This year marks the 100th anniversary of local charity, Care for Veterans, and the year has been made even more special by the environmentally-friendly initiatives that the charity has recently introduced.
Based in Worthing, West Sussex, Care for Veterans is a 60-bed facility providing 24-hour nursing and therapy services, 365 days per year, to some of the most vulnerable and disabled ex-Service personnel in the country. The nature of the charity’s work and the size of the facility meant that its energy bills were in the region of £96,000 per year.
Care for Veterans’ CEO, Andy Neaves, explains how the facility has begun to think about their environmental impact on the local community.
“We initiated our ‘Green Project’, which was created to not only reduce our expenditure, but also ensure we are doing all we can to lessen our environmental impact as much as possible.”
Following an Energy Audit by The Carbon Trust, Care for Veterans was advised to install solar panels on the roof of the building. Such a system starts saving money from the moment it is installed and, as well as reducing energy costs, will generate a sustainable source of income for the charity of around £138,000 over the first five years. Furthermore, it will save approximately 137.5 tonnes of carbon being emitted into the local environment during those five years, which will greatly benefit the local community.
Care for Veterans was delighted when the first major contribution to the costs of the project came in a grant of £50,000 from the Rampion Fund at Sussex Community Foundation. With its 116 turbines and 400MW installed capacity, Rampion Offshore Wind Farm is the first offshore wind farm off the south coast of England and was very happy to support a green project in this area.
There was more cause for celebration, when Care for Veterans found out that a private family trust was to generously donate the final £63,000 needed to complete the project.
Elizabeth Baxter, Head of Fundraising and Marketing, said,
“On day one of the completion of the project, we generated 38% of our energy needs from the panels, all from green energy, which is amazing.”
Working together to protect the environment
The charity has developed an environmental and sustainability policy, which aims to make a difference to the environmental issues that we all face. Care for Veterans has made a pledge to reduce its energy consumption, to benefit both the veterans it looks after, and acknowledge its responsibility to a cleaner environment for both the local community and the country as a whole. The charity is also replacing its old lighting system with energy-efficient LED lighting, is compacting and recycling all its cardboard waste, has banned the use of single use plastic bottles on its premises, and now has paper cups at all drinking fountains rather than plastic ones. The new washing machines in the laundry use less energy and less water, and its pop-up charity shop stalls sell second hand items, which may have been thrown away and gone into landfill sites.
Featured image provided by Darren Cool.