Trevor (not his real name) is registered blind. To go shopping in his local supermarket requires a four hour journey and several bus changes, no easy matter for a blind person. e-Wheels carried him to the supermarket in a matter of minutes; it is just two and a half miles from his home. Our free green transport, using the electric cars of our village hub of E-Car http://www.e-carclub.org has helped many vulnerable or isolated people like this, both young and old and has now delivered over 200 hours trips for members of the local community. Our brilliant band of volunteers has attracted quite a bit of interest with a photoshoot lasting most of one very cold, rainy day by Carplus, the national body for car share schemes, and then a filming session with low carbon charity 10:10. The mini-film they made has been released and viewed by nearly 19,000 people on Facebook. It is now available on Harbury Energy Initiative’s Facebook pages https://www.facebook.com/HarburyEnergyInitiative/videos/921339597983635/ as some of you will have already seen. We began with grant funding from Big60Million https://www.big60million.co.uk, Heart of England Community Fund http://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/heart-england-fund/ and E-Car, allowing us 450 hours of funded use. We are now half way through these hours and finding further funding has become critical. Demand is rapidly growing, showing that we have identified a desperate need. Our running costs are extremely low, as we work entirely with volunteer drivers and coordinators. At current demand levels £3000 would cover a year’s service provision. Any business out there interested in supporting this work?
We deliver this service in association with the Supporting Communities Group of the local church, with whom we are working on a separate environmental awareness programme. Why work with the church? Church congregations are said to be falling – but not in Harbury. The church congregation or Coventry Diocese is a large body of people, most of them with a strong moral sense. These then must be open to an understanding of the obligations that we, as probably the most influential animal on the planet, have towards the environment that supports us. The initiative with the church ranges from improvements to the church’s fabric and energy use to the environmental management of the churchyard and finally awareness raising amongst the local congregations, all aligned with the Diocese’s Eco Churches programme.
On May 11th at 7.30pm we hold the first of our events, ‘Reconciling a Wounded Planet ® – my home, your future’ , an evening of two talks in the Tom Hauley Room behind All Saints Church, Harbury. The first speaker will be Godfrey Armitage, Diocesan Environment Officer, who has introduced the Eco Churches scheme; the second will be George Browning, organic farmer, ecohouse builder and owner of an electric car, all with the purpose of ‘stepping lightly on the planet’. If you are in the area, come and join in. It’s free to attend.