Just Around the Corner
Joju Communications Manager, Ryan Lewis, is inspired by his first site visit to Joju’s Solar installation at Just Around the Corner Activity Centre at Rehoboth, Berkshire.
Summer is an extremely busy time for Joju. The school holidays arrive and as a result Joju have a flurry of installations in school and community buildings, which fall quiet while Children are absent. Since joining Joju in April I had not had the opportunity to visit a site while an installation was taking place but I am very pleased to say that changed when I recently visited the Just Around the Corner Activity Centre in Berkshire. What I found was an incredible organisation with an incredible story.
Just Around the Corner (JAC) is a UK Berkshire based registered charity committed to engaging with young people and their families. Its mantra “encouraging positive choices” underpins all the work is does to help young people from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of needs. JAC’s principles and the way it works rooted in the Christian faith of the founder and Development Director Sam Milligan. The site itself, Rehoboth, which I visited is named aptly after a Biblical location featured in Genesis where Isaac dug a well and which transalates as a place of “enlargement or flourishing”. It was easy to see how at a place like Rehoboth young adults would be able to achieve exactly that. The organisation uses animals, like horses; outdoor activities, like riding; and education about the natural environment to inspire and help young adults with a variety of behavioural, emotional, educational and physical needs. Children are referred to the centre from around the region and through inspiring classes, activities and staff are encouraged to prosper.
Rehoboth is JAC’s newly built centre, which consists of an office block, stable block and a manege, plus activity rooms. The office block includes a multi-functional classroom and craft room, along with an office space and kitchen area. There is also a stable block which includes nine stables and which currently houses five horses, two rabbits and seven guinea pigs. It was aloft the office block and the stable block that we were installing the Solar array when I visited.
JAC’s 28.6kWp installation is a part of a series of installations by Reading Community Energy Society (RCES) which are being delivered alongside Energy4All. JAC’s own installation was won through and is being funded by the Marks and Spencer’s Energy Society.
The install at JAC is a perfect example of the community energy sector installations we thrive on and more to the point we love doing. Joju Solar are one of the biggest actors in the community energy sector. We installed the first community solar install in 2009, and are now trusted partners for a range of community energy groups, due, in no small part, to our clear ethical alignment and long-term high quality service. We believe passionately in our model we call “Energy for the Community” where we see the most effective way of reducing CO2 emissions, at scale, is through a network of mid-scale actors including community groups, councils and SME’s- like ourselves – providing trusted engagement on energy and climate change issues and challenges. The community energy sector has been central to Joju’s business model this year, with pre-accredited projects providing us a solid pipeline of projects and protecting us from the wider industry downturn.
Joju Solar are the appointed installer for several Energy 4 All coops including: Wey Valley Solar Schools, the Schools Energy Coop, and the newly formed Reading Community Energy Society and M&S Energy Society. Joju Solar has designed 101 sites for Energy 4 All Coops.
Our Motto of “Just Add Sunshine” not only applies to the product we offer but also, in many ways, represents the ethos and the belief of us as an organisation that the work we do is important and can make a difference. A fact which is magnified when we install our product for organisations like Just Around the Corner, which do add sunshine to the lives of people who really need it. My visit to our install at Rehoboth was inspiring. To see our ‘energy for the community’ model in action and for a community organisation whose actions make such a difference was the perfect first site visit.
If you would like to find out more about how Joju can support your community group then don’t hesitate to get in touch.