The Importance of Community Action

Published on 14 June

June 8th to 16th is The Great Big Green Week.

It is the biggest celebration of community-led action tackling climate change and protecting nature. 2022 saw over 250,000 people get involved!

Community action is the combined efforts of individuals, organisations and businesses and can produce hugely positive results, especially when focusing on issues of climate change and sustainability.

  • Community action
  • The Great Big Green Week
  • Collective action
  • tackling climate change

We are huge advocates of community action and the positive impact collective efforts of individuals can make. We have coordinated several projects within communities inspiring and engaging them with rainwater capture, producing fantastic results! Not only does this enable households to slow the flow of water into drainage systems but it helps improve drought resilience.

Community action has lots of benefits including:

  • Improved health and well-being
  • Establishing social connections
  • Involvement in local decision making
  • Maintaining community identity
  • Improving local environment

Engaging with communities and their collective action are essential to the projects we run throughout the UK.

Here are just a few communities we have worked with:

Eastbourne

Slow the Flow Water Butt Project

We partnered with Blue Heart, delivering Southern Water’s Slow Release Water Butts to 100 residents throughout the area. This would not have been possible without the collective efforts of a highly engaged community. We reached out to local groups, individuals and organisation who helped spread the word.

Due to demand, the project was expanded to include more roads. Residents were provided with specially designed ‘slow release' water butts, with a capacity of 200 litres. These water butts slow the flow of rainwater whilst retaining a store of water for gardens and outdoor spaces.

two green waters butts and installer stood by side of bricked property
SuDS in schools activity pack

SuDS for Schools

Inspiring the next generation will be essential to tackling climate related issues and local challenges. Through our collaboration with Blue Heart, we engaged with Eastbourne schools delivering workshops to primary and secondary schools enhancing pupils understanding of rainwater.

Part of this involves equipping schools with systems to help reduce surface water flooding on-site and within the local community. The new SuDS systems are inspired by the pupils own design work, enabling them to have a real positive impact on their school environment and surrounding area.

Newhaven

We ran a successful project in Newhaven, providing 25 water butts and rainwater planters to residents in the Denton area. After a social media post prompted Town Councillors Sean MacLeod and Lesley Boniface to get in touch a few months prior, we were able to pivot and run a small scheme in their area.

Sean and Lesley are working hard to tackle the issue of surface water flooding in this area, with the Newhaven Water Butt Project contributing towards this. Residents had a choice of the Classic Slim Wall Water Butt or the Manhattan City Planter, depending on space available. We had a hugely positive response to the project, with help of Sean and Lesely and other organisations spreading the word.

In the mean time, another community led initiative is in the works in Denton - the Denton Community Garden. This has been over 3 years in the making and involved local residents, schools and organisations in the planning process. Eventually this fantastic space will educate, encourage behaviour change and provide a lovely outdoor space for visitors to enjoy.

black rainplanter with plants spilling over the top
Pete, Sarah and Charlie stood by a rainplanter demo stand

Lambeth, Cirencester & Waltham Forest

Collaboration with Thames Water and local authorities in these areas helped to deliver Thame’s Rainwater Planter to dozens of properties in these areas, completely for free!

Part of this included a community launch day in Lambeth, bringing residents together and creating a buzz around the project. The selected locations for rainwater planter installations provided the best benefits to the community, slowing the flow of water into drainage systems with the intention of tackling the impact of surface water flooding and sewage spills into our water ways.

The rainwater planters also provide residents with a supply of captured water to use in gardens and outdoor spaces, helping provide resilience against drier spells.

Are you interested in running a project involving community action and a more sustainable future for our water resources? Then get in touch!

Or perhaps you are wondering if there is one running already in your area - sign up to find out.

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