Exploring vibrant communities benefiting from local wind farm fund

Dickson Leung, Greencoat Energy

Recently Katherine, one of our Programme Coordinators, met up with Two Ridings donor, Dickson Leung, to show him the impact of the Sixpenny Wind Farm Fund has had on the local communities in East Yorkshire. Here she takes us through the visit.

We could begin this blog in a fine saga style and say “drear was the day upon which we set forth”, but this wouldn’t really be fair on lovely East Yorkshire. However, East Yorkshire was thoroughly demonstrating why it’s such a good place for a wind farm!

This was a lovely opportunity for some of the people involved with organisations local to and funded by the Sixpenny Wood Wind Farm Fund to meet Dickson Leung, a representative of Greencoat energy, who run the site and donate the funds that make the grants possible. He generously gave his time to come and see what was being supported with their wind farm fund.

We started out at Eastrington Village Hall, and the Eastrington Playing Field, where we met some members of the Chatty group, there for a hot cuppa, a good chat, and a game of Rummikub. Conversation was lively, and as well as Dickson finding out more about what clubs and activities happening locally, the Chatty members asked loads of great questions about running a wind farm.

collage of community activity at Gilberdyke

Outside, part funded by the Sixpenny Wood Fund, the Multi Use Games Area is used by organised teams and ad-hoc players alike. A top quality facility, it gives players a change to practice and compete when that lovely East Yorkshire weather makes the grass unusable. Janet Trezise, who helps run both the Eastrington Playing Field Association and the Eastrington Village Hall, told us that there had been a very positive unintended consequence of the Games Area. Previously, the nearby ponds had been vandalised several times, including bird boxes being damaged. Since the installation of the Games Area they realised that there was no more damage to the fixtures at the ponds! Probably because they now have somewhere to socialise, and to play a bit of football or basketball, the ponds are no longer a target for bored children and young people. Diversionary activity win!

“Not only has the Multi User Games Area been a brilliant addition for players to practice and compete against one another, but we also no longer get vandalism in the village because the young people have somewhere to go and something to do!”

We also had a chance to see the children’s play area, and the composting toilet, which is vital to parents with young children and those who are not so young, especially when the hall is shut. And we can vouch that it doesn’t smell at all.

Then it was on to Gilberdyke War Memorial Hall to meet Sue and Geoff Pinkerton, who told us all about the Hall’s facilities, history, and what a difference having a community hub makes. We saw the new beautiful Memorial Garden at the front of the hall, and felt the difference the air source heat pump was making to the comfort of the hall on the inside. That was a great bit of making the hall more pleasant, greener, and reducing the Hall’s bills. Win win win! And for you history fans, the name Gilberdyke comes from when the land was drained by a new dyke, and named for the lord who wanted the work done. Gilbert’s Dyke you see? Thanks Sue, for that nugget.

Lastly, but by no means least, we went to the Gilberdyke Scout Hut, where Pete Colley told us that without the first grant from Sixpenny Wood to mend their roof, the Scout hut might not be there at all, let alone as in as good and usable condition as it was. The lively Squirrels, aged just 4 to 6 and the newest section of the group, provided the backdrop to our visit. They gave us a great example of what young people can experience, if given a warm and water tight space in which to play and learn. And the location of the hut means they have a field to camp in where they can be as noisy as they like, too! Other venues might be available, but their own hut in their own space gives them so many more opportunities.

“Without our first grant from the wind farm fund to mend our roof the Scout hut wouldn’t be here at all, let alone these busy Squirrels having regular fun!”

While the Sixpenny Wood Wind Farm fund has supported all of these groups, really what our visit brought out was how enlivened these villages are through the efforts and generously given time of the local people who volunteer to make their communities more vibrant and sustainable places to live.

Supporting and celebrating this sustainability and community spirit is what a wind farm fund is all about.

Would you like to make a difference in North and East Yorkshire? Check out how you can get involved via our Giving and Philanthropy page.