A consortium led by Manor House Development Trust (MHDT) is one of 12 UK projects awarded a total of £12million Communities Living Sustainably funding by the Big Lottery Fund, announced on 3 September 2012.
The Big Lottery Fund is giving the Manor House PACT project just under £1million over the next three years. It’s the sole London project to be chosen and will enable individuals and communities in the Manor House area to build collective resilience to climate change using the PACT principles of Prepare, Adapt, Connect and Thrive.
Simon Donovan, Director of MHDT says: “The Manor House area is home to some of the most deprived communities in London. For years residents have been blighted by worklessness, poor health and educational attainment and lack of social amenities and green space. Fuel poverty is amongst London’s worst. Plus the area is made up of under-used but beautiful green spaces.
Manor House is changing. This £1million investment will enable the community to self-organise to collectively tackle these issues creating jobs, investing in future green and environmental skills, creating volunteer and community organisation opportunities.
Thanks to The Big Lottery Fund the Manor House communities have the opportunity to completely re-invent the way that they and those looking in from the outside perceive the area as it becomes a green, sustainable and truly desirable place in which to live and work”.
The PACT project covers the Manor House area and includes four electoral wards that are among the most deprived wards in the city: Brownswood and New River in the London Borough of Hackney; and Seven Sisters and Finsbury Park in the London Borough of Haringey.
The PACT project has identified and aims to challenge two major issues which limit the ability of the Manor House community to adapt to climate change: fuel poverty and worklessness.
Fuel poverty affects people’s resilience to the impacts of climate change because it means families cannot afford the fuel they need to cope in extreme cold weather. This has been linked to 2,700 deaths a year in the UK . Associated health problems include asthma, bronchitis, hypothermia, strokes, heart attacks and respiratory ailments from mould growth. As much as 37% of older people living alone are likely to be fuel poor.
With high numbers of low income and vulnerable families in the Manor House area this is a significant issue. The percentage of fuel poor households is as high as 22.1% compared with the London average of 13.3% (according to the DECC measure).
The PACT project will target householders – particularly those in low income and vulnerable households – with advice and practical support delivered by trained PACT Champions. It will also set up Closer Neighbours groups to sustain that support via relationship-building, ongoing monitoring, engagement and checks in times of extreme weather.
Reducing worklessness is a key issue for the London boroughs of Hackney and Haringey particularly among young people aged 16-25:
- The percentage of the population in Hackney (7.3%) and Haringey (6.4%) claiming jobs seeker allowance is well above the London average (4.1%) .
- The percentage of the population with no qualification in Seven Sisters (28%) and New River (33%) wards is significantly high than the London average.
The PACT project will provide a range of training packages, volunteering opportunities, work experience and jobs for local people to support them into work. The project will take advantage of the emerging Green Deal and the growing social enterprise sector to boost jobs in the area. One strategy is to incubate a new grounds maintenance social enterprise, which will be community-led and will generate new jobs for local people. Another is to provide free green skills training for local people through the Building Lives Training Academy.
Manor House PACT is a consortium comprising a range of public, private and voluntary and community sector partners: lead partner Manor House Development Trust (MHDT), Berkeley Group PLC, Genesis Housing Association, Groundwork London, Hackney Council, Haringey Council, Hackney Homes, Homes for Haringey, London Wildlife Trust (LWT), Transition Finsbury Park (TFP)