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Award Winning ZERO Carbon Guildford Mentioned in Prime Minister’s Questions

Published on: 1 Mar, 2023
Updated on: 3 Mar, 2023

The Zero shop in Friary Street Google Street View

By Hugh Coakley

The prime minister joined Guildford’s MP this afternoon in congratulating ZERO Carbon Guilford for receiving the Climate Coalitions innovative UK Community Project Award.

The award was presented in the Houses of Parliament on Monday evening.

Angela Richardson asking her question at today’s PMQs

Angela Richardson said that ZERO Carbon Guildford has: “…taken what is often an overwhelming subject and turned it into local issues with tangible solutions to give people agency.

“Will my right honourable friend join me in congratulating all the volunteers, including Ben, Izzy and Mark on their award and does he agree that grassroots organisations like ZERO Carbon Guildford are key stakeholders in our national journey to achieve net zero?”

Rishi Sunak PM joining Guildford MP in congratulating Zero Carbon Guildford

Adding to the congratulations the prime minister replied: “She’s absolutely right that community empowerment, engagement and action can play a role in supporting the UK transition to net zero enabling communities to access the benefits that it brings from green jobs to improved health.”

ZERO Carbon Guildford was set up in 2021 to empower the local community to take action on the climate crisis.

Accepting The Climate Coalition award for Zero Carbon Guildford, from the left, Zero trustee Mark Stamp, Springwatch presenter Megan McCubbin, trustees Ben McCallan and Izzy Robson and environmentalist Indie Greene.

The Innovative UK Community Project award by The Climate Coalition was presented to the three excited Zero trustees, Mark Stamp, Izzy Robson and Ben McCallan, in the Houses of Parliament by BBC’s Springwatch presenter Megan McCubbin and environmentalist Indy Greene.

Zoe Franklin

Zoe Franklin, the prospective Parliamentary Liberal Democrat candidate for Guildford said: “It was absolutely brilliant to see ZERO Carbon Guildford’s win and I want to congratulate everyone in the team for this success.

“We all have a part to play in tackling the climate crisis but so often it can feel overwhelming.

“Through their work they are helping to reduce that overwhelm and empowering local people and businesses to become more sustainable. The award is very much deserved and if any local residents haven’t visited ZERO yet I really encourage them to drop in and find out more.”

Volunteers were quick to celebrate the win. One said: “I feel so happy and proud” and another: “Well deserved all”.

In his acceptance speech, Ben McCallan thanked the volunteers for the “thousands of hours over the last year and a half”.

He said: “A big part of the reason we’ve built momentum is because we’ve broken down the overwhelming scale of climate breakdown into local issues with tangible solutions.”

ZERO Carbon Guildford has only been in their premises at the bottom of North Street for 15 months but it has already had an impact on Guildford.

The award citation states “ZERO Carbon Guildford is a community space set up to empower the local community to take climate action.
ZERO is keen to help the borough of Guildford reach carbon neutrality by 2030 and has since launched a town centre hub to act as the focal point for building a community-led climate action plan.

Zero trustees at the Houses of Parliament reception after the award.

“From hosting film nights, litter-picks and group discussions, the group is committed to promoting climate education and solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation.

“ZERO has provided critical services for its constituents, setting up a community fridge that has served over 3,000 people, installing real-time air quality monitoring systems in the town centre and offering wellbeing support for anyone struggling with climate anxiety.”

Other credits to the charity’s name include becoming the largest volunteer organisation in the town, setting up the Sustainable Business Network, launching the Water Rangers team monitoring pollution in the River Wey, training 35 energy champions to do free energy efficiency assessments in people’s homes, running a small vertical farm on the premises, hosting a Terracycling facility and a baby clothes library and setting up a Library of Things to provide a free hire of DIY and other tools and appliances.

See: Zero Carbon Guildford Shortlisted for National Award

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Responses to Award Winning ZERO Carbon Guildford Mentioned in Prime Minister’s Questions

  1. S Firth Reply

    March 2, 2023 at 12:14 pm

    Congratulations to ZERO Carbon Guildford.

    I admit to raising my eyebrows a little when Zero first set up shop in Guildford town but soon realized what a fabulous asset they had become and very much admired their work.

    We are all on our own sustainable journey, organisations like Zero Carbon play a pivotal role in helping the local community along on this journey

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