The National Energy Foundation launches its Energy Envoys volunteering opportunity to 300,000 young people as part of the world-famous Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE).
The Energy Envoys scheme, created by the National Energy Foundation and supported and endorsed by the UK’s leading professional engineering institutions, is a major new environmental volunteering scheme for young people to help schools and communities use energy more wisely, save money and reduce carbon emissions.
Young people across the UK who are working towards their Bronze, Silver or Gold DofE now have the opportunity to volunteer as an Energy Envoy to complete the Volunteering section of their Award.
In its first year, the National Energy Foundation expects to support up to 1,000 Energy Envoys delivering between 13,000 and 78,000 hours of volunteering nationwide.
Eventually, with a rolling registration of more than 300,000 participants and operating through more than 12,700 centres across the UK, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award provides huge potential for developing a nationwide network of Energy Envoys.
The official launch of the Energy Envoys scheme was held at Denbigh School in Milton Keynes on Wednesday 30 September, before an audience of local dignitaries, energy efficiency leaders, sponsors and supporters of the project, as well as students, parents and teachers from the school.The audience also included representatives from The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Photo: Andrew Wordsworth; High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire (Francesca Skelton); Mayor of Milton Keynes (Cllr Keith McLean); Iain Stewart MP; Kerry Mashford (Chief Executive, National Energy Foundation).
Andrew Wordsworth, the recently-announced ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Business Green Leaders 2015 Awards, gave a motivational speech, as did Francesca Skelton, the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, who urged students to get involved in this innovative community energy action scheme.
Dr Kerry Mashford, Chief Executive of the National Energy Foundation, commented:
"The Energy Envoys scheme is designed to inspire young people across the UK to learn more about energy, to channel their enthusiasm into valuable contributions to society, and to use the experience to develop their own personal skills and prospects. It's a real honour to have this programme approved by the world-famous Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
"The first Energy Envoys are true environmental pioneers, and will deliver tangible benefits in their communities - saving energy, money and carbon emissions - whilst improving the comfort of homes and community buildings.
"The scheme will also introduce young people to the many interesting and diverse opportunities for careers in the built environment and energy efficiency sectors. We also believe it will help to create a more energy literate society for the future, as the young people carry a better understanding of energy efficiency and energy use into their adult lives, whatever career path they choose.
"I’m sure Energy Envoys will be a great success and we’re looking forward to helping the volunteers make a significant impact within their communities.”
Andy Squires, Headteacher at Denbigh School, added:
“As an outstanding school, we constantly seek opportunities to expand pupils’ learning and widen their experiences both inside and outside the classroom. We are very proud to have been chosen as the school to launch this nationwide scheme and to be working with the National Energy Foundation in partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
“The Energy Envoys scheme provides an exciting challenge for our young learners to develop their passion and understanding for changing the way we view and use energy, as well as ideally placing our pupils to inspire others to learn more about energy.”
Young people who volunteer as Energy Envoys will receive an initial energy tutorial and information and advice on setting up energy-related projects via a dedicated website developed by the National Energy Foundation. Volunteers will also be supported by experts from the Foundation as they carry out their projects, and they will be encouraged to share their learning and stories with their communities.
In addition, the Foundation will provide opportunities for participants to share their successes and learning through the website, events and the wider media, as well as adding to a body of learning and experiences for future years’ participants to access.
Young people can sign up to participate in the Energy Envoys scheme at the Energy Envoys website.