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Peak District green businesses pledge to support African communities

This is an archived press release

Tuesday 20 May 2014

(left to right) Faith Johnson, Anthony Allen and Kemal Shaheen

Peak District businesses committed to working sustainably, supporting their local communities and the national park environment are expanding their efforts to support communities overseas through a local charity with a global outlook.

The Peak District National Park's award for sustainable businesses – the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark (EQM) – has joined forces with Bakewell-based international development charity, Village Aid to give local businesses the opportunity to invest in international communities.

Faith Johnson, director of the Environmental Quality Mark Community Interest Company, that runs the green award scheme on behalf of the national park authority, said: “EQM award holders are doing a great job helping look after the environment and supporting local communities, but now we want to see how their efforts can be extended to help protect the environment and communities in parts of the world where the stakes are even higher."

Village Aid's Cameroon Water Appeal 2014 is raising money to deliver safe water to communities where cattle grazers and crop farmers are in conflict over access to precious natural resources such as land and water.

Village Aid logoEQM award holder Antony Allen of The Bakewell Soap Company is donating 20p for every litre of water used in his soap production business to support work to ensure clean water for villagers in Cameroon: “We were awarded the Environmental Quality Mark because of our commitment to lowering our carbon footprint. One of the ways we've done this is to switch from using bottled spring water to using water collected from the spring in Buxton.

“When we heard about Village Aid's project in Cameroon to help rural communities protect their precious water sources from pollutants the link between us seemed an obvious one. We’re delighted to be helping Village Aid while at the same time taking a practical step toward carbon reduction."

Three other Environmental Quality Mark businesses have pledged to support Village Aid:

  • The Village Green Café in Eyam is supporting Village Aid by encouraging customers who have a free tap water drink with their order to donate a fee to the Cameroon Water Appeal 2014, which supports the delivery of safe water projects in agricultural communities in the country.
  • Holiday accommodation provider, The Dove Valley Centre, donate £1 to Village Aid for every booking they take.
  • Hoe Grange Holidays are supporting Village Aid's work in West Africa by encouraging customers to make a donation when they book online.

As part of a much bigger project supported by Big Lottery Fund, Village Aid is working to reduce conflict in 14 communities across the Northwest region through provision of safe water, conflict resolution dialogue platforms and sustainable resource management activities. Water catchment protection plays a vital role in the project, protecting water supplies from agricultural contamination and other pollutants, reducing the spread of water-bourne diseases such as typhoid.

Village Aid is celebrating links between their work and the Peak District by taking part in well dressing festivities.

For more details, visit the Village Aid on Facebook.

More information about the Environmental Quality Mark, visit www.eqm.org.uk.

This is an archived press release

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