Community Energy Local (CEL) is a community based social enterprise, founded and supported by Transition Town Worthing, to reduce energy consumption and bills for local people.
Energy is a key part of everything we do, and so the way we source and use our energy as individuals and as a society makes a big difference to our impact on the environment.
Transition Town Worthing’s energy projects aim to address carbon emissions associated with fossil fuel derived energy through exploring the potential for additional renewable generation in our local area, informing and educating members of the public on energy issues, and supporting people to make changes in the way they buy and use energy, making homes warmer and more efficient, slashing bills, and encouraging uptake of green energy tariffs.
Since 2015 we have run drop-in energy advice surgeries, first from a base at Colonnade House, we then moved to St Paul’s Arts Centre when Colonnade House became an art gallery. In addition to these regular locations we have also delivered pop-up energy shops at various locations around Sussex including Worthing Library, the annual Sow & Grow Seed Swap, meetings of various support groups, and recently an NHS Green Roadshow at Langley Green Hospital.
Funding for our energy advice project has come from a variety of sources, including HM Government Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) which then became The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through their Big Energy Saving Network project, along with The Rampion Community Fund, UK Power Networks, Scotia Gas Networks, and Tesco Bags of Help.
Between 2015 and 2019 Transition Town Worthing delivered the Big Energy Saving Network project in Worthing each winter.
As well as helping people to reduce their energy consumption, bills and carbon footprint through efficiency advice, and showing that many people can switch to a green supplier and save money, this project focused on addressing the issue of fuel poverty by reaching vulnerable energy consumers and helping them to choose better priced tariffs and suppliers, and avoid the many pitfalls designed to trick customers into paying more than they need to for their energy.
Along with support navigating the process of switching energy provider to save money, we have also helped those who are eligible access further assistance such as the £140 Warm Home Discount and inclusion on the Priority Services Register.
While typically customers made savings in the region of £50, much larger savings are not uncommon, the largest we have seen was over £900!
In addition to direct consumer advice, the Big Energy Saving Network project has also involved delivering fuel poverty awareness training to front line workers enabling them to engage with their service users on the issue and provide even more support and help more people to stay warmer more affordably.
Organisations in receipt of this training have included NHS, Adur & Worthing Council, Citizens Advice, Worthing Homes, and Turning Tides.
Over the years TTW energy has seen 538 clients save over £35,000, and an estimated 84 tonnes of CO2!
Another of our energy projects has been the Snug draught proofing workshops. These ran in the Sidney Walter Centre and a few member’s homes, draught proofing their draughty windows and sharing the skills with participants. Draught proofing your windows and doors is a simple and effective way to improve your comfort and save up to £40 per year on your heating bills.
The role of alternative energy also plays a significant part in our bi-annual Eco Open Houses event, which includes the opportunity to see a Powerwall in use within a family home and to ask the owners any questions you may have about installing one at your own property.
How can we reorganise our transport systems towards zero carbon emissions by changing transport methods, needs & habits?
How do you get from A to B and can you reduce your impact on the planet? What is your vision for transport locally and nationally?
The Transport Group - To promote a green recovery for the future of transport.
Transport accounts for around one third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. For the UK to achieve its 2050 target net zero target, we need a transport revolution - replacing petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans with electric vehicles accompanied by a massive investment in walking, cycling, public transport and creation of low traffic neighbourhoods. Car use is increasing, to counteract this we need a better and more efficient rail network and bus service.
Transition Town Worthing Transport Group
The level of carbon dioxide needs to be reduced fast and the TTW Transport Group was set up to see what we could do locally to help this situation.
The group meets regularly, for more information please contact:
This group is for anyone who loves creating or enhancing greenspaces in and around Worthing and is happy to work as part of a voluntary community team.
Transition Town Worthing has licences for three small plots of land around Worthing to create community gardening projects: Cortis Avenue Wildlife Garden, The Triangle and May Close Community Allotments.
Since the early days of TTW, there’s always been at least one community garden project operating locally that our members have been involved in. The gardens have evolved over time and vary from wildlife gardens to food growing projects.
The first one was Cortis Avenue Wildlife Garden, in Broadwater – set up in 2011 by local residents and supported by TTW. This project is autonomous but sits under the umbrella of TTW. The site started as a fly-tipped playing field and is now a wildlife oasis.
