Voluntary sector cash boost for sustainable living

Over £2 million in grant aid is to go to community groups and voluntary organisations which support sustainable living.

The grants have been awarded under Defra's Environmental Action Fund (EAF).

Grants range from £25,000 to £250,000 per year and applications were sought for the three-year projects starting in April 2005.

Groups must find eligible matching funding and ensure that the projects have well defined objectives, measurable outcomes and clear timescales.

Almost 40 separate projects have been awarded money to promote sustainable living.

Environment Minister Elliot Morley said: "I am very pleased to continue supporting voluntary and community sector groups under the Environmental Action Fund.

"Sustainable consumption and production is a key priority for Defra and this work will help to show and facilitate sustainable choices into people's everyday lives.

"Good progress has been made in this first year of these projects and I am confident the programme will make a valuable contribution in helping to influence change within local communities."

The projects which have been awarded funding are as diverse as the definitions of sustainability.

They range from a scheme in London's Tower Hamlets promoting recycling to the Muslim community and publicity asking visitors to Youth Hostels to adopt more sustainable lifestyles to a national scheme promoting charity shops as the hub of a working example of effective re-use of goods.

Funds for EAF have now been fully allocated for the period until April 2008 but more information on the scheme and possible future funding can be found on the Defra website here.

By Sam Bond



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