Surefoot - our current projects
Surefoot’s Eco Anxious Resilient (EAR) Peer Support is a new project which aims to develop free-to-access peer support tools, materials, training and workshops for campaigners, activists and others experiencing eco-anxiety. We will share insights from people who are managing to safeguard their own mental and emotional wellbeing, while also constructively engaging in the fight against global warming and biodiversity loss.
The project is based on the assertion that processing our eco-anxiety and climate grief can lead to personal empowerment. The focus is on peer-to-peer support and training in the use of self-care techniques developed for general mental health well-being.
Peer support has a long and proven track record of authentic help for people who want to connect into support networks with others who understand their struggles and can share ideas around techniques and tools that help them stay resilient. EAR Peer support is planning a series of eco-anxious peer support training sessions featuring self care planning techniques and the chance to link in with others. Opportunities to contribute to a book and podcasts are also planned.
Inspired by the spirit of Glasgow’s 2021 Climate Justice protest and with a £10k grant from The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland - Together for Our Planet programme, EAR Peer Support is funded through to March 2023.
In 2021, Glasgow witnessed its largest ever public display of unity during the COP26 UN Climate Change conference. There was a life-affirming, intergenerational atmosphere of solidarity around climate justice. But the high hopes once again rapidly dimmed to a glimmer behind thick layers of broken political and corporate promises, greenwashing, apathy and hellish statistics about species extinction, pollution and concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere.
While politicians urged environmental activists at COP26 to keep challenging the status quo, they ignored the mental and physical wellbeing toll of campaigning. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the laws on protesting in the UK were being tightened to ensure the continuation of that status quo.
In response, Surefoot and environmental activist, Audrey Baird joined forces to devise and secure funding for EAR Peer Support.
Surefoot’s Managing Director, Pamela Candea shared her views on the need for EAR Peer Support,
“I’ve been doing what I can to help tackle global warming for 15 years and sometimes the emotional side of that gets lost because of the sheer scale of the emergency and the intense pressure to take action to adapt and mitigate. People get exhausted and burn out because the odds seem stacked against them. What I like about this project is that it’s about using the structure of self care planning and bringing people together in forums, in a book, training and podcasts to share their anxieties as well as their resilience, to help them move back into action.”
Audrey Baird, who is Peer Supporter for the project, added,
“The problem is bad news about global warming and biodiversity loss has been relentless for decades and it can often seem like ecosystem and societal collapse is inevitable and imminent. People who are emotionally or physically affected by the nature and climate emergencies understand we can’t all keep living the way are now. Change must come and working out what we can each do to help builds personal resilience and self respect.”
Keep up to date with EAR Peer Support
Keep updated on the EAR Peer Support project via Surefoot’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. You can also sign up to Surefoot’s newsletter.
Or, contact Audrey directly for more information on EAR Peer Support email@example.com.
Eco-anxiety definition within image - Source Oxford Languages
Tackling heat loss and energy efficiency in community buildings, Surefoot working in collaboration with HeatHack is delighted to announce confirmation of an Ingenious Public Engagement Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Surefoot has been awarded £29,600 for this project which will run from May 2022 through July 2023. Surefoot associate Jean Carletta had the inspiration for this project and successfully bid for the opportunity with the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Project Overview - Important but challenging buildings
For this project, a small team of people from across Surefoot and HeatHack will be working together to deliver a programme that will help churches and community buildings across Scotland understand what a net zero future means for their premises.
Overall, the project will deliver the programme to 40 small groups involved in running church and community premises from across Scotland.
These important community spaces are difficult to move to Net Zero. BUT they are some of the hardest buildings to manage because they are traditionally built, often listed, and not designed to modern heating requirements!
This Surefoot project has two main objectives:
HeatHack’s volunteer engineers will work with church and community groups to help them understand the basic principles behind thermal modelling and apply them to their own spaces.
The programme combines some technical learning and engineering investigation of the premises and heating and ventilation systems with Surefoot’s hallmark facilitation approach.
Under the engineers’ guidance, each group will complete four two-hour exercises in their buildings over the course of a year. They will also be equipped with devices to capture temperature data from their buildings.
Participants will explore how heating systems work, heat loss, thermal comfort and possible future changes to their buildings in the drive to Net Zero.
Importantly, the process includes how best to bring people along with enabling change as the groups then plan and hold a community consultation showcasing their learning.
This project will change the futures of some important buildings and create a culture in which communities remember to seek out and value the engineers who live among them. Open content materials will be produced for wider circulation.
Registrations open in early June 2022 with the first groups starting in September. Please Contact HeatHack for more information.
More about HeatHack
HeatHack is a group of volunteers working on an interesting question: how can we make Scotland’s community spaces comfortable on less energy use?
Over the years, HeatHack has developed techniques for:
HeatHack’s work empowers the volunteers who manage community buildings to have the right conversations with the professionals they engage, leading to better building outcomes.
The Surefoot Effect CIC is a Community Interest Company that helps communities, businesses and governments put sustainability and resilience at the heart of what they do. Our approach encourages people to explore their emotions, motivations and behaviours and to make positive changes for themselves and their communities.
The premise of the project is that mental disorders are the fastest-growing category of diseases with which health systems must cope and that a high-quality education promoting emotional, social and cognitive development is widely recognized as key to successful interventions in breaking the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage. The project will promote an educational approach to foster good mental health through empathy, self-discovery and expression, creativity and innovation in pre-adolescents/adolescents and to support them in better understanding themselves and finding commonality with others. Partners will create an innovative curriculum with specific competencies and methods to identify and support students’ identity formation and to address challenging behaviours and strong emotional responses.
Our partners in this project are Institut IVIZ (Slovenia), Red Europea los Jóvenes importan ahora (Spain) and Unglingasmiðjurnar Stígur og Tröð (Iceland).
The project’s main goal is to connect European cultural heritage with human and environmental health. This includes guided walking routes and a recipe book to highlight European culture, promote exercise, mindfulness, nutrition, and work towards sustainability goals. The walking routes, the recipe book and all the activities associated with the project will be put into a mobile application that people will be able to access from anywhere in Europe.
Our partners in this project are Centro de Estudios Ecológicos Abrazohouse (Spain), Innovation Frontiers IKE (Greece) and VsI Ziniu Kodas (Lithuania).