As five partner organisations (local authorities) were involved in the project each had their own approach on assisting communities to help them raise awareness on climate and energy issues and encouraging people to change attitudes and behaviours towards energy usage for the long term.
The local authorities’ role and input is perhaps best seen as a continuum, from the French approach working directly with individuals to the development of wide ranging partnerships between local authorities and community groups in England. Each local authority employed Energy and Climate Ambassadors to help facilitate this support.
Direct local authority programmes
French local partners chose to mobilise SEACS resources to coordinate actions directly to target the public. Thus the Energy and Climate Ambassadors recruited individuals and groups or collaborated with organisations specialising in environmental education or energy efficiency.
In England partners also had some direct contact with the general public, for example through the provision of advice stands or presentations at community events or taking the lead in organising awareness raising or training events.
Facilitation, networking and support to individual groups
This involved both support to individual group initiatives (e.g. funding, training, resources, technical expertise) and providing the opportunity for groups to learn from each other though networking events, newsletters etc. This facilitation role has proved essential in ensuring the continuation of the project, with Green Doors events, for example, continuing and expanding without further local authority support.
Development of wider community led initiatives with local authority funding
In Devon, the emphasis was on the development and funding of wider community led initiatives and partnerships, often bringing together community groups and local authorities, with funding to build capacity, produce technical reference reports and run awareness raising community events.