This project will pilot a 2-year programme of appointing an Eco Champion officer to work with Town and Community Councils to identify Eco Champions in their area. The dissemination of training materials and providing training to the Eco Champions would ensure that there would be a large team of individuals with the knowledge to advise local residence. This project is an innovative solution for the need to meet the recycling targets for Pembrokeshire and with support the delivering of a possible new kerb side collection services for the county.
As well as achieving its outputs and recruiting 259 volunteers, the project also led to many other non-intentional outcomes, new partnerships and activities, such as litter picking schemes, water refill stations, links to the community fridge network and plastic free campaigns. The project used online resources to engage with residents in new and innovative ways such as using YouTube and creating Eco Trails. This approach and moving away from traditional paper communications proved even more useful during the pandemic. The project received lots of positive media coverage and was awarded Pure West Radio ‘Pembrokeshire’s Greatest ‘Innovation’ Award. Moving forward, some of the work that has taken place as part of this project will be taken forward by the team of Local Environmental Advisors. There will also be a renewed link with Keep Wales Tidy to encourage and support litter picking in the county. The communication team at PCC have evaluated the unique style of messages/videos etc. produced as part of this project and will incorporate these methods of communication going forward.
‘’The overall scheme has been a huge success and has seen Pembrokeshire rise to the top the charts in Wales for its recycling figure (19/20) with a whopping 71.65% - the Eco Champion project has been recognised as a key contributor to this.’’
The project had to adapt continuously and especially when the pandemic hit. Covid resulted in the project having to make changes, however, despite groups not being allowed to go out the project saw a significant uptake from individuals and families who wanted to clean up their immediate areas. The project was also able to maintain momentum through social media and effective communication techniques.
Arwain Sir Benfro and the LEADER Programme concluded in December 2021 once all projects were completed and funding exhausted. There is now no dedicated support upon the completion of the LEADER Programme in Pembrokeshire. Should you have any queries, PLANED as the previous administrators, may be able to assist, or similarly for wider questions on the LEADER Programme in Wales, please contact the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO).