Energy Advice Service wins a Climate Challenge Fund Award

Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust’s Energy Advice Service is one of six community-led organisations from across Scotland that have been presented with a prestigious Climate Challenge Fund Award at a ceremony which took place in Perth on Wednesday 12 December.

Climate Challenge Fund Awards
At the Climate Challenge Fund Awards


The Climate Challenge Fund Awards were organised by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful on behalf of the Scottish Government.   The Awards recognise the work that has been undertaken by groups supported by the Climate Challenge Fund to tackle climate change in their communities.

60 Nominations were received, with 15 groups being shortlisted for the Awards, and six being crowned as top of their categories.

The Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust’s Energy Advice Service won the ‘Energy’ category for their work in 2017/18.  The team offers home energy advice across Sutherland to help the community to improve energy efficiency – reducing carbon emissions and helping to tackle climate change at the same time.

Arabella Kennard, who accepted the award for the Energy Advice Service said:

Thank you to the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) and Keep Scotland Beautiful for this award. The opportunity that CCF offers to community organisations is a real inspiration, highlighting Scotland’s leading efforts to transition to more sustainable, low-carbon lifestyles.

The communities which we cover in Sutherland are remote, rural and sparsely populated, with householders experiencing some of the highest rates of fuel poverty in Scotland. The award is dedicated to all project members from the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust, as well as to all partner organisations. All of whom have been integral to the delivery of the project, allowing us to have a collective impact in our community to reduce carbon emissions as well as alleviating the drivers and impacts of fuel poverty. 

Congratulations to all other Climate Challenge Funded nominees. I am so motivated by the range of different projects – diversity and innovation are evidently so important to activate community-led action on climate change.”

David Watson, Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust’s manager added,

The Energy Advice Service phone is constantly ringing with people looking for advice on how to cut their fuel bills and make their homes warmer. It is a real issue for people in the Highlands. The funding that we receive from the Climate Challenge Fund has been crucial in allowing us to make a difference to people’s lives. There are so many people out there who could still benefit from our support. Although attracting future investment remains a challenge, Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust are confident that, due to the quality of the team and the service that they provide, we will be able to continue to deliver energy advice to the people of Sutherland. In the meantime, we’re delighted that the hard work and dedication of the current and past team members has been recognised!” 

The Climate Challenge Fund is a Scottish Government grants programme, managed and administered by Keep Scotland Beautiful, which provides funding and support for community groups to tackle climate change through community-led projects that reduce carbon emissions.

The Climate Challenge Fund has been hugely successful and, since its introduction in 2008, has awarded grants totalling £101 million to 1,097 projects in 658 communities, with projects involving energy efficiency, sustainable travel, local food and resource efficiency.

The awards were presented by Tom Brock OBE, Charity Trustee of Keep Scotland Beautiful, and physicist and meteorologist, Heather Reid OBE, ‘Heather the Weather’, who was also Guest Speaker at the Awards.

Tom Brock OBE, Charity Trustee at Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented:

“This is an exciting year for community action on climate change in Scotland as we celebrate a decade of successful projects tackling climate change with the support of the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and recognise youth contributions as part of our activities for Scotland’s Year of Young People.

“We are proud to present these awards and recognise the efforts of Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. The awards provide the opportunity to showcase and celebrate the excellent work that has been carried out in the vital fight against climate change by communities across Scotland supported by the Fund. Congratulations to all of the winners.”


Image from Climate Challenge Fund Awards
Heather Reid, Arabella Kennard and Tom Brock


Heather Reid OBE added:

“It was fantastic to see how communities from across Scotland have come together to help address climate change.

“Climate change is one of the most important challenges facing the