npower Enthuse day comes to Didcot

npower recently visited students from St Birinus School, Didcot, sparking their interest in engineering by taking part in a npower Enthuse day.

Four volunteers from Didcot power stations joined 230, Year 9 students at the Enthuse day. The programme is designed to inspire and engage students aged 12-14 years old in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through a range of interactive activities which help them think about the impact science and engineering has on their daily lives.

The students were encouraged to think of ways to improve an existing electricity generation idea and product, or to design a completely new concept. They also took part in a series of hands-on activities, helping them to develop their engineering and science related skills and discussed the problem of how the country can meet and reduce the UK’s future demand for energy.

Enthuse, which is part of the npower’s Brighter Futures Programme, aims to inspire young people from their first day at school to their first day at work. This is achieved by helping them to develop their skills and knowledge to make their own choices and empowering them to achieve their vision of a ‘brighter future’ for themselves and for the environment.

Jim Haggan, Didcot A Power Station Manager, said: “I think Enthuse days are very important. It’s our opportunity to give young people an insight into the energy industry and highlight opportunities available. I hope we have inspired some of the students to really consider this industry as a career option for the future.”

Head teacher, Mr Alwyn Richards from St Birinus School, Didcot added: “The variety of activities gave the students an excellent insight into the diversity and challenges which might face an engineer. It was wonderful to see how students of all abilities were engaged in the activities offered. The staff and students would like to thank the people from Enthuse and npower for their enthusiasm and hard work.”

Since the start of the Enthuse programme in 2007, the educational experience has reached out to over 7,100 students across the UK.

To find out more about npower’s education programme and free resources for schools and community groups, visit

Via EPR Network
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RWE npower retains the CommunityMark

RWE npower has recently retained the prestigious CommunityMark from Business in the Community (BITC) for a further three years.

RWE npower first received the CommunityMark in 2008 and was the first utility business to do so. The award is endorsed by both the Government and the voluntary sector. It is a national standard and the only one of its kind in the UK, which aims to recognise and highlight the positive impact that business can have in the community, through long term commitment and investment.

The rigorous testing process meant that Business in the Community interviewed employees for their opinions about RWE npower’s community programme and their involvement. Community partners including National Energy Action, Macmillan Cancer Support, Community Service Volunteers, Football League Trust and the National Trust were also surveyed.

For over 50 years RWE npower has worked with local communities. During this time, the company has built sustainable relationships which have been recognised through the CommunityMark award. These include:
-£52m was accessed by its Health through Warmth scheme for vulnerable people since 2000.
– In 2010 14% of RWE npower employees took part in volunteering.
– 9,000 students experienced one of the company’s power station guided tours.
– RWE npower worked with over 26,000 youngsters to raise awareness of climate changeand 22 schools received No Power Hour sessions.
– Macmillan Cancer Support has been RWE npower’s charity partner since 2004. The partnership is valued in excess of £4 million.

Dame Julia Cleverdon, Chair of RWE npower Corporate Responsibility Committee added:
“This is fantastic recognition for everyone at RWE npower. I have visited several sites recently and heard from employees about the inspirational work they are doing in local communities. There’s a great spirit of wanting to get ‘stuck in’ and make a positive impact. Achieving the CommunityMark is a great accolade for RWE npower.”

Stephen Howard, Chief Executive of Business in the Community said: “During a considerably tough year these organisations have proved that continuing to listen, engage and respond to the needs of their communities reinforces the fact that excellence in community investment not only has a positive and valuable impact on society, but translates to real business benefits.

“Many have made a long term commitment to the areas they operate in. They work collaboratively and fostered strong reciprocal partnerships to help improve the knowledge and skills in their local communities to ensure that there are people to support the local economy and business.”

The Independent Approvals Panel was impressed by RWE npower’s continued leadership of the community investment agenda and their commitment to making a long-term sustainable difference to their business and communities.

Via EPR Network
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Church, Charity And Business Leaders Call For Community Energy Revolution

The National Trust, along with a coalition of civil society leaders from UK organisations with over twelve million members, has called for community energy to play a substantial role in meeting the country’s climate change targets.

Leading figures from The Co-operative; the National Trust; The National Federation of Women’s Institutes; the Church of England and Campaign to Protect Rural England will today meet Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, to launch their joint ‘vision for community energy’, which supports dramatically scaling up the number of community owned renewable energy projects across the country, and to discuss how the Government can best assist.

The National Trust has been working on its low carbon villages (LCV) project which aims to tackle the disillusionment and helplessness that many people feel about climate change in two Trust owned villages, Coleshill in Oxfordshire, and Cambo on the Trust’s estate at Wallington, Northumberland. Through a process of engagement over a three-year period, LCV aimed to develop positive and practical solutions that could set villagers on a journey to low-carbon living. The energy projects the charity has undertaken across all of its places as part of its commitment to generating half of the UK’s energy from renewable energy sources by 2020 can be seen on the National Trust energy map, found on the charity’s site.

Patrick Begg, Director of Rural Enterprise at The National Trust, commented: “Many other European countries are way ahead of the UK, as we found out when visiting German communities last year. Germany produces over 20 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources, with communities generating about a quarter of this. In the UK, less than 1 per cent is generated by our communities, a figure this coalition wants to dramatically increase by 2020. We are asking the Government to support us in this.”

At the same time, local energy schemes will receive another boost today as The Co-operative launches its Community Energy Challenge, a competition which will result in six communities across the UK receiving support to set up their own energy projects. The Co-operative is setting aside £1 million in 2012 to support community energy. This will involve everything from mentoring for start-ups through to the underwriting of co-operative share offers in local co-operatives.

Paul Monaghan, Head of Social Goals at The Co-operative, said: “We want nothing less than a clean energy revolution, with communities controlling and benefiting from their own renewable energy. Talk of a new dash for gas shales, which could see up to 3,000 wells installed across the UK, highlights the choices we face – more and dirtier sources of fossil fuels or clean energy owned and controlled by communities.”

In the coming months and years, the coalition, who were brought together by The Co-operative and its partners, sustainable development organisations Forum for the Future and Carbon Leapfrog, collectively plan to meet at regular intervals to make practical steps to drive the shared vision forwards and champion community energy among their members. Late last year coalition representatives visited Germany to see examples of other successful community schemes.

Via EPR Network
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