Crew Energy And Devas Working Together To Create Renewable Heat In The Heart Of Wandsworth

Crew Energy and Devas working together to create renewable heat in the heart of Wandsworth

Wandsworth sustainable energy co-operative launches first renewable heat ‘community share offer’

A pioneering co-operative has teamed up with an eco-conscious youth club to launch its first ‘community share offer.’ 

CREW Energy launched its community share offer with Devas Club in Battersea, Wandsworth on Monday (14th December). The share offer will be the first for the not-for-profit organisation and will be run entirely online, aiming to raise £50,000 of public money. The finance will support a 64 kW of community-owned heat pumps generating renewable heat and using its surplus income to support CREW’s fuel poverty alleviation project.

In return for investing in the project, CREW Directors intend to provide shareholders with an annual interest payment of 3% and their equity will be returned to them after 20 years.

CREW Energy has been working closely with Devas Club since 2018 and this will be their third intervention with the centre. So far, CREW has successfully secured grant funding to achieve a community energy first by installing LED lighting and a building management system to cut the club’s energy usage by 25% annually. This was followed by additional energy efficiency measures such as secondary glazing, more LED lighting, destratifiers and a heat transfer solution. This third phase, funded by the community share offer, will truly put Devas Club on the path to sustainability and way beyond their plan to reduce carbon emissions by 5% over three years.

Johnny Devas, Director of Devas Club said, he was excited at the prospect of working again with CREW Energy on the next stage of our journey towards reducing the club’s emissions to net zero. “The decarbonisation of our heating will greatly reduce our CO2 emissions and save us money. Equally importantly, it will help us engage with our young members and show that change is possible in the face of the climate emergency.”

CREW Energy’s Chair, Toby Costin, said “Community share offers will become an increasingly important source of funding in our fight against climate change, as communities pull together to tackle this mammoth challenge. If you want to invest ethically and support a local community asset while cutting carbon and improving local air quality, invest with CREW.”

He added, “For us, this project goes beyond the initial carbon savings; CREW plans to run a number of engagement events at Devas Club to help its members take on the challenge of climate change. We will also be looking to train up older members of the Club to become energy assessors as we look to create jobs for the future.” The community share offer is open to anyone over 16 and runs for six weeks. The closing date of the share offer is midnight on 21st January 2021. More information can be found on CREW’s website or investment platform

Devas Juniors

Devas Juniors

The Club’s juniors programme is expanding, now with some 25 juniors, up from just eight last year, regularly attending and utilising a wide range of activities during the first three days of the week – sports, games, arts and crafts, and transitions, while football is the main focus for Wednesdays. The plan for Summer term is to focus on the fact that drama has now started. Four staff – two part-time and two concession workers – look after the programme, led by Daniella Fetuga-Joensuu. “Devas is trying to reach out especially to deprived groups who can benefit from our services. More so now than ever before, this service is needed,” says Daniella. “Wandsworth is a mixed area, and it is sometimes a struggle to reach our clients because they are sometimes difficult to identify.” Devas now plans to extend its outreach work with local schools over the coming months. Support for extending the Junior programme is a priority. 

Making Music In The Devas Studio

Making Music in the Devas Studio

Music is a significant offer at Devas. Many past members have benefitted from the expert guidance and encouragement, as well as the great facilities at the Club. Over 20 years with members exploring different aspects of music production and engineering. “Some have cut discs and gained the kind of practical experience that leads onto further studies, or even a career in music. But others may just be curious to see how a music studio works or enjoy a break from the other pressures of day-to-day life” explains, Ian, who heads up the The Devas music academy. Ian is on hand, supported by a talented group of youth workers with backgrounds in music, for several sessions a week and is keen to expand the offer to members and others in the community if additional support can be found. They offer music teaching which covers the whole production process from writing lyrics to voice coaching and learning an instrument, and from performing and recording to production.

“Some young people come to the studio with a clear idea of what they’re interested in, in which case we can work with them to develop that interest and build their skills. Others just enjoy music and are curious to see what happens in a studio. We are there to given opportunities to all,” Ian says.

It is clear music can have a positive impact on mental health concerns. “Wellbeing underlies all of the activities at Devas,” Ian says. “We would really like to do more to proactively promote positive mental health through music.”

Ian and his team are keen to expand its potential and the trustees have agreed that fundraising for additional staff time will now be a key priority. It is also hoped to expand commercial booking and usage of the facilities, working with local schools.

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