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Sharon Lashley: Dare to Dream


Our work at Climate Action North is varied – and sees us collaborating with diverse groups, from commercial businesses like the retail parks that we rewild as part of our Pollinator Parks initiative, to local educational establishments – where we can help encourage the environmentalists of the future.

The Dare to Dream Project, our latest endeavour, involves Kirk Merrington Primary School, based in County Durham, which is refurbishing two decommissioned railway carriages into a magical learning library and reading space.

Climate Action North has entered the school into the M&S Energy Community Fund Competition 2020 to raise the money needed to install solar panels and LED lighting in the two railway carriages.

The project will also repurpose seats and tables, include new flooring and bespoke library furniture so pupils can indulge a love of reading and creative writing in a fun and relaxed environment.

The project is spearheaded by the school’s secretary, Lesley Smith, who said: “We are very excited about this project, which has been a dream of mine for the past two years. Due to the increase in pupil numbers the school’s purpose-built library is now used as a classroom, and the library was moved into school corridors.

“The Dare to Dream train will provide an imaginative learning environment for the children as well as reinforce appreciation for our local heritage which is steeped in history in respect to the railroads. We hope you can help us fundraise for this very exciting project and thank everyone for their support.”

As well as helping to secure the funds for the installation of solar panels and LED energy efficient lighting, we will also be supporting the creation of a hedgehog and bee-friendly garden around the grounds, donating books for the library, and helping pupils to learn about renewable energy and nature. 

The Crowdfunder and M&S Energy Competition, which backs community projects committed to being environmentally conscious and installing renewable technology or energy efficiency measures in their endeavour to do so, will split £40,000 match-funding between 15 winners.

We’re thrilled to be supporting this exciting project; after all, children represent the future, and what is more important than that?

Support this project and donate to the Crowdfunder page here.

Sharon Lashley is an environmentalist specialising in renewable energy and waste management but also passionate about nature and biodiversity. She has her own company Enviro UK Consultants Ltd but also heads up community interest company Climate Action North, a social enterprise set up to take direct action in the climate emergency. Working with businesses, communities, schools and individuals, Climate Action North delivers a range of projects around taking direct action for climate change, biodiversity and nature including Pollinator Parks, One Small Change and more recently Global Wilders.

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