Friends of the Earth (FOE) and Friends of the Earth Scotland consist of more than 200 local activist groups and are part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world. Operating in 75 countries, Friends of the Earth International unites over two million supporters and some 5,000 local groups.
Friends of the Earth understands that the wellbeing of the planet and its people go hand in hand. They hope to look after the planet for everyone's future, acting globally and locally, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take action.
Players of People's Postcode Lottery have been significant supporters of FOE, having awarded £125,000 to Friends of the Earth and £150,000 to Friends of the Earth Scotland. These funds have gone towards a variety of projects, including the fantastic Run on Sun programme, which runs across England.
Run on Sun aims to make it easier for schools to save thousands of pounds by installing solar panels. Currently, while schools are able to borrow money for things like insulation, they cannot borrow funds for solar panels. This is despite the fact that solar panels could save schools up to £8,000 a year in electricity savings and payments for generating surplus clean energy.
Recently, FOE held a Run on Sun competition, in which they asked local schools to submit ideas to express their support for solar power. The winning school, Stoneydown Park Primary School in Walthamstow, won the public vote and were entitled to free solar panels for the school's roof. One Stoneydown Park student, Yusuf, was extremely proud. "I feel really ecstatic – winning the competition is just a great achievement for us and the school."
In Scotland, Friends of the Earth are helping community groups across the country to benefit from community power. In Edinburgh, they helped set up and launch theEdinburgh Solar Cooperative, which will install solar panels on 25 council rooftops across the city. The scheme will benefit not only the residents of the buildings, but cooperative and community members, who will reinvest surplus funds into a community fund to help people in need in Edinburgh.