Climate change will hit our most disadvantaged communities hard

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We recently awarded Sims Hill Shared Harvest a grant for their Mentor Programme providing natural farming-focused work experience and mentoring to asylum seekers and refugees
Thanks to all our speakers at last week's launch of Vital Signs 2021 Climate & communities

The new Vital Signs 2021 report says that Covid has hit our most disadvantaged communities hardest – and warns the climate crisis will do the same.

Our Vital Signs 2021 ‘Climate and communities’ report examines how the climate crisis is already affecting local lives. It includes local and national data on energy and transport, food, weather and nature.

It also highlights the work of local projects already taking positive steps to improve the environment and tackle climate change. We’ve been supporting environmental projects for over 20 years, such as Sims Hill Shared Harvest, pictured.

Lucy Gilbert, Head of Policy at Quartet Community Foundation and the report’s author says: “It’s clear that, as with the Covid crisis, it’s those of us already facing disadvantage that are going to feel the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

“Our local charitable organisations will be frontline in responding to climate change because they’re on the ground, ready to act swiftly, as they’ve been doing throughout the pandemic.

“We want to support action now that will help mitigate the local effects of climate change. There are some fantastic initiatives working on this already, and now is the time to support them. We want to play our part by working with philanthropists and local organisations to support a fairer, greener future.

“At Quartet Community Foundation we’re already funding projects like Sims Hill Shared Harvest, Osprey Outdoors, Bath City Farm, Avon Wildlife Trust and Bath Share & Repair but we’d love to do more. The local charity sector has been working flat out to support communities during Covid; we want to make sure they have the resources they need to help communities through the climate crisis too.”

More than 50 supporters join the launch event

The breaking of which household item inspired someone to set up a repair charity? And how can green space make a difference on a hot day in the city? These and many other questions were addressed at the official launch of Vital Signs 2021 last week.

More than 50 supporters and around 20 staff and trustees came along to hear from the report’s author Lucy Gilbert. Lucy shared the findings from this year’s report, including how the number of deaths due to heatwaves is expected to rise steeply in the UK – by around 70% this decade. She highlighted how increasing the quantity and quality of green space locally can affect how heat will impact the most vulnerable among us.

Lucy stressed that taking action on climate change is a question of fairness, because our most disadvantaged communities will be the hardest hit.

Local action already making a difference

The event – Chaired by our Trustee Annie Kilvington – heard from three local groups already making a difference.

·         Kelly Bray from Avon Wildlife Trust talked about green-prescribing and their Wellbeing with Nature structured course

·         Wendy Watkins from Osprey Outdoors in North Somerset explained they have a waiting list for their conservation and wellbeing work. Wendy says they need more money, more staff and another minibus to meet the needs they’re seeing

·         Lorna Montgomery from Bath Share & Repair explained how her quest to get her kettle repaired helped lead to Bath Share & Repair developing Repair Cafes. Between 2017-2020 they saw 2,000 items brought for repair, including the 400 items they looked at between March – November 2020, despite all the challenges of Covid.

Our fund holders are invited to a range of events like this throughout the year. If you’re interested in joining hundreds of other people who’ve already set up a charitable fund with Quartet, please contact Ronnie Brown ronnie.brown@quartetcf.org.uk