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Developing an Environmental Impact Report for the Lincolnshire YMCA

Posted by Michael

The outcome of the project is an assessment of our environmental impact, suggestions for reducing our impact including quantified steps to reduce carbon usage and single use plastics. Identification of potential funding sources to reduces impact e.g. building design, use of solar panels on all buildings etc. This could lead to drafting a statement of environmental principles for the organisation to adhere to.

Exploring how feasible an sustainable lifestyle is for the young people on a low income

Posted by Sue

We want to explore just how feasible an environmentally sustainable lifestyle is for the young people we work with, particularly for those on a low income and who have experienced homelessness. Are choices such as ‘organic’, ‘low carbon’ or ‘veganism’ attainable for everyone and if not, how can we help bridge the gap?

A project like this might consist of interviews with staff members and service users, research into other industries and sectors and shadowing meetings with young people.

Exploring how to adapt services to reflect commitment to addressing climate change

Posted by Sue

We want to assess our current sustainability credentials across our whole organisation, exploring ways we can innovate and adapt our services to reflect our commitment to addressing climate change. This will include exploration into existing services we provide e.g. supported accommodation for homeless young people and horticulture, and might consist of interviews with staff members and service users and research into other industries and sectors. It could also look into how we better use all our stages of accommodation and land to enhance the environments around us.

Maximising the potential of renewable energy: problem solving for the RED WoLF project

Posted by Rachel

The RED WoLF summer school will take place entirely online from June – August 2021, where small groups will develop impactful projects, research or initiatives addressing real-world challenges faced by the RED WoLF project, which is maximising the potential of renewable energy and smart renewables.

Students will be presented challenges by the RED WoLF project partners, and other key stakeholders and then will be assigned in small interdisciplinary groups to a challenge stream based on academic discipline, experience and interests. Students will be invited to join a number of online workshops and seminars to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to problem-solve their assigned challenge, before working independently and in groups to address the challenges over the 9-week programme.

We are expecting the time commitment for students to be around 1 day per week, with very few set hours so it is manageable around other commitments. In August, student groups will write up and present their findings, results and recommendations back to the challenge setters and other relevant stakeholders and receive feedback.

Through taking part, you will develop and demonstrate transferable professional and academic skills and apply them to challenges which are addressing the climate emergency. You will also earn a digital badge. Whilst we expect the majority of students to take part in an extra-curricular capacity, we can aim to meet academic requirements if you are able to claim academic credit for placements such as this as part of your course. Please talk to your supervisor and get in touch with us to discuss more.

Applications are open now for students from all disciplines in North-West Europe (UK, Ireland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland). Apply here (deadline 7 May): bit.ly/redwolfschool

The Sustainability Improves Student Learning website is designed for STEM academic faculty to learn how to educate for sustainable development. This great website needs periodic updating.

Posted by Wendy

Looking for an undergraduate or graduate student to maintain the website.

Employment, family and sustainability

Posted by Catherine

Neuroscience has demonstrated that the relationships we experience, particularly early in life, have a significant impact on our future life outcomes. Recent ONS data has also confirmed that when family and key relationships are working well, they are the leading factor supporting our resilience through tough times. Our research, has highlighted the key role employers and organisations play in influencing whether families of all forms, thrive or not. The Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as actions that take account of impact on current as well as future generations and we want to strengthen the understanding, commitment and inspiration of employers and corporations to shift the dial on this key issue.

We are currently confirming budget available and are open to discussing the best ways to deliver this opportunity and attract someone who will be the right fit. We are currently in discussion with other potential partners which is likely to result in this brief being finetuned.

The objectives of our overall project are:
1. To scale an urgent and national-level on family as a central part of organisational sustainability practice
2. To partner with 2-3 leading entrepreneurs to further develop their learning, practice and tools to inspire wider system change, inclusive of diverse and dynamic families
3. To partner with leading sustainability and employment groups to scale conversation and action and embed this within their ongoing support to organisations
4. To share learning with government professional bodies to influence future regulation and good practice

We are open to other ideas; our thinking is that this colleague would work with us to develop the following outputs:
- creation of a business case template to support organisational champions to get traction on family as an ESG issue
- creation of 2-3 simple organisational self-assessment tools and processes which inform meaningful organisational improvement
- meaningful and accessible metrics that align with existing ESG frameworks
- strong partnerships with key sustainability organisations (as a result of high quality work and relationship building)
- recommendations for inclusion in influencing activities with investment activists, professional bodies and government consultations on future employment and ESG

We are a micro organisation which works remotely and part-time as business as usual. We have a system of annualised TOIL and flexible working. Employees provide their own equipment. There are many opportunities to learn and develop through the organisation and role including access to some external training and networking opportunities. There will be an expectation of strong planning, problem-solving ability, active listening and relationship building skills. Since we are breaking new ground and influencing from a low starting position, it will be important that candidates are both resilient, self-aware and communicative. We are an inclusive organisation with a strong commitment for all families -whatever their make up or circumstances- to thrive.

Social Media Marketing and / or Web Design and or accountancy

Posted by David

We have 2 directors: myself (I am registered blind and have a guide dog called Darcy) as well as Dyslexia and my partner Karren has severe Dyslexia.

We have recently launch our own not for profit social enterprise that aims to support employers to recruit and retain the skills of the 1 million disabled people looking for work. We work with employers to bust the many myths around employing disabled people and promote the many benefits. We also run free workshops for disabled people on the 'facts of life' within the recruitment process.

We know our strengths and that is supporting disabled people using our own lived experience and our professional expertise having carried out similar roles within the public service. We are both very good at it.

COVID has been particularly hard, the nature of our work is face to face by default and as such after launching in February 2020 our opportunities drained very quickly as it did with many businesses. This has meant that finances have been VERY limited and we have not as yet made any profit even though we have invested over £6,000 of our own money to keep the business afloat.

We also know our weaknesses:
Accountancy: With both of us having dyslexia and my visual impairment, numbers are a particular challenge. We do basic book keeping but need support with tax returns etc.

Social medial marketing: SEO, blogging and online presence are also very challenging and we are not making any effective use of the services that are available to us due to the many 'accessibility' barriers we face.

Web design: I have had a crack at it, www.breasonable.co.uk, and as you can see it's pretty poor.

We just need to get the basics right so that we can start to run our social enterprise to the benefit of the disabled community.