Local Organisations benefit from Sidlesham Firms Generosity

Mark Osborne and Darren Crisp from Wagner Renewables presenting a check to Jen (left) and Lizzie Baily MBE (centre) of Wellspring West Sussex (photo credit Wellspring West Sussex)

Wagner Renewables started their Eco Funding initiative in 2022, it sees the company donate some of their profits to local organisations with ‘green’ or ‘eco’ projects coming up.

 

The company also plants trees as part of this project, with over 260 trees planted in The National Forest. 164 of these trees were planted in 2023.

Wagner Renewables has been based in Sidlesham since 2009, distributing solar PV and renewables equipment across the UK, and internationally. 6 years ago the company branched out offering local installations. Supporting local customers and businesses through making the transition to green energy has always been important for the company. Following a period of growth, they saw the opportunity to support the local community in other ways.

This year the company has awarded £2500 to 5 local organisations, each receiving £500 towards their projects.

One of these projects is Wheely Wonders, a farm and forest school designed towards supporting children with additional needs, and their families.

A spokesperson for Wellspring said ‘Wellspring West Sussex is so grateful to Wagner Renewables for their funding towards our Wheely Wonders days, held just down the lane from Wagner at Applefield smallholding and run by Lizzie Baily MBE in partnership with Woodland Wonders Forest School. Children with additional needs and siblings get the opportunity for creative play and outdoor activities together with their parents - learning new skills, building confidence and taking home crafts to remember the day.’

Two of the projects, one run by Selsey Community Forum, and the other being run at Seal Primary Academy, encourage families to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Paul, Environmental Coordinator for Selsey Community Forum explained;

‘The Hidden Garden, based in Selsey, is an organically run community garden looked after by a dedicated group of volunteers and is part of Grow Selsey a wider community food growing project. We run a variety of educational activities with young people, adults with learning needs and provide a space for groups from the community to enjoy the environment we have created. The garden is a space for both people and wildlife and we hope to inspire our visitors to take away ideas to create wildlife havens in their own gardens. We encourage people to swap seeds and plants with us, run a fruit harvesting project called Abundance and share produce we have grown with groups in the community run by Selsey Community Forum’

Headteacher of Seal Primary thanked Wagner for the funding which will go towards new equipment for their allotment area;

"With this grant we will be able to develop our allotment area which at the moment is a small vegetable plot. We will be able to purchase watering cans, trowels, spades and compost beds. With this we will be able to grow a wider variety over the four seasons as we will also be able to buy a

green house. The produce is sold to our local community and encourages our pupils to experience watching their seeds turn into food and enjoy eating the end result."

One of the other recipients of the funding is Brent Lodge, a charity and neighbour that Wagner Renewables has had close ties with for several years. Alex Foster thanked the Team at Wagner Renewables, saying ; ‘Your kind support will help massively with our environmental project - which aims to highlight and raise awareness of environmental issues in local schools and communities, whilst supporting them to make positive changes and empowering them to respect and protect their local environment and wildlife. Our workshops equip each child with essential skills and fascinating knowledge, as well as giving them a sense of responsibility and belonging which will contribute to a harmonious future for humans, the environment and wildlife to co-exist sustainably. The generous support provided by the Wagner Eco Fund will contribute to our project being able to provide outdoor-focused education for young people, fostering their scientific curiosity, awareness of wildlife conservation values and developing a deeper connection with nature. This could then lead to a lifelong love for the natural world and making environmentally-friendly life choices in the future, and potentially even inspire them to follow careers in sustainability, environmental protection or conservation. We are so grateful to Wagner Renewables and the Eco Fund team for their support and for recognising the importance of our work.’

The other recipients of the funding are The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group, supporting regeneration, and wildlife conservation around Selsey and Sidlesham. Already this year they have planted several miles of new hedgerow. The funding will help go towards further planting projects, as well as protecting wildlife in the local area.

Mark Osborne, Managing Director of Wagner Renewables said ‘This project is all about giving back to the local community. So far we have been able to donate over £8000 between local charities and planting trees in The National Forest. This is a scheme we hope to continue, and expand as we grow’.

More funding will be available towards the end of 2024. If you have a local organisation that could benefit from funding towards a ‘green’ project keep an eye on Wagner Renewables social media and website for when applications open.

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