Spreading awareness about the causes of and solutions to the climate crisis is a critical first step if we’re to empower Cumbrians to play a role in tackling it, and that’s what we hope to achieve with a new training course called carbon literacy.

CAfS ran two pilot courses during our Cumbria Green Build & Sustainable Living Festival in September 2019, with all the places snapped up by organisations and community groups keen to learn more climate science, carbon footprints and solutions.

This very interactive and fast-paced day was led by certified carbon literacy trainer Sarah McClelland of Great Places Housing Group, supported by Sarah Donaldson from Small World Consulting.

“The presentations we heard give an excellent overview of the climate science, how we know climate change is happening, how it will affect us in the future, what we are already doing about it, and what we can do about it,” said Hazel Graham, chief executive of CAfS. “There were lots of interactive exercises to get us all thinking about the things we do in our daily lives that contribute to climate change, and how we might do things differently.”

CAfS is now preparing a bid for funding to tailor the course for Cumbria and set up a programme to roll it out widely among organisations and communities here.

“We’ve had some great feedback after the courses, including one organisation that now intends to roll out carbon literacy training to their staff,” Hazel said. “That’s exactly what we want to see happening across the county, if we can secure funding.”

CAfS is grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund, Electricity North West, Carlisle College, Kendal College, Carlisle One World Centre and Sustainable Brampton for their support with these pilot courses.