The winning project
Norton Housing and Support provide support for people with long term mental health needs and their service users are passionate about the environment. As a result, they set up the Green Group.
The Green Group has service user representatives who meet quarterly and look at efficiency measures and initiatives including:
- supporting staff and residents to recycle waste
- information sheets so low energy light bulbs are disposed of properly
- scrutinising utility bills for each home and office
- examining water use
- tackling food waste – from freezing food to making sure people know if you won’t be home for tea.
The reps then raise awareness of these amongst other service users, and roll this out using newsletter articles, quizzes, home visits, trips and word of mouth.
Norton’s overall utility budget has reduced by around 20%, and a recent survey has shown 95% of respondents feel they are environmentally aware and can list the reasons how and why.
What the judges said
By involving their service users in an area they already feel passionate about, Norton Housing and Support have been able to save money as well as the environment.