Today we are in a truly beautiful part of the country, the St. Davids Peninsula in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, where we are meeting community group, EcoDewi. It was established in 2020 to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis at a local level and formed following local community conversations about the environment and how more action should be taking place at a grassroots level. The EcoDewi team often like to describe their work as “local people … helping with local issues … and benefiting our local natural environment”. And of course, the aim is that these benefits will all have a much wider reach, complementing other actions to support county, nation and the planet.
Despite only being around for just over two years, EcoDewi already have a remarkably wide range of projects on the go all of which benefit the local natural environment and their local community. These include: a community garden in St David’s: a project installing Swift nesting boxes across the peninsula; monthly beach cleans; working towards the Plastic Free Communities award in Solva, St Davids and Llanrhian; a Mini Meadows project encouraging residents, organisations and business to create wildflower meadows and improve their land for biodiversity; an online farmers market called the Peninsula Producers Food Hub connecting local food producers and local residents and visitors; creation of a new local nature reserve with tree planting and a new community orchard; a home energy advice project supporting those struggling with fuel costs; investigations into sustainable tourism and the impacts on our local environment and community; and lots of events including the annual Great Big Green Week!
EcoDewi works with all elements of their local community and has developed strong relationships with their local schools, community councils, businesses, other social enterprises and residents. They were over the moon to be nominated by two organisations for a UK wide award in 2022, ending up as Runners Up in the Park Protectors Award receiving our certificate in the House of Lords in Westminster, London.
We asked, EcoDewi’s Jeremy Wadia, what some of their priorities for the year ahead were; “2023 is an exciting year for EcoDewi as we become a Community Interest Company which will allow us to expand our projects to do even more to benefit the local environment and community, inspiring more people to get involved with tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis.”
Wadia continued; “In addition, we hope this year to start working on community energy projects which will be hard work and a long-term commitment but which will be an amazing step to supporting the local community in becoming more sustainable. As always, we are always on the search for additional funding opportunities and we always welcome potential volunteers to get in touch to see how they can get involved with EcoDewi.”
To conclude we asked how our platform has helped them; “Localgiving has been fantastic in providing a capable online fundraising platform that is easy to setup, user friendly and allows us to claim Gift Aid. It has also meant we’ve had access to extra fundraising opportunities and grants such as Magic Little Grants and more recently the National Grid community fund. The latter has allowed us to create a Home Energy Advice Team to support the St Davids Peninsula community through the winter, offering free energy efficiency advice, signpost people to extra help, hand out warm packs to those struggling to keep warm and in exceptional cases offer emergency support. We look forward to continuing to work with Localgiving through 2023 and beyond.”