Community Champions

Sustainable Merton’s Community Champions are a group of 73 local residents passionate about improving the environment, encouraging sustainable behaviour change, and addressing issues around waste, air quality, energy, and food. Despite many planned activities being cancelled as a result of COVID-19, 20 of their Community Champions have contributed over 250 hours since lockdown began. Their efforts have been focused on projects and activities that address both social and environmental goals during this time of crisis. Here is a snapshot of what they’ve been up to:

 

Merton’s Community Fridge
They have played a key role in helping Sustainable Merton open and run Merton’s Community Fridge, a long-term sustainability initiative which helps residents during this time of food crisis and stops good food from going to waste. This has involved fundraising, promoting the service, handing out food parcels and collecting/redistributing food from local supermarkets. They have distributed over 1,735kg of food (saving 5,550 Kg of CO2) and provided food assistance to almost 50 families since the start of the pandemic.

 

Weekly Web Chats
The Community Champions have taken part in a Weekly Web Chats series to share their stories, experiences and knowledge of a wide range of sustainability topics. These virtual video chats have provided a much needed space for the community to connect, chat and keep the important conversation around sustainability going.

 

Community Gardening
Many of the Community Champions are regular volunteers at Phipps Bridge Community Garden; Sustainable Merton’s flagship community gardening project. On 22nd April, the 50th anniversary of World Earth Day, the team of volunteers came together to celebrate and, of course, tend to their flourishing crops of potatoes, lettuce, broccoli, celeriac, and soon-to-be carrots and strawberries. Spending time outdoors has become more important than ever for health and well being, and many people have found gardening and food growing, either at home or at an allotment, a great way to keep active and stay connected with people and nature.