Hi All,

My name is Jordan Kelly and I have recently started working at Northfield Ecocentre as a Customer Service apprentice.

My roles include data entry, answering calls, helping out with different projects, and generally helping wherever it is required. I have received a very warm welcome and I am very much looking forward to the rest of my time working there. Although my knowledge of the environment and energy saving is limited, I am learning more and more by the day, and I am excited to learn more about how to live more sustainably.

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At Northfield Ecocentre we are working with Allen's Cross Community Centre to develop a new project bringing people together around food growing. If you have a couple of minutes we would be really grateful if you could fill in this short survey to help us make it relevant to Northfield.

Click here to take survey

Thank you!

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Stand Up For What You Love

For the love of our planet, this spring, we are standing with over 100 organisations to call for climate action for the sake of all the things that matter most.

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Easter Open Day at Masefield Community Gardens

Join us on Wednesday 23rd April between 10am and 2pm to visit our beautiful community garden, see the developments, and find out how to get involved. We will be firing up the earth oven, and running children's activities.

Lots to see and do.

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Allen's Cross 'Growing' Neighbourhoods Project

We are really excited about a new project we hope will be happening at Allen's Cross community centre to develop the outdoor space into a community garden. The Ecocentre will be working with Allen's Cross on this project.

 

Come along to the Tea Party on Sunday 13th April, 2.30pm to 4.30pm, to find out more about the project, how you can get involved and share your ideas for what should be included.

Get your tickets from Shelia at Allen's Cross.

 

As part of this project we are conducting some research into how people feel about living in Northfield. There's a chance for you to win a £25 voucher if you take part. Please complete these questions and return to Georgia by Saturday 12th April.

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Each week, Northfield Ecocentre provide home energy advice visits to people across Birmingham. We offer practical advice and tips on saving energy and money in the home. As well as advising on aspects like draft proofing and energy monitoring, we look at people's energy bills and tariffs. One thing that is consistent amongst homes that we visit, is the lack of understanding of energy bills and the little trust people have in energy companies. People feel disempowered and confused,  which often results in them not switching around to find a better deal.

Northfield Ecocentre welcomes yesterday's announcement that there will be a full enquiry into the UK's energy markets. In our experience working with people across the city, is that the current energy markets are not working in their interests. Loyal customers are charged more money than those that switch regularly. As the 'Big Six' have such a large market share, those who do switch regularly often don't feel like there is anything better with their new suppliers. Northfield Ecocentre would like to see the smaller energy companies, that are often cheaper and source more renewable energy, get a fairer chance at competing for customers. Breaking the Big Six's hold on generation and supply would begin to address this.

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5 Years in the Life of Northfield Ecocentre

When I applied for the job of Project Coordinator in November 2008 for a new project in Northfield I knew I was taking a bit of a risk but it seemed like an exciting opportunity to be working locally on an issue I have been passionate about since I was seven or eight years old (I remember trying to design a car that would run only using a rubber band because I was so concerned by car fumes – needless to say it would never have worked!).

The role was for 2 years. I was worried about what I might do afterwards especially having a small child at home, but I wanted the challenge. I never thought that 5 years later I would be celebrating our birthday as the Ecocentre continues to strengthen and develop new projects.

On 20th March 2009 Northfield Ecocentre opened as a pioneering green living hub with the aim of providing free advice, information and support on how to reduce energy use at home along with a programme of sustainable living activities including upcycling, bike maintenance and food growing.

At the time I told the Birmingham Mail: “We want to be a place where people can find information about being sustainable and even if we don’t have the answers, we should know where to get the right information from... We are hoping for a programme of events which will help visitors to learn what they need to be greener.”

“This could include anything from gardening classes to... a workshop on how to fix and repair bikes... We’ve been given a sewing machine to run sewing classes as well.”

“Our aim is to make this place as practical as possible so people can learn new skills that can be applied to their lives. The impact of those actions will help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

As I was preparing for our birthday celebrations I came across this article and felt really proud of all the hard work the staff, volunteer Management Committee, volunteers and our supporters have put in to make sure we achieve all of those aims, and more besides. Let’s have a look at those aims from five years ago:

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Hello,

My name is Isabel and I am in Year 11 at Bournville Secondary School. I have been volunteering at the Eco Centre since the 5th February, I come every Wednesday and help out with whatever is needed for a couple of hours. I have to volunteer for 3- 6 months as part of my Duke of Edinburgh silver award as well as do a skill and physical activity. When I first came to Eco Centre i received a really warm welcome from everyone who works here and was show around. When you look around the Eco Centre you can see such a wide variety of things and when you take the time to read the different posters, you're fascinated. Despite being here for only a short period of time I have learnt many new things, such as how a smart metre works and how important it is to save electricity in every possible way. I have been asked to do multiple tasks from little simple things like sorting out the art supplies, to larger tasks such as creating fact sheets to inform visitors on how smart metres work and creating a display to explain about solar panel monitors. All of the activities I have done have been interesting and have helped me to have a better understanding on things that will come in handy when I own my own house. But it has not only been intellectually useful, it has also given me experience in being in a working environment which will also benefit my future. I can't wait for the weeks I have ahead of me so that I can find out even more!

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This Saturday we have two fantastic spring gardening courses to to kick start your food growing:



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Coming up from March 2014 we a running a host of fantastic Food growing courses to get you started for the spring growing season.

Food Growing Courses

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