Proud to be a partner in Zero Carbon Cumbria

PACT is very excited to be part of the most extensive programme to tackle climate change ever seen in Cumbria.

Zero Carbon Cumbria - Eden

We’re members of a partnership of more than seventy organisations working towards the shared goal of a zero-carbon Cumbria by 2037.

It’s a tall order! To reduce our county’s carbon emissions to net zero, there will need to be changes in many aspects of life and it will require everyone here to pull together towards this ambitious but necessary goal - businesses, the public sector, charities and households. The Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership includes representatives from all these walks of life.

Local authorities, the police, NHS, education, the national park, the farming community, industry leaders, charities, community groups like PACT… we’re all there at the table. All of us have a role to play. In fact, we can’t get there unless all of us do play our part.

It’s fairly early days for the partnership, which began in 2019 and has grown steadily to its current membership, co-chaired by Cumbria County Council and Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS). In August 2020, the partnership got the fantastic news that its bid to the National Lottery had been successful, for vital funds to support its work in some really important ways, and to help drive community climate action around the county.

When it comes to supporting the partnership’s work, one of the most important strides forward has been bringing on board paid staff, who will help to run the partnership and support its members in the tough job of working out what changes need to happen across Cumbria, and then starting to make those changes. One of the ways this is happening is through new sub-groups focusing on some of the biggest causes of carbon emissions in Cumbria, like transport, land use and waste. PACT is among the organisations taking part in these sub-groups, with a representative on the waste group.

You can find out more about the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership on the CAfS website.

Driving community action

The National Lottery funding is also supporting a whole range of community projects across the county, and this is where it gets really exciting for PACT! We’re among 11 organisations that have received funding to continue and expand our activities and involve even more local people in climate action in the community.

We officially kicked off on 1 April 2021, but, as you’d expect, we’re having to make some adjustments to what we can do this year due to the pandemic. We’ll be funded to deliver these projects for just under five years.

Penrith Community Gardeners

Here’s your at-a-glance guide to the opportunities we’ll be able to offer in Eden, thanks to this funding.

Repair cafes

We’ll be able to continue and expand our Penrith Repair Cafe, and hopefully support other communities to start up repair cafes, too. You can bring along broken items and volunteers try to fix them for free. It saves people money as they don’t have to buy a new item, and reduces the amount of goods that have to be made and transported here, saving a lot of carbon emissions.

Repair Cafe, Penrith

Freegle Give and Takes

We’ll expand our programme of these ever-popular events, in partnership with the Penrith and Eden Freegle Group. These events are like jumble sales but where everything is free! They’re a fantastic way to keep items in use by passing them on to people in your community who can make good use of them.

Reaching out

We’ll have a presence at a wide range of community events in Penrith and Eden, to inspire more people to get involved in tackling climate change in all different ways. We’ll run events to inspire our community to take climate action, including a wide range of talks to help more people understand climate science and what we can do about climate change. We’ll also be able to engage more regularly with the community, through the local press and via social media, to raise the profile of climate change and climate actions.

Library of things

You know those kinds of tools and equipment that you only use very rarely, well imagine you could hire them when you need them rather than having to buy and maintain them yourself. That’s how a ‘library of things’ works - for borrowing ‘things’ rather than books. It’s one of the new initiatives that we’ll be looking into, thanks to the Lottery funding. It’s all part of efforts to reduce the amount of stuff we all buy, saving money and carbon emissions.

Boosting our capacity

The support from the Lottery has made it possible for us to take up the services of a contractor, Rosie Bradshaw, to help us deliver more events and initiatives. As a volunteer group, having Rosie’s support will greatly expand what we can achieve. Rosie joined us on 1 April 2021.

Encouraging change

We’ll now have more capacity to support, encourage and influence local authorities in our area with their emission reduction plans.

Rosie Bradshaw

Supporting wider action

We’ll also be able to take part in many of the wider activities of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership, from attending its regular meetings to supporting other communities to set up their own groups like PACT. In fact, we’re part of a network of similar community groups, called the Cumbria Sustainability Network. A new coordinator has been appointed to help this network develop and increase our community voice, thanks to the Lottery funding. Through the network, we can share experiences and ideas and work together to have more impact.

PACT will also support some of the community activities that other organisations will be running, thanks to the Lottery funding. Here are a few examples:

  • Citizens’ juries and assemblies
  • Youth climate action
  • Low-carbon food
  • A ‘Grow Local Eat Local’ project working with farmers to increase the amount of food grown in Cumbria
  • Community climate training sessions

The delivery of these community projects is being overseen by Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS), and you can find out more on its website.

The PACT Zero Carbon Cumbria Team

PACT has a sub-group that’s coordinating our involvement in the Zero Carbon Cumbria work, reporting to our board of directors at our monthly meetings. Sitting on the sub-group are:

  • Geoff Rockliffe-King - PACT lead director for Zero Carbon Cumbria
  • Rosie Bradshaw - community action officer (contractor)
  • Christine Sutherland - PACT secretary
  • Chris Cant - Repair cafe volunteer and Freegle representative
  • Richard Waller - PACT director
  • Nigel Jenkins - PACT member
  • Jaki Bell - PACT communications officer

What’s happening now?

April 2021: PACT’s role in the project began on 1 April 2021. With our contractor, Rosie, now in place and getting up to speed, we’re finalising our plans for the rest of this year, taking account of the pandemic restrictions. Watch this space for more on our plans shortly!

PACT film strip