Education and renewable energy at the Hub

hub-lyme-regisI don’t know about you, but as she grows up, I’m finding myself thinking more and more about my daughter’s teenage years.

When I was a teenager I had a great set of friends who were supportive and loyal. Sure we got up to the usual pranks, but I was lucky that my friends were in the main, pretty ‘sensible’ and we never got into much trouble.

As I look around our local area and think back to the recent riots, frankly I’m a bit scared. You read time and time again that teenagers have nowhere to go, nothing to do, so they seem to hang around doing nothing at best and getting into trouble at worst.

Fortunately there are some fantastic organisations around the country that are tackling this issue and today I want to share with you one such initiative in Lyme Regis. “The Hub” is a youth club in the heart of Dorset created by the young people, for the young people and with your help they could win £100k for renewable energy to further develop their work.

The Hub are also dealing with another of my bug bears – destitute old buildings. There are loads of them around here; beautiful houses and buildings that have been left to ruin while new, soulless houses are built in unspoilt fields… The Hub have renovated an old abandoned building and are gradually making it energy efficient, sustainable and a progressive centre for young people in their area.

What I love about their work is that they VALUE young people and give them a chance to shine. I think teenagers and tweens get a tough time of things. We point the finger, the media have a field day with them and if you didn’t know better you’d think they were another species to be feared!

Fortunately initiatives like the Hub understand that children need a jolly good listening to, need to be validated and need to be encouraged to find their passions and skills.

If they win the £100,000 The Hub have the following three renewable energy projects planned:

Installation of a Photovoltaic system, allowing them to export power and earn income through the Feed in Tariff (FiT).

A new heating system, combining an Air source heat pump and low energy condensing gas boiler

Cavity wall insulation

This fantastic funding is made available through energyshare – a collaboration of River Cottage and British Gas. Over the past six months, hundreds of projects around Britain have been battling for funding and this week YOU get the chance to vote!

Energyshare take the notion that when you bring together people, communities, organisations and the media, something really BIG can happen. They are aiming to turn the energy system on its head and give everyone the opportunity to source, use and even generate their own 100% British renewable energy. It’s a win-win. By generating renewable energy you can actually create an income stream which can be used to support a variety of community activities.

I’m excited to be interviewing someone from the Hub this week. I’ll be back during the week with the interview and details on how you can help support their amazing work.

What about you – what facilities are there for young people in your area?

Sponsored opportunity on behalf of British Gas


  1. MrsMishere on November 15, 2011 at 9:54 am

    What a brilliant scheme. like you, Mrs green I’m always looking for nice places for my kids to go to in the evenings and I do worry about things in the future. This looks a great place though and I hope the Hub win the money – it’s such a good cause 🙂

  2. jennyanytots on November 15, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I’ve been on holiday to Lyme Regis, it’s a great area. I’ve been looking at the Hubs website and they’re really thought things through well – they know what funding they need for each part of their project and I like this – so many people set up a ‘good idea’ but have no idea how to run it. The Hub definitely gets my vote!

  3. nadine sellers on November 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    the Hub is an example of what can be done with and for youth…the growing concerns about lack of resources and purpose in the young communities is a direct result of a social phenomenon which could be called a “culture of helplessness”.

    first in the States, then in a radiating pattern of European countries and later in the Americas and Asia, i have followed the path of parental guidance and the dis-empowerment of entire family and extended educational systems—and the resulting escalation of violence, malevolence and depression…

    The Hub offers a free card to self empowerment and healthful expression not only to the youths, but to the local environment; let’s hope they are happily contagious and spread the good works around..

  4. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ on November 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    This sounds like a useful program. I hope it gets the funding it needs for the improvements. I wish money would be invested there and perhaps there would be less need for other programs that are used after kids get into trouble.

  5. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking on November 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Oh this sounds so awesome!! What a wonderful idea and it surely gets my vote!

  6. Mrs Green on November 17, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    @MrsMishere: Isn’t it wonderful? Every community should have a ‘hub’ of their own

    @jennyanytots: good point Jenny; so many people have ideas but are unable to pull everything together; the Hub is different

    @nadine sellers: I hope so Nadine; there are so many wonderful aspects about the Hub and I firmly believe that if you can educate them young, the future is bright…

    @Zoie @ TouchstoneZ: Absolutely! I’d never looked at things this way before – thanks Zoie 🙂

    @Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking: Thanks Alicia; they need lots of supporters!