Cycle South Brum, with Northfield Community Partnership, Northfield Pool & Fitness Centre, & Northfield Business Improvement District. Be Active donated 9 bikes for free hire to get people cycling. In November almost 3,000 people voted for Cycle South Brum to win £50,000 on the People’s Millions to establish a bike hub in Northfield offering bike maintenance, group rides & more bikes for hire.

The Big Lunch - Sharing Food, Building Community We held our third Big Lunch at Masefield Community Garden. Over 60 people brought amazing food to share, weave willow, & meet neighbours. We launched our Forest School programme.

The Gruffalo Came to Northfield We had a special guest at our first fundraising events. Lots of families came to meet the Gruffalo, make character masks & hear the story. We even went on the road with The Gruffalo to local schools, libraries & children’s centres. 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Aim 2: A trusted independent advice hub Advice Services for the Home The Ecocentre conducted some research this year and found that households that had received a visit from one of our energy advisors were able to save, on average, £113 per year on their bills just by changing the way they use energy at home. That’s without having anything installed at all. High Quality Professional Services During 2013 we developed the quality & standard of our energy advice services. We became a Green Deal Accredited Organisation. Our staff are trained as Green Deal & Energy Performance Certificate Assessors. We continue to offer free advice at the Ecocentre and hundreds of fact sheets. We work with a wide range of partners to deliver energy advice across the city. Our advisors make homes warmer, lower energy use, reduce bills & of course carbon emissions. During 2013 we worked with:

Home Energy Make Over One Year On Laura Jackson won our competition in 2012 for a free home energy makeover worth £9,000. She received free external solid wall insulation, a new damp proof membrane on her wall, new heating controls on her radiators (TRVs) and room thermostat to help regulate the heating more efficiently. Inspired by the work, she also installed a new boiler herself. “Before the work was done, with single brick walls it was quite cold in the winter and damp as well,' said Laura. 'We knew that the heating was just going straight out of the walls and the loft... Even before they’d finished the outside wall insulation we could tell there was a massive difference in terms of the warmth of the house.” 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Non-Domestic Consultancy Professional, Quality Services for Businesses & Organisations From early 2013 we were able to offer professional consultancy services at affordable prices to non-domestic customers including Green Deal Assessments, Energy Performance Certificates & Display Energy Certificates. We also provide full environmental assessments & develop plans to increase resource efficiency. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust We assessed the historic buildings controlled by the trust. A range of cost savings were identified to allow SBT to reduce costs and environmental impacts. SBT are now considering expanding the programme to consider a wide range of environmental impacts. Future investments in the historical assets will also include the consideration of energy efficiency. To compliment the building work we ran a series of behaviour change workshops with Trust staff to further reduce energy use. Kings Norton Boys School We assessed the School to consider how energy was being used on site identifying inefficiencies & offering advice to reduce consumption. Our report prioritised actions to allow KNBS gain from easy zero cost changes first, then outlined potential investments and payback times for energy efficiency improvements. Housing Associations We delivered tenant advice services with Optima Housing Association. We developed a range of approaches including surgeries in community spaces, interactive workshops and home visits. All tenants reported lower energy bills as a result, for some savings were as much as ÂŁ250. Accord Housing wanted to establish the current level of cavity wall insulation within sheltered housing. We provided thermal imaging services which allowed Accord to target insulation & bring down the heating costs of residents. 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Aim 3: Our People Are Our Assets We can only achieve all this because of all the wonderful people that support the Ecocentre. Our staff, volunteers, supporters and visitors are incredibly committed to the success of the Ecocentre because they believe in our vision. “We inspire and support communities to take positive action to achieve sustainable living.” Our Staff We have a committed, dynamic part time staff team who deliver fantastic results. In 2013 we had an apprentice, work experience placements, youth group work days & sessions, and a member of staff took part in Pioneers into Practice. Volunteer Teams We’ve had fantastic support from the community with volunteer teams giving up their time from local businesses including Wilkinson’s & Mondelez, and groups such as The Challenge & The Prince’s Trust. They’ve been involved with fruit picking & harvesting, building a polytunnel & loads more. Our Volunteers We have fantastic volunteers who help us with everything from gardening to fundraising to governing the Ecocentre as our Management Committee. We hold at least an annual celebration for our volunteers, and work together to develop their skills through activities and training. Our Supporters During 2013 people showed their support for the Ecocentre in many ways from funding Urban Harvest, voting for Cycle South Brum to win the People’s Millions, running for the Ecocentre in the Great Midlands Fun Run and the Birmingham Half Marathon, and becoming a Friend of the Ecocentre with a regular donation. 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Aim 4: Ecocentre Impacts Environmental Our impact on the environment is complex. We continually measure the impact of the Ecocentre building & are working on ways to measure the larger positive impact of our advice. If just a small number of our recommendations are implemented our overall positive impact far exceeds the negative impacts of the Ecocentre itself. Electricity We had our first complete set of readings for our 11 solar photovoltaic panels in 2013. The total amount of electricity produced was 1531kwh. This is 38% of all electricity used. The charts below show our electricity consumption over the past 5 years and the corresponding degree days. 2013 was a cold year and as our heating is electric our use increased slightly. We use an electricity supplier that has 100% renewable electricity. Waste: Reduced overall from 378kg in 2012 to 252kg in 2013 made up as below.

Aim 5: Supporting Quakers We have welcomed a number of Quaker groups to the Ecocentre for activities & tours. We provided an energy assessment to Barnt Green Meeting House to develop a low carbon strategy. We attended Britain Yearly Gathering and gave a special interest talk on energy efficiency. 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Impacts: 2013 in Numbers Our energy services increased dramatically with over 2,000 home visits to reduce energy use through behaviour change advice & technical recommendations.

We communicated regularly to 4,000 people through newsletters & social media. We started Urban Harvest picking waste fruit saving almost 4 tonnes.

2013 was a big development year for many of our projects. Overall we worked with 3,477 people directly in 2013. We took our activities out into the community over 2013 to meet people where they feel comfortable running workshops, stalls & food growing.

We developed our work with local schools & families, inviting them to Masefield Community Garden to explore nature together. 0121 448 0119 Owned by Central England Area Quakers, Registered charity no. 224571


Statement of Financial Activities


INCOMING RESOURCES Grants from Trusts Central England Quakers Project Funding, Grants, & Consultancy Donations from Members & visitors Bank Interest & other Total Income

2012 General £ 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 31st Dec 2012 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:

2012 (£) 2585 46868 21146 70599

5038 41530 11048 57616

0 70599 0 70599

0 57616 0 57616

General Fund


Projects Funds Total

2011 (£)

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 Margaret Hannah

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 - 3pm For group visits call to arrange

Northfield Ecocentre


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

Annual report 2013  
Annual report 2013