Sustainable Blacon Abroad

As part of the Communities of Sustainable Europe (CoSE) Conference, Sandra Hewitt and Shaun Dutton, representatives from Sustainable Blacon were invited to Arnhem, Netherlands to share their experiences with their peers on the many schemes run by Chester’s pioneering community charity.

The aim of Conference was to share ideas, and, to ultimately contribute to an EU manual on low carbon community projects to encourage sustainability across the EU area, with Sustainable Blacon clearly being seen as a vital path-finding initiative encouraging behavioural changes at the community level.

Some of the Sustainable Blacon Team abroad
Shaun is Sustainable Blacon’s Home Energy Officer giving practical support to visitors to the Eco-House in Blacon.  Sandra has been an active local resident and participant in the year-long Blacon Energy Management Programme which finished in April to help people cut energy bills and therefore also their carbon emissions.

The party visited a local community group Dr Stoere Houtman where they are hoping to replicate the Eco-House Blacon has in place.  There was also a lot of interest in the idea from other communities.

Shaun and Sandra also visited an Eco Fair in the attractive town of Deventer which was attended by representatives of the regional authorities and there gave a presentation on how Blacon is helping local residents to reduce energy bills, giving practical advice and support where needed and encouraging others to think about climate change and how it will affect  them.  This was followed by questions and discussion with reps from communities including from Venezuela!

As a follow up to the conference Sandra and Shaun will be contributing to a chapter on Blacon for the proposed CoSE manual.

(May 2011)


Keys For Bees

On the 16th April, Bee Rewarded workers joined forces with Sustainable Blacon Volunteers in Blacon Community Trust’s Spring Fayre held at Dee Point Centre, Blacon, Chester. Alongside stalls, which promoted local produce and craft work, volunteers hosted egg hunts, picnics and various competitions for the youngsters and families who attended.

Competition Winner; Millie, aged 3
Sustainable Blacon invited Bee Rewarded to launch their own community competition, taking the keys collected from Bee Rewarded’s Keys 4 Bees campaign and challenging local children to build an animal from the keys and other materials on offer.

Sustainable Blacon work in four ‘green’ areas; Energy, Open Spaces, Transport and Enterprise to build a more sustainable community in Blacon and soon to open a second eco-home in Blacon!

Bee Rewarded is a new group who plan to take the rewards of recycling to give back to the community. One of the key goals for the group is to help the bee population, which has been struggling in recent years.

Competition winners included Patrick(11) who made “Barry the Hedgehog” and Millie(3) who Made “Bug Bug the Bug”. The best animal sculpture received a top prize of with runners up also walking away with prizes! All the keys collected through the day and through the campaign will be recycled with the money donated to support a bee farm in Ellesmere Port.

For more details of other projects run by Sustainable Blacon, please visit If you would like to build your own ‘Key Bee’ from scrap keys please email pictures to The best creations will be posted on

(April 2011)