About the group

Ambition Lawrence Weston are based in the local area of Kingsweston, where 24% of adults and 36% of children are income deprived. Ambition Lawrence Weston exists as a resident-driven organisation striving to make Lawrence Weston a good place to live and work.

About the project

Ambition Lawrence Weston were granted £5,000 from Bristol Community Energy Fund in round 1 which was match funded by Low Carbon Gordano Community Benefit Fund. The grant was used to fund a community internship programme, with local long-term unemployed people working on various community energy projects in the Lawrence Weston area.

Four interns were selected out of ten expressions of interest. Following an interview process all were identified as long-term unemployed or in temporary employment. The interns took part in an 8-week programme, consisting of the following sessions:

Week 1 Induction to community energy

Week 2 Community Energy Event & Community Energy Surveys

Week 3 Solar Panel Course & Community Building Surveys

Week 4 Community Engagement Planning

Week 5 Renewable Energy Wind project research

Week 6 Energy Switching Training & Draught Proofing Session

Week 7 Promotion and preparation for Big Switch energy saving week

Week 8 Energy events around Lawrence Weston

Fabulous interns

Ambition Lawrence Weston have made fantastic progress with the internship, with interns undertaking many activities such as a solar panel workshop, community energy engagement days, surveying the community for views on a community-led wind project, community building audits, thermal imaging training, surveying of community buildings and domestic energy assessments.

The interns have gained useful skills; as well as attending the course, they have been able to take up other opportunities that have arisen directly as a result of the internship. The internship covered a broad range of activities giving the interns the experience necessary to reach their community, enabling them to save money on energy bills and benefit from community-led renewable energy.

Over the course of the internship they interviewed over 50 residents to understand the community’s needs and interest in developing community-led renewables. They also developed a community engagement plan, including designing interview questions and distributing leaflets reaching over 3,200 households. Interns expressed that they felt empowered and that the programme “opened their eyes to new opportunities of work”. Interns came away with better understanding of community energy, fuel poverty, energy saving, and renewable energy, giving them confidence in their skills and abilities. All interns have maintained contact with the project.

The energy audit interns carried out at Avonmouth Community Centre had a real impact. The centre manager now has a good understanding of the heating controls, which will result in lower bills. One of the interns wrote a report with recommendations on how to make the building more energy efficient, which the Centre are now following up.

Read about James, one of the interns