St John the Baptist Church off Westhead Avenue has installed new energy efficient LED lights in the church hall thanks to funding from Stafford Borough Council through the 'We Love Littleworth' project.
'We Love Littleworth' is part of Stafford Borough Council’s work to promote environmental quality and to reduce our carbon footprint and encourage residents to be more environmentally aware. The project in the Littleworth area of Stafford started in 2015, and is a collaboration between the Council, Sustainability Matters, and local community groups, businesses, schools and other organizations.
Over recent years the Council has, with a wide range of partners, been working on an area basis to help support and promote more sustainable communities. Initiatives have included the successful Penkside Project, activities in Holmcoft through ‘Warmer Holmcroft’ and the first pilot low carbon community project ‘Derrington Way Ahead’. See the Council's ‘sustainable communities’ webpage for further information on these initiatives.
Promote more sustainable lifestyles
In Littleworth links have been forged with a range of groups and organisations, including Perkins Engines, Weston Road Academy, St John’s Primary School, County Hospital, St John's Church, local Guides, and Sea Cadets. The aim has been to foster participation more widely in the community, to improve environmental quality and promote more sustainable lifestyles in the area.
Jacqueline Perkins of Weston Road Academy using the new cycle stands
to promote sustainable travel as part of the We Love Littleworth project.
Target aims for We Love Littleworth:
- Supporting community and environmental well-being in a sustainable way
- Promoting energy efficiency
- Installing cycle parking
- Helping wildlife and biodiversity
- Increasing recycling and re-use of materials
- Encouraging local food growing
Achievements so far
- Energy audits funded through 'We Love Littleworth' and conducted by Marches Energy Agency for five community buildings: St John’s Church, Littleworth Guide Hut, Littleworth Community Centre, Perkins Social Club and Sea Scouts HQ, plus one local business, NVS Studios.
- Energy measures installed at Littleworth Community Centre, Littleworth Guide Hut , St John's Church and Sea Cadets HQ funded in part or fully through ' We Love Littleworth'.
- 'We Love Littleworth' display has toured Perkins Engines Co., Perkins Social Club and Littleworth Community Centre.
- Cycle parking installed at Littleworth Community Centre and Weston Road Academy.
- Support and advice resulted in Weston Road Academy receiving £12,000 from the Tesco 'Bags of Help' grant scheme to create an eco classroom and eco-garden at the school.
- Further grant funding from Tesco Bags of Help is being used to create a 'Healthier Place for Wildlife and People' at County Hospital, with rustic benches, bird and bat boxes, a sensory trail, tree planting and a wildflower meadow.
A successful inaugural event, the Festival of Refashioning and Repair, was held on Saturday 2 July 2016 at St John's Church Hall and Grounds, Westhead Avenue, Stafford. An estimated 200 visitors got tips on how to mend, fix, repair or refurbish. Pictures of the event can be found on the Facebook page. This was repeated in 2017.
March 2017 saw Stafford's first Repair Cafe take place as part of We Love Littleworth. A group of willing volunteers mended or fixed over 30 items brought to St John's by local people. The items ranged from a necklace to a washing machine! 'Brilliant! So pleased with my repairs" was one typical comment. Since then three further Repair Cafes have been run. Of the 100 items presented, nearly 90 were successfully repaired!
A volunteer repairer wrestles with the intricacies of a vacuum cleaner at Repair Cafe.
A Healthier Place for Wildlife and People
A new nest box is inscribed by its young creator while Dad looks on;
part of Nest Box Day, February 2017.
One of the most popular open spaces in the Littleworth area is County Hospital. A grant from Tesco 'Bags of Help' is being used to enhance the hospital grounds, as part of We Love Littleworth, in collaboration with University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust. In early spring 2017 some 20 new nest boxes were installed on trees, some of which were made by members of the public during a snowy Nest Box Day held in February.
An avenue of trees has been created along the main entrance road, new seating and picnic benches have been provided for staff and visitors, and eight new oak rustic benches installed around the site, with the help of apprentices from local firm Perkins Engines Ltd. A new 'trim trail' with sensory posts has been created around the grounds for the enjoyment of visitors, staff, and the general public, and there are plans for a wildflower meadow and tree sculpture.
A rustic bench of native oak for use by staff and visitors
to County Hospital. Apprentices from local firm Perkins Engines Ltd helped with the installation, overseen by the
Hospital's Head Gardener, Malcolm.
Focus on Perkins Engines Ltd.
Perkins Engines on the Tixall Road is a major employer in the Littleworth area and the factory site has long-standing ties to the local community. And many local people, whether employees or not, socialize and relax at Perkins Sports and Social Club.
In recent years the factory has taken various initiatives to help the local environment, particularly in managing parts of the site for wildlife. Volunteers from the factory maintain the area of wetland bordering the River Sow, which is home to badgers, barn owls, herons, and many other species.
One of five sensory gardens designed by local schools on the Perkins factory site
Each year the company sponsors the Perkins Eco Awards for local schools, and hosts the awards ceremony. Linked to this, five local schools have designed and installed sensory gardens to the rear of the Social Club. Guided visits to the area can be arranged. The company is also an active member of Stafford Borough Eco-Schools Network, and sometimes plays host to staff and pupils from local schools.
In autumn 2015 Perkins arranged for the We Love Littleworth display to be staged week-long in the canteen, and afterwards in the Social Club, to provide employees with news about the project, and information about a range of topics, such as energy efficiency and home safety. There was also a Perkins Eco Quiz, with prizes for the winner and runners-up.
Did you know?
- There are 252 solar panels on the Perkins factory roof
- The factory bales and recycles 104 tonnes of cardboard each year
Officers from Stafford Borough Council (Andre Fannell, left; Karen Davies, third from left) and employees of Perkins Engines (Wayne Foster, Mark Stones, David Ashton and Lee Townsend) in front of the We Love Littleworth display in the works canteen.