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Chorley's Carbon Neutral Pioneers

St Laurence’s C.E. Primary School visit

15 October 2021

Pupils at a Chorley Primary School welcomed some special visitors this week to see first-hand their impressive measures to tackle climate change.

St Laurence's C.E. Primary School in Chorley who have implemented an impressive energy efficiency and carbon reduction programme were visited by Rt. Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, Leader of Chorley Council, Councillor Alistair Bradley and Deputy Leader of Chorley Council, Councillor Peter Wilson.

Along with Sam Johnson, Deputy Director of Education, Diocese of Blackburn, and Project Manager, Phil Gornall, they were met by the school's Head Teacher, Mrs Emma Marquis, to be shown the work carried out as part of this innovative project and hear about its importance from the school's enthusiastic children.

Rt. Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP said "I'd like to congratulate St Laurence's C.E. Primary School for taking action to implement this ground-breaking project in the war against climate change.

"Not only are the school making huge steps forward in working towards becoming carbon neutral, it leads the way for others to follow. It is a fantastic example of getting the younger generation involved and showing them how climate action should be at the forefront of everything we do so they can carry on this great work in the future."

The school, just one of 27 in the country, were approved to be part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) which provided £1bn (nationally) to introduce technologies into public buildings, aimed at reducing carbon footprint.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council said: "This is such a fantastic project and wonderful to see a school so engaged with work to tackle the climate emergency.

"The school hasn't just fitted practical carbon reduction measures, they have educated and involved their pupils in the project and the wider issues of climate change so they, the next generation, can continue the good work.

"We are working towards the goal of Chorley becoming carbon neutral by 2030 as part of the Council's ambitious climate change programme. It's not only about the work that the Council are doing, it's important that we engage with residents, schools, businesses and other partners in the work they are doing to help."

Technologies implemented include the introduction of 59 solar panels for the school to produce its own energy, ground source heat pump, roof insulation, cavity wall insultation, new external doors, upgrades to double glazing where appropriate.

Head teacher of St Laurence's C.E. Primary School, Mrs Emma Marquis said "We take the responsibility of teaching children about climate change and the impact we all have on the carbon footprint very seriously and is an area of our curriculum we are working hard to progress further. ,,,

"We are very excited to become one of the Diocesan 'Carbon Neutral Pioneers', charged with promoting the project in school, the wider community and beyond. We are delighted that we are to be part of an innovative and ground-breaking project, which provides us with a platform to educate.

"Our children, led by our Eco Ambassadors are enthusiastic learners, who care very deeply about our environment, our world and their future. They are eager to learn, scrutinising energy certificates and creating video diaries as a record of the journey and impact of the project.

"Our ultimate aim is to support the diocese in educating other schools and wider communities in the importance and impact these changes will have on our carbon footprint and environment."

Completion of the work comes weeks before the start of COP26, the UN climate change conference being held in the UK.

It's not just about the practical steps, the school's Eco Ambassador is planning the schools own COP26 primary school summit which will aim to give children of Chorley the opportunity to work together to plan what action they can take to make their town greener and healthier.

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