Closing date: Mon 22 Feb 2021

Are you looking for a volunteering opportunity that will help you to increase your confidence, empower you to change things for the better, and where you can empower others – all while helping to tackle climate change?

CAfS is recruiting 20 volunteers across Cumbria to help us deliver a brand-new programme to boost knowledge about climate science and solutions and inspire people to take action in their own lives, funded by the Emergence Foundation.

Volunteers will run interactive sessions for their local communities, ranging from short ‘climate crash course’ sessions to conversation cafes.

By raising awareness and understanding about climate change, you’ll empower people to act and play their full part in bringing about a zero-carbon Cumbria.

You’ll receive comprehensive training to deliver these sessions in your community, and you’ll have the full support of our training coordinator. The sessions will be delivered online via Zoom, given the current pandemic restrictions.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for you to develop new skills, as well as bringing benefits to your community and playing a really important part in tackling climate change.

The role description below has full details about the project and the role.

This opportunity is open to volunteers over the age of 18 only. If you’re under 18, please do keep an eye on our website and social media, as there’ll be opportunities for youth volunteers at a later date.

How to apply

Please download and complete the expression of interest form below, and return it to [email protected], the community carbon literacy coordinator, by Monday 22 February 2021.

Expression of interest – Volunteer community trainer

Volunteer Community Trainer – Role description

If you prefer to download the role description, please use the link below:

Volunteer community trainer – role description

About CAfS

Our vision is a zero-carbon Cumbria and we strive to bring about a better way of life, in balance with our environment.

Our mission is to empower and enable people, communities and businesses to live and work more sustainably by sharing our knowledge, practice, skills, networks and practical experience. We manage and deliver events, advice, training and practical projects across the county as well as providing specialist consultancy services to enable individuals, communities, businesses and local authorities to drive a shift towards a zero-carbon Cumbria.

CAfS is an award-winning charity with a team of seventeen highly skilled staff, working with a pool of specialist contractors and volunteers to deliver around 20 major, transformational low-carbon projects each year. CAfS is the leading organisation in Cumbria showcasing low-carbon living, energy-efficiency improvements, renewable technology and reduced use of fossil fuels, both on a domestic scale and in the community. Now in our 22nd year, CAfS is the first point of reference in the county for information on sustainability. CAfS is a dynamic, pro-active and responsive organisation, continually striving to deliver effective projects that make an impact and drive real change towards a low-carbon future. As such, we continually initiate, scrutinise, refine and launch new projects, accessing funding from a variety of sources or earning income from delivering specialist services.

About this project

CAfS will recruit and train a brand-new network of twenty community trainers to run a widespread programme of events on climate science and solutions across Cumbria, supported by a training coordinator. This exciting project is possible thanks to funding from the Emergence Foundation.

We are hoping that the 20 volunteer trainers, between them, will train or run events for a total of 400 people over the life of the project, so that they will develop a sense of agency and responsibility through having a much better understanding of the causes of, and solutions to, the climate crisis. This will ultimately benefit the environment through action taken to reduce emissions and tackle climate change.

A training package of information and interactive exercises is being developed and the network of trainers will be supported in a variety of ways to deliver this training to those they wish to influence, including businesses, councils and other organisations.

In addition to this, five other individuals will also be supported to become open home event hosts to showcase sustainable living, renewable energy and other solutions to support community knowledge sharing.

Main purpose of role  

To work with the CAfS Community Carbon Literacy Coordinator as part of a team of volunteer community trainers to run a widespread programme of events, training and facilitated discussions on climate science and solutions across Cumbria.

Trainers will identify groups within their own communities to work with, as trusted messengers, and as such will be able to support a step change in the understanding of and attitudes towards climate change solutions across Cumbria.

Key areas of responsibility  

  • To keep own knowledge of climate change and emission reduction measures up to date.
  • To prepare for courses and events by becoming familiar with resources and attending any train-the-trainer training provided by CAfS.
  • To run events, training or facilitated conversations with own chosen audiences and to engage the participants effectively (online for at least the first few months).
  • To deliver sessions using CAfS materials where appropriate, or develop these materials further where needed.
  • To gather data, both quantitative and qualitative, to enable monitoring and evaluation of the project by the coordinator.
  • To evaluate the sessions you deliver and to share your learning with the team of volunteer trainers.
  • To share any adaptations in resources for specific groups that might support other trainers.

Main tasks

  • Identify groups and organisations that would like to take part in climate science and solutions training. This initially will include sustainability groups across Cumbria. We want volunteer trainers to be able to deliver this training to groups across Cumbria throughout 2021 and beyond.
  • Work with other community trainers and the Community Carbon Literacy Coordinator to share resources to deliver training.
  • Deliver training sessions in the community to groups and organisations.
  • Provide peer support, and share lessons learned with the pool of volunteer trainers.
  • Help to evaluate sessions for impact.

Skills, abilities and attitudes required  

  • A basic understanding of climate science and ways to reduce carbon emissions. A free full day’s accredited Carbon Literacy training session will be offered to build on existing knowledge.
  • Confidence, or a desire to build confidence, in public speaking, running events or training.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills, including dealing with difficult situations and conflicting views.
  • A non-judgemental attitude and an understanding that there are a range of views around action on climate change.
  • Willingness to deliver these training sessions using online platforms. Support will be given.
  • Willingness to engage with CAfS training on science and solutions, and also on how to engage with different audiences.

What you will gain from carrying out this role

  • The chance to be part of a structured and supported network of people who can learn from each other. Social opportunities, including forums, a buddying system, group and one-to-one chances to get the tailored support you need to enjoy and make a difference in this role.
  • Increased skills and abilities in delivering climate science and solutions training.
  • Improved confidence and empowerment through opportunities to be mentored during the process.
  • The opportunity to have costs met to enable you to deliver the training, for example Microsoft Office subscription, Zoom Pro accounts or a webcam.
  • A free full-day accredited Carbon Literacy training session.
  • The opportunity to build skills and experience that could support a future application to be a paid freelance carbon literacy trainer.

Timescales and time input  

The sessions will be delivered from March to September 2021, but being able to sustain the training beyond this time will be valuable.

Starting from March, we would like you to run at least a session every 2 months. This could be an hour or 90-minute session or a quick climate conversation café session.

CAfS contact  

Bernadette Calvey is the Community Carbon Literacy Coordinator and will induct, train, support and guide the volunteers. Please email Bernadette for further information or for an expression of interest form: [email protected]

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