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Heart of Bucks is excited to announce the launch of the Green Schools Fund.

Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC), working closely with Heart of Bucks and Buckinghamshire County Council, has launched a Green Schools Fund this week. The fund, which is open to all primary and secondary schools in the Aylesbury Vale area, will award grants to support environmental projects initiated by the school’s students.

The formal launch took place at Royal Latin School in Buckingham which already has an impressive number of green initiatives initiated by the student-led Green Touch Team. The team have instigated the moving away from single use plastic bottles to cans that can be recycled, changed their waste contractor so that waste can be separated into recyclable and non-recyclable bins and worked with the school authorities to specify a new heating system that includes the use of rooftop photovoltaics to generate renewable energy.

Applications to the Green Schools Fund will be considered from school councils and similar student bodies affiliated to schools within the AVDC area, subject to the school acting as sponsor and receiving the grant payment on behalf of its students. The closing date for expressions of interest to the first round is Wednesday 18th March 2020. Grants of up to 1,500 can be applied for, though larger grants may be awarded where significant added value or match funding is demonstrated in the application. For more information on the fund, click here.

Our CEO Henry Allmand, who attended the formal launch, said:

“As the local Community Foundation, Heart of Bucks is delighted to have been asked to manage this new fund and to support local school students to realise their project ambitions by helping them  through the grant application process. While it is rigorous, to ensure the students have thought through their project before applying for a grant, we have designed it so it can be completed by students of all ages – with the support of their teaching staff.”

Speaking at the launch, Councillor Paul Irwin, AVDC Cabinet Member for Environment & Leisure, said: “The Royal Latin School was an ideal location for the launch of the new Green Schools Fund. Students here – and indeed in many other schools across the Vale – have been leading the way in developing creative projects to improve the environment in and around their schools.

“I hope that the launch of the Green Schools Fund, supported by Buckinghamshire County Council and managed by Heart of Bucks, the Community Foundation for Buckinghamshire, will enable many more of these projects to be implemented – contributing to a greener future for Buckinghamshire.

“This is the first of a number of initiatives AVDC will be announcing in coming weeks, since it passed a comprehensive environmental policy late last year, designed to reduce CO2 levels and respond to climate change.”

Arif Hussain, Buckinghamshire County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Education & Skills, also attended the launch event at the Royal Latin School. He commented: “We are delighted to be able to have a practical impact by matching the contribution to the Green Schools Fund  made by AVDC. Although initially only schools in the Aylesbury Vale area will be able to apply for grants, we are confident that the success of this pilot will lead to it being taken forward countywide by the new Buckinghamshire Council.”