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Rural Green Doctor Programme

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The Opportunity

This opportunity will support the RDP-funded Rural Green Doctors programme in designated rural wards of Caerphilly County Borough.  The Rural Green Doctors programme aims to improve basic services in rural areas by offering free, comprehensive energy surveys of community buildings and making recommendations to introduce energy saving measures. 

Most community buildings are run by unpaid volunteers who often don’t have the skills, time, or access to information, to assess the efficiency of their community building.  Rural Green Doctors are qualified energy advisors who support the volunteers by offering tailored advice to save the group that runs community buildings energy, money and reduce their carbon footprint.  Where relevant they compare energy suppliers and make recommendations to switch suppliers.

Community buildings include, but are not limited to, community centres, places of worship and community clubs.

Case Study

Centre: Ael-Y-Bryn Community Centre, Rhymney

Background: The Centre had extremely large heating bills and volunteers were concerned about their sustainability of heating the Centre with escalating energy bills.

During the initial energy assessment of the building some issues were highlighted.  As a result a large hot water cylinder was disconnected and drained to avoid unnecessary heating of vast quantities of unused water.  A boiler programmer was installed and Rural Green Doctors helped the volunteer establish a complex 7-day heating programme to ensure the Centre is only heated when in use.   Finally, Rural Green Doctors installed insulation into the ceiling above the main foyer to reduce heat loss through the roof.

The Centre is now much more energy efficient with the boilers only running for half the time and not constantly heating a large tank of water.  It is heating up to a comfortable temperature more quickly.

 “We are very grateful for the help and advice the Rural Green Doctors have given us. We were spending a lot on our energy bills and now we’re expecting significant savings. Being able to program the heating means that we can make sure the centre is not heated when it’s not being used. Since the hot water cylinder was disconnected, we’ve noticed that the centre heats up much more quickly” - Keith Williams – Ael Y Bryn Community Centre

The Location

Over 80% of the Caerphilly County Borough is designated as rural. The Rural Green Doctors will work with any community buildings that require support in rural areas. Rural wards are: Aberbargoed, Abercarn, Aber Valley, Argoed, Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen, Crumlin, Darran Valley, Llanbradach, Maesycwmmer, Moriah, Nelson, Newbridge, New Tredegar, Penyrheol, Pontlottyn, St Cattwg, St James, Twyn Carno. The current programme runs until September 2014 with plans, subject to resourcing, to extend this to other areas in south east Wales (e.g. Torfaen and Newport).

In-Kind Support Required


Type of Support Required

There are few opportunities to volunteer with this programme; Rural Green Doctors engage with groups who run community buildings, carry out energy assessments and make recommendations.  Occasionally, they will make physical improvements to community buildings and volunteer support would be beneficial but these opportunities would be very sporadic.

Financial Support Required


Value of Support Required

Rural Green Doctors is 80% funded by Rural Development Plan (RDP) to carry out energy assessments and provide free energy advice to groups/individuals that run community buildings.  However, 20% match funding, to the value of approximately £10,000 is still outstanding.  This will fund running costs of the programme, including salaries and travel reimbursements.

Donations of any amount would be very welcome to allow us to continue supporting community buildings.  Financial support would enable us to meet revenue costs of running this programme and will contribute to salaries of staff.   A donation of £600 will enable us to run this valued programme for one month, during which time we will engage with two new community buildings and provide ongoing support to those previously engaged.

Local Name and Contact Details

Rhiannon Perkins, RDP Programme Manager, Groundwork Caerphilly

rhiannon.perkins@groundwork.org.uk 01495 222605

Any Other Comments

We can discuss specific areas of interest with organisations if they wish. 

Any donation amount would be valued! We can market the funder and notify the communities we work in that the project has been part-funded by an organisation.

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