The Inspire Wales Awards are an initiative of the Institute of Welsh Affairs in association with the Western Mail.
Inspirational people from all walks of life are being honoured in the second annual Inspire Wales Awards. The awards – a partnership between the Western Mail and the Institute of Welsh Affairs – recognise the contribution of those in the fields of business, education,science and technology, arts and media, the environment and sport. They also aim to mark the work of young achievers, those who promote Wales to the world and the Welsh language in the workplace, as well as champions of citizenship. Today, we reveal the finalists in the Environmentalist category.
In the past decade, Katie Jones has played an integral part in spreading the green message and promoting local produce to Wales. She has spent much of the last three years, as Wales Development Coordinator of the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG), involved in delivering the Growing Together in Wales, where her work has helped revitalise communities. Her community growing initiatives have benefited more than 7,000 people and increased membership of FCFCG by 800% in that time. Her leadership has been instrumental in the development of community growing initiatives such as Orchard Cardiff and Tyfu Pobl, for which she helped secure £1m funding. She also helped develop alley-gating project How Green Is Your Alley and the founding of Cardiff’s first mini agricultural show. Ms Jones’ dedication to the cause is shown in how she combines her formidable workload with volunteer work in her local community in her spare time, including helping environmental dive group Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners to clear up rubbish in the sea.
Louise Tambini has dedicated 14 years of her working life to improving the environment around Wales – and can claim credit for engaging communities to care for their local area. As Projects Manager for Keep Wales Tidy since 2002, and working for the organisation since 1997, Ms Tambini has helped bring projects to thousands of community groups. She has played an integral part in Keep Wales Tidy’s “Tidy Towns” initiative, which brought more than 16,000 environmental projects to 1,200 community groups in the last three years. Her inspirational leadership in promoting – as a volunteer and committee member – the work of Cardiff Rivers Group since its founding in 2009, attracting more than 170 volunteers and resulting in a nomination for a Tidy Wales Award, and forced an increase in the group’s activities to fortnightly. Ms Tambini’s tireless work was demonstrated this year, in landing £5,000 funding from Cardiff Council for a storage unit for the Group, which will aid the vital work of the volunteers.
A serial energy entrepreneur, Mr Williams has dedicated 34 years of his working life to developing renewable energy technologies from their infancy. As founder and chief executive of Cardiff-based Eco2 and through his work as Generation Projects Managers for Renewables at Swalec and at Energy Power Resources (EPR), Mr Williams, from Newport, has been at the forefront of commercialising new technologies. Mr Williams’ work helped develop Swalec become the most successful developer of early renewable energy projects, while he helped EPR generate 12.5% of all UK units before it was sold for £200m in 2004. Projects Mr Williams has helped bring to fruition have since saved three million tonnes of CO2, 10% of the government’s 2010 emissions target. His current venture, Eco2, works on a number of wind power projects in the UK and pioneering £1bn biomass programmes that aim to revolutionise the renewables markets across Europe.