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Co-op donates more than £5,000 to environmental projects in Guernsey

23 September 2019


MORE than £11,000 was donated to 11 Channel Island charities, schools and organisations with an aim to protect the local environment as part of The Channel Islands Co-operative Society’s Eco fund.

The Eco fund is now in its 11th year and aims to support projects across the Channel Islands which have an environmental focus. The Society is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and is working on a number of initiatives to do so. This includes reducing single use plastic through a number of initiatives, installing electric vehicle charge points in Jersey and reducing energy consumption in stores.

Benefitting from the fund this year are Edible Guernsey, ‘The Gatehouse’ – Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden, SHARE Education Service, Little Bears Nature Preschool and Guernsey Hedgehog Rescue Centre. A total of £5,450 was donated to Guernsey-based projects.

Edible Guernsey was awarded £1,500 which will be used to create a ‘food forest’. Edible Guernsey is a charity which promotes sustainable and self-sufficient growing. The ‘food forest’ site will be created at Rue des Heches in St Peters.

Guy Hendry, of Edible Guernsey, said: ‘The forest will be a mix of traditional fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, spices and medicinal plants that can be harvested all year round. We will also be using the opportunity to be more innovative and trial growing more exotic crops to understand what possibilities we have for growing more varied produce in a Guernsey greenhouse. 

‘Once the forest is established, other charities and islanders will be invited to ‘pick your own’ days. Edible Guernsey has several community growing groups which meet throughout the week. They will be working on this new project throughout the winter on planned planting days. If you would like to help or join a growing group visit Edible Guernsey's website.’ 

SHARE Education Service received £1,500 which will be used to provide young people with sustainable menstrual products, with an aim of reducing the amount of single-use sanitary pads and tampons. SHARE visit schools and colleges in Guernsey to teach young people about puberty and how to cope with ‘growing up’.

Kate Corcoran, health educator for SHARE, said: ‘As nurses we are keen to ensure that our young people

are taught about the availability of sustainable menstrual products such as washable pads, reusable applicators and menstrual cups.

‘We believe there is no better way to be educated about alternative products than to be given a starter kit along with their peers in a positive encouraging environment.

‘We are absolutely delighted with the donation from the Society’s Eco fund and intend to make sure the money is spent wisely in order to share this exciting initiative as widely as possibly.’

In Jersey a total of £5,886.36 was distributed between six organisations. The projects were Samarès School, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey Trees for Life, Jersey Heritage, Save our Shoreline Jersey and Acorn Woodshack.

Mark Cox, the Society’s acting chief executive officer, said: ‘The Society’s Eco fund has been a huge success since its launch in 2011 and we are delighted to award more projects with funds again this year in the hope of protecting our local environment.

‘It’s fantastic to be able to support a number of initiatives across the Channel Islands and we look forward to seeing the projects come to life.’

The Society has also recently donated more than £16,000 to 14 charities, community groups and schools across the Channel Islands as part of its Belonging Fund. Society employees were able to apply for a grant on behalf of an organisation they support. On appointment to the board earlier this year, chief executive officer, Colin Macleod, chose to donate his salary he would have collected for this new role to the newly launched Belonging Fund. The fund was launched as part of the Society’s 100 year anniversary.