Local community groups SEE-Change, St Vincent de Paul Society and Canberra Loves 40%, are working together to provide curtains free-of-charge to people living in disadvantage

Earlier this year the ACT Government Environment and Planning Directorate committed $1,000 to pilot-test the program. After the first workshop the retrofit program assisted 5 homes, and the result was a great success.

“This program uses a community-based delivery model to improve the energy performance and living conditions of vulnerable people’s houses,” said SEE-Change Executive Officer Jodie Pipkorn.

“Not only does it bring the community together in sewing workshops, but by using a combination of existing materials and volunteer support we are able to keep costs to a minimum.”

In the first stage of the pilot project, windows were measured by Energy Efficiency Outreach Officers who are part of the ACTSmart Energy Efficiency Outreach Program, a curtain sewing workshop was held with volunteers at the Kaleen High School, and then the curtains were installed by the St Vincent de Paul Society.

“This project is a wonderful demonstration of the community assisting others in the community to combat social injustice,” said Frank Brassil, President of the St Vincent de Paul Society.

“It is also a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together in fun sewing workshops to strengthen community connections, and share knowledge and skills.”

Due to the success of the pilot the ACT Government has committed to a further $20,000 of funding. This will ensure more homes in the ACT will be better equipped for the cold weather with good quality curtains, ultimately reducing electricity bills.

If you would like to get involved in this project by volunteering to help with curtain sewing or installing the curtains, or if you have good quality curtains with block-out backing that you would like to donate, please email: volunteer@svdp-cg.org.au

This project has been kindly supported by the ACT Government Environment and Planning Directorate and CBB the Not 4 Profit People.