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Canal Clean-up Project: Sustainability Fund

29 May 2013

The QM Sustainability Fund provides funding for projects that promote environmental sustainability and positively impact and enhance the student experience at QM. The Fund will allocate funds to projects that increase the use of renewable energy on campus and/or in the local community, increase the energy efficiency of our facilities, reduce the amount of waste created and material resources used on campus, encourage sustainable behaviours and integrate sustainability into teaching, research, and service at QM. The Fund is provided by the Estates and Facilities Directorate and administered by the Sustainability Committee.

The Project:

At the Sustainability Committee meeting on 12 April 2013, members of the Committee unanimously voted for the provision of funding from the QM Sustainability Fund for a project allowing for the engagement of QM students, staff and the wider community in regularly cleaning up the section of the Regent's Canal that runs through the Mile End campus.  

The project coordinators have been provided with £450, enough to buy equipment for 15 people to undertake cleaning at any one time.  The purchase of this equipment will allow the coordinators to hold regular events though out the year without having to rely on external bodies availability.    After consultation with QMSU Volunteering and Thames21, London’s leading  waterway charity, the project coordinators agreed that by creating a group of staff and students within the College, trained to be leaders in environmental stewardship, the health and wellbeing of one of QM’s most prized assets can finally be maintained for the long term, rather than the short.

Hayley Peacock, Project Coordinator and PhD student in the School of Geography stated: "Being awarded this year's QM Sustainability Fund has been integral in the realisation of our project. Without the additional financial support, we would have only been able to cater for 4 extra volunteers on each event, meaning we had to turn eager volunteers away. Now we are able to hold bigger events, not only with the student population, but with staff and the wider community. It is our hope that our volunteering practices in some way contribute to Queen Mary's commitment to sustainability, environmental awareness, and kick-start a legacy of continued community engagement."

The QM Canal Cleaning group warmly welcome new members in order to help develop their environmental agenda. If you would like to be trained in Leading a Waterway Clean Up, provided free by Thames21, or volunteer at one of our upcoming events, please contact Hayley Peacock



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