This tranquil and biodiverse space is now managed by a core crew of volunteers, many of whom have been part of this project since the early days. Gradually the sterile grass area has been transformed into a variety of habitats – tall hedgerows, wildlife flower meadow and raised beds, woodland edge flower border, soft fruit beds, heritage apple orchard, herb garden, rough grass, and wildlife ponds.
The infrastructure of the site has also gradually improved over the years, with a compost area, water capture roofs, and a newly installed composting toilet.
The garden is cared for by a small team of volunteers. Please check out the Facebook page for opening days and times.
The Plot at Ecclesden Mill
Following very soon afterwards, The Plot at Ecclesden Mill was set up as a community allotment.
It was actually a Garden Share project which ran for six years until the Mill owners decided to sell up and move on.
Adur and Worthing Council (AWC) came up with a blank canvas in Homefield Park for us to begin to create a replacement project for The Plot.
When Liane Webb walked into it for the first time she said, “oh, it’s like a little haven” and that’s where the name came from – The Haven is a place of peace and tranquillity for so many, in the midst of a busy urban area.
This project, originally set up as an Incredible Edible style garden, welcomed the assistance of literally hundreds of local people, who helped set it up, maintain and develop it since 2015.
The Haven is now cared for by The Friends of Homefield Park and we transferred the licence to them in September 2021. As we work closely with them, we hope to continue to hold joint events, especially coming together to use the pizza/cob oven!
During this time, again AWC offered us a beautiful little space in Haynes Road, Tarring.
We named it The Triangle because it’s triangular! One of our earlier members, Caroline Ponto, managed it to begin with and it’s now looked after by a small team of people. So often people walk past and say, “I love this little piece of heaven”.
This tiny project has been designed to be very low maintenance, so is currently being managed by a core group of 3 volunteers. If anyone would like to come and help, please email us at [email protected]
May Close community allotment was set up by a core group of TTW volunteers during 2020.
Volunteer days vary depending on who is available to manage them. It's quite a large site so new volunteers are always welcome.
With gratitude to Worthing Homes for letting us use their land.
Transition Town Worthing encourages any scheme which works to divert waste resources from landfill and incineration, recycles the materials and raises money for charities.
Local organisations offering a special recycling service:
A Lancing-based recycling project to reduce what goes into landfill and, as a bonus, raise money for local charities in the Adur and Worthing District.
Through a UK company, Terracycle, Recycling in Lancing are able to recycle unusual household items that most people would not think twice about throwing in a bin. Check out their Facebook page for a list of what they can take and where their recycling points are.
Fix It Workshop is a man in a shed, on a mission to save your useful appliances from heading to the scrap yard.
He believes that most things can be repaired; he’ll certainly give it a go, anyway! Too many household items are condemned to the bin without thorough investigation into whether they can be repaired. Get in touch for repair help and advice.
Freedom Power Chairs welcome donations of redundant and surplus equipment (powerchairs and mobility aids), working or not, as they can use their workshop capability to restore items for resale.
Martin from Freedom Power Chairs is sometimes at our Repair Café and happy to check out your mobility equipment, for free and advice on repairs etc.
You can also contact him via email or visit him at his workshop in Worthing.
A Worthing grant making charity that supports local organisations.
Funds come from 14 Community Chest labelled textile recycling bins that Worthing Borough Council have placed around the town.
Help reduce landfill and support your local community at the same time by donating unwanted clothes, shoes and textiles, which might otherwise end up in landfill.
Imagine a world where our beaches and seashores are not blighted and strangled by plastic pollution.
That vision is Plastic Free communities - it’s what people and the planet are crying out for. It is what we at Plastic Free Worthing are working hard to achieve.
We are one of 709+ Plastic Free Community groups that make up the Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) Plastic Free Communities nationwide campaign. We are an open group of volunteers that sit under the TTW umbrella. We meet monthly to organise litter picks along the seashore and in green spaces.
Our Mission is to help Worthing counter the dangers of plastic pollution by reducing dependency on single use and non-essential plastics.
Three Swaps Away from Single Use Plastic
We encourage and applaud schools, colleges, and community groups that take up just Three Swaps Away from Single Use Plastic.
Local businesses are awarded a Plastic Free Champion status; all it requires is proof of at least Three Swaps Away from Single Use Plastic.
For more information and events:
As well as the range of existing active groups and projects, Transition Town Worthing have been involved in many more over the years
Click on each heading for further details:
Transition Town Worthing put on many film nights, some with Q&As, over the course of three to four years.
