This project had 2 main strands. First to develop a plan to guide Sustaining Dunbar’s work and second to develop an Energy Advice Service.
A vision of an alternative future can be a powerful driver for change.
One of the key characteristics of the ‘Transition’ model for community action is that it sees the changes that will be required as a positive opportunity. As we work to create a relocalised economy, we will discover a shared sense of purpose, will find opportunities to learn new skills and to reconnect with our local environment and with each other –all the sort of things which people tell us actually make their lives worthwhile and contribute to their sense of wellbeing.
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A plan was developed and link it to East Lothian Council’s Single Outcome Agreement. The actions contained should enable both short term changes and longer term structural changes e.g. in planning policy and the local economy, as we move to a low carbon future. The plan also describes what kind of supportive framework will be needed at a neighbourhood level.
Staff provided detailed advice to householders and operated alongside the existing information service operating from the drop-in BeGreen shop (which opened in November 2008). This project extended considerably the depth and breadth of advice provided by providing home audits and follow up reports. These were more detailed and personalised than the Energy Saving Trust ‘Home Energy Check’ and were very well received.
No-one knows quite what a low carbon community will look like. It will take the skills, ideas and creativity of all of us to plan and create it. The aim of Sustaining Dunbar is to involve as many people as possible in starting this process and we were delighted to receive funding from the Scottish Climate Challenge Fund to support our work.
Our hope is that:
- by raising awareness of Peak Oil and the inevitability of a move away from fossil fuels,
- by creating a shared Vision of a positive and sustainable future for our community,
- by laying out a clear Plan of Action for bringing that Vision into being and
- by initiating and supporting practical projects which involve people in starting to create a resilient and vibrant future now
- we can build momentum and a feeling of energy and excitement as we prepare to face the challenges ahead.