A host of the UK’s most progressive and impactful charitable projects have been awarded a funding boost from the ScottishPower Foundation, with the vital support set to aid vulnerable people, communities, and natural ecosystems across the nation.
ScottishPower Foundation Executive Officer Melanie Hill with former Earth Allies participant Stuart Phillips at Glasgow Science Centre
Nineteen charities across England, Scotland and Wales have been awarded funding totalling almost £1.2 million for projects tackling a range of issues, from cost-of-living support, to promoting diversity and inclusion, raising awareness of the ongoing climate and biodiversity crises and addressing skills and attainment gaps in society.
The Earth Allies programme - an exciting project from the Glasgow Science Centre - is helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds learn about climate change and become climate advocates. Supported by funding from the ScottishPower Foundation, young people aged 16-24 will build their knowledge of climate change issues by taking part in activities that help them learn new skills like public speaking, online campaigning, and filmmaking.
Melanie Hill, Executive Officer and Trustee at the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “The young people on the Earth Allies programme are the climate ambassadors of the future, so it’s amazing to see them gain the skills they’ll need to influence decision-makers and put protecting the planet in the spotlight.
“Projects like this are prime examples of how the ScottishPower Foundation’s support is helping to create a better future for the next generation, and why it’s important for us to recognise and boost the incredible work of charities across the UK.”
Sally White, Senior Community Learning Coordinator from Glasgow Science Centre, said: “At Glasgow Science Centre, we’re determined to ensure that no young person faces barriers to accessing climate education - particularly if they’re from a disadvantaged background, who may be most at risk as the world around them continues to change.
“A huge thanks to the ScottishPower Foundation for supporting the life-changing work that we do. Through our Earth Allies programme, we will ensure that those we support are given the opportunities to succeed.”
Among the other 2023 projects funded by the ScottishPower Foundation is the creation of a ‘community pantry’ in one of the UK’s most ethnically diverse areas which offers foods and products that are culturally appropriate to the community’s members, such as halal meats. The new community hub in Newham in East London will support around 2,000 locals.
The Renewal Programme’s Newham: United Against Food Waste initiative, which aims to tackle food waste and food insecurity in the London borough, will use funding to recruit a Food-Waste Reduction Coordinator. It partners with local restaurants, shops, and market vendors to secure surplus food that would otherwise be wasted and redistributes it to local foodbanks, transported in a low-emission way via two cargo bikes.
Techniquest in Cardiff will provide free access to 2,000 children and 1,000 of their family members to learn about how to protect marine life from pollution. To inspire people from some of the most deprived areas in South East Wales to take action, the Ocean Extravaganza project will be led by marine biodiversity experts and hosted at Techniquest, one of the UK’s longest-running science and discovery centres.
Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO of Techniquest, said: “Techniquest is passionate about providing young people from across South East Wales and beyond with education and entertainment regardless of their background. With the ScottishPower Foundation’s support, we’re giving thousands of young people and their families the chance to visit our centre for free, offering them unparalleled access to all of our amazing activities and programmes.”
Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the ScottishPower Foundation has awarded over £12 million to charitable initiatives across the UK.
Melanie Hill added: “This is an incredibly exciting year for us, with so many amazing projects benefitting from our support and making a difference within their local communities. The real impact these initiatives will have for so many people can’t be understated, and I can’t wait to see what amazing work these charities will continue to do throughout the year.”