These were awareness-raising films about plastic and oil pollution, the real cost of our food in terms of damage to wildlife, the power of community and local economies, and what we can do as individuals to help the environment.
One of our members, Colin Attle, very kindly hosted these very popular skill-sharing events in his workshop.
Colin was one of the people who was instrumental in setting up During Cycle Project and sadly is no longer with us. He is greatly missed in our community.
This group met monthly in the early days of Transition Town Worthing, and many spin offs came from it.
It led to our annual Seed Swap, Sow and Grow Spring Fair where everyone who saved seeds would gather together and make up packets of seeds to sell or swap. This has evolved to become a very popular big family event celebrating the best of local sustainability and creativity.
To follow on with the theme of sowing and growing, various Transition Town Worthing community gardens have been set up from 2011 and most continue to this day. In 2014, Adur and Worthing Council published information online and in a leaflet about all the local greenspaces projects and the first loose greenspaces partnership was born, of which Transition Town Worthing has always been a part. The Council then appointed TCV (The Conservation Volunteers –tcv.org.uk) to help create a formal group – Adur and Worthing Greenspaces Partnership, which then became Green Tides.
A Garden Share project was set up off the back of the Food Group. This was designed to bring together anyone who had a garden they could no longer manage with someone who wanted a space in which to grow their own produce. This worked reasonably well for a while, with the Council vetting prospective partners. However, like most things, it all needs someone to manage it and sadly this very worthwhile project eventually fell by the wayside. Our community garden at Ecclesden Mill was our most successful garden share project.
A local food mapping exercise was done so that it was easier to see where our local suppliers were, in order to more easily create a sustainable food network and save on food miles. This map is still available for any potential local food partnerships.
One of the other spin-offs from the Food Group was the formation of the CSA Group (Community Supported Agriculture) which then became part of a new, national network of CSA’s – in fact, some of us took part in the preliminary discussions about the formation of this network. What we were attempting to do was to support local growers and producers, in particular Martin Jarvis from Culberry Nursery, where we went on to hold Apple Day, where people could bring along their apples to be pressed. Educational workshops about sowing and growing also took place at the nursery for a while.
In an attempt for the CSA to help Culberry find a platform to sell produce from, we discovered FarmDrop, back then, a fledgling organisation that was looking for a guinea pig to test out their ideas.
For around 10 months Worthing trialled this new platform. We ran weekly click and collect food pick-ups from St Paul’s in Chapel Road and managed to gather together a wide range of local producers, growers and makers, who would all deliver their produce every Thursday afternoon and we would then create boxes to collect that included: fish, meat, veg, bread, cakes, eggs, etc. – all freshly produced that day.
Sadly, after the trial period, Farmdrop decided that they wanted to focus solely on London so this project didn’t continue, but what did come out of it was a local network of connections, which any new food partnership could tap into.
Transition Town Worthing had a stall at the monthly Farmers’ Market for a few years.
This gave us the opportunity to showcase our projects and events and also be an integral part of the market. This is something we could take up again at the Farmers’ Market in Goring if we had sufficient volunteer support.
This group was set up in 2010 to explore how climate change affects each of us personally.
We ran meditation and mindfulness sessions, shared our personal stories, ran a Be The Change Symposium and worked with Joanna Macy’s The Work That Reconnects, combining it, on one occasion, with a shared supper at Salvington Mill.
We also spent a long time involving the whole group in visualising our collective Energy Descent Action Plan which looked at how we would like to see ourselves living a low carbon life in 2030.
We have always celebrated the seasons and cycles of our land and have had great fun over the years doing so – check out the photos, they speak for themselves!
In its earlier incarnation, this group gathered regularly to make blankets for the homeless and to share crafting skills.
It has been superseded by the Repair Café, which has a slightly different objective but still allows people to come together to share skills.
This was a project set up by the Transition Network, in an attempt to bring neighbourhoods together to share ideas, skills, support each other and work on the issues local to that particular area.
In some places it became the basis for group buying of solar arrays and other projects, where a community approach was welcomed.
We set up groups in Worthing according to the local electoral areas, as these are already established, to try to create our own version of Transition Streets. Some were pretty successful but, on the whole, this idea didn’t take off at the time.
Interestingly, it would be have been very helpful to have had this existing network already in place during the recent Covid crisis.