We are incredibly proud of what our CAG Devon groups are achieving. They are making a considerable impact on reducing waste in Devon and encouraging other members of their community to live more sustainably. Perhaps less quantifiable but equally important is the impact these groups are having on community cohesion and wellbeing – giving people an opportunity to spend time together, learn new skills, and get to know their neighbours a little better.
We magnify this impact, by helping local community action groups to establish and organise themselves, promote their activities, learn and share skills, and support each other as they grow.
Read on to see how groups have smashed their previous impact achievements through 2022/23. You can also read the words of some group volunteers, who shared their stories and reflections of being involved in a CAG Devon group, in our pilot Storytelling research project.
Taking the impacts across three years, from deep covid and then 2022/23 as we emerged out of the pandemic, we can see a return to pre-covid levels of activity, and much, much more!
Following the challenges of covid the CAG Devon Network has kept momentum and achieved truly remarkable outcomes.
Here’s a summary of what the CAG Devon network achieved in 2022-23:
547 events with 25,062 attendees (262 events with 10,992 attendees in 2021/22)
20,821 volunteer hours, worth £311,491 (compared to 16,079 volunteer hours, worth £240,544 in 2021/22).
84.3 tonnes of waste prevented, over doubling that from 2021/22 (36.61 tonnes), and five times the amount prevented in 2020/21 (16.62 tonnes).
50.8 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill, nearly doubling the 21 tonnes diverted in 2021/22, and five times that diverted in 2020/21 (10 tonnes).
297.2 tonnes of carbon emissions avoided, more than doubling the 138.8 tonnes in 2021/22 (and nearly five times that achieved in 2020/21)
The network remained steady at 22 groups during 2022/23.
How we measure our impact
To measure the impact the CAG Devon project is having, we use the Resource Community Impacts Tool (ResourceCIT). This is an online tool for community groups and funders to estimate the impact they are having on reducing waste, carbon, energy use and saving costs for individuals and the community.
Our community groups submit data from the activities they carry out; we are then able to generate individual reports on each group’s achievements and calculate the impact we have had collectively across the CAG Devon network.
Going forwards we are also exploring how to capture some of the social impacts of being involved in a CAG Devon group. In 2022 we gathered some volunteers stories about giving their time in CAG Devon groups. This was part of a pilot research project. You can find out more here and read the seven stories.