Sustainable Amersham is a local community group in Buckinghamshire, set up in February 2020 by Nikki Magrath, Anne Fullelove, Sam Free, Emily Toettcher, and Sejal Sachdev, to encourage local action focusing on climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss.
Working together with Bucks Council, Amersham Town Council, Chesham Bois Parish Council and organisations including schools and businesses, Sustainable Amersham aims to involve the whole community in climate action that can have local and global repercussions.
Some of the Grain team joined Sustainable Amersham in autumn 2020. We designed the logo and created the website, with content contributed by all members of the group. We also helped get some of the tech set up: the domain name, hosting, email, and HubSpot as its CRM (customer relationship management) tool.
The next autumn, one of the Sustainable Amersham members, Marieke Bosman, led a series of strategy workshops to ensure the group had clear aims and didn’t try to bite off more than we could chew – after all, being entirely volunteer-run, we needed to be wise about the use of our time as a valuable resource. We came up with a slogan, ‘Act today to protect tomorrow’, and defined three projects — Plastic Free Amersham, Green Energy, and Learn & Act — supported by governance and membership teams.
Plastic Free Amersham is guided by the Plastic Free Communities campaign set up by Surfers Against Sewage. Working with independent businesses, schools, churches, and community groups, the goal is to make Amersham single-use plastic free by 2030.
The Green Energy group regularly holds talks on topics including installing solar panels (delivered by Christoph), heat pumps, energy-saving tips, and electric vehicles.
Learn & Act covers education and communications: on the website, Instagram, Facebook, and through events such as a visit to a local Energy from Waste facility, Greatmoor. Madelyn and Christoph joined that visit and found it fascinating and informative.
More recently a Repair Café has been set up which runs every other month. It’s exciting to see the group consolidating and gaining momentum — a big accomplishment achieved completely during the members’ spare time!
In 2023, Sustainable Amersham became an approved 1% for the Planet environmental partner, so any 1% member business can volunteer or donate services or money to Sustainable Amersham as part of their commitment to give 1% of revenue.
We continue to support Sustainable Amersham with our sustainability knowledge and in particular with participation in the Learn & Act team: posting on social media and helping at events like Heritage Day and the Christmas Festival.
Our work with Sustainable Amersham focusing on personal, local action complements our ‘day job’ of working with companies and other organisations like universities and trade associations.
“Grain Sustainability have been invaluable in the creation and growth of Sustainable Amersham, from setting up the website and email account to assisting with social media output, and guiding those of us who are less tech savvy! Their knowledge and ability to communicate with the public has been incredibly helpful and enabled us to build the organistion from a small group of friends concerned about the environment to an organisation with 150 members, 665 followers on Instagram and 570 members of our Facebook group. We are very grateful for their ongoing input.”— Anne Fullelove, Secretary, Sustainable Amersham