Scout Group goes carbon free!

The improved headquarters of 14th Eastleigh Scout Group (The Spitfires), Allbrook, Hampshire, is now one of the most environmentally friendly community buildings and Scout headquarters in the country.

The group have completed a series of environmental improvements to make their building carbon neutral, including the installation of an environmentally friendly Air to Air heat pump system. The new system absorbs heat from the outside air and distributes it throughout the building taking heat to areas which were previously unheated and uncomfortable to use. The system also replaced very inefficient blown air gas and electric fan heaters.

The system is operated by electricity the group are generating themselves, from their solar panels, which means the building can now be heated with zero carbon emissions and at no cost.

This project was the final stage of a range of environmental improvements undertaken by the group, who are committed to educating young people from the local and wider community about the effect they have on climate change, and how they can reduce that effect.

Previous projects have included the installation of a solar photovoltaic electric system, solar hot water system, a full range of energy efficiency measures including cavity wall insulation and energy efficient lighting and the installation of a rainwater harvesting system.

The cost of the heat pump project was in the region of £15,000. Funding was achieved through Eastleigh District Scouts and group fundraising and with generous grants from the First, Black Velvet and Blue Star bus companies, Eastleigh Borough Council, and The Veolia Environmental Trust awarded through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Project Co-ordinator Ian West said, “With the fantastic support from all the funders who made it possible to complete this project the group will continue to operate a carbon free building and young people can continue to take the lead in tackling climate change. The reductions in the costs in operating the building will make more money available for young people to undertake activities and support community projects and will lead to a better sustainable future for all.”

Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Margaret Cobbold, adds, “It is great that we are able to support community groups with environmental projects such as this through the Landfill Communities Fund. The completed improvements have transformed the building into a great community venue benefiting both the environment and all who use it for many years to come.”

Editors’ notes:
The Veolia Environmental Trust has been supporting community and environmental projects for 14 years. Under the Landfill Communities Fund, landfill site operators can donate a percentage, currently 6.2%, of their landfill tax payment to these projects. Since its inception, Veolia Environmental Services (UK) plc has supported the Trust with contributions of over £47.5 million to 1320 projects.

The Trust has helped fund a diverse range of projects, including the repair of woodland footpaths, the renovation of community halls and the installation of playgrounds and play areas. For more information, or to find out how to apply for funding, visit the Trust’s website