A new ‘crowd funding’ project to raise money to install solar panels in schools launched in Reading today.
The project, launched by carbon cutting organisation 10:10 in conjunction with Mumsnet, combines traditional fundraising elements, such as cake sales and non-uniform days, with innovative online social networking. Each school gets its own virtual ‘solar roof’ on the Solar Schools website – www.solarschools.org.uk.
Parents, teachers, school alumni and local businesses are then invited to sponsor little pieces of each school’s virtual solar roof which they can personalise with their picture and a message of support. When enough funds are raised, a real solar roof is installed on top of the school building. Every pound given could generate up to £3 for the school over the lifetime of the solar installation – through energy savings and government support for renewable energy.
Andrew Barnett, Director of the UK Branch of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation said:
“One of the key issues facing the world today is how communities at a local level can engage with global environmental challenges in ways that are meaningful and make a difference. In all its work, the Foundation aspires to solutions that are innovative and encourage involvement. The Solar Schools pilot offers a new approach to funding renewable energy projects which will capture the imagination of local communities and provide tangible economic and environmental benefits for the schools at their heart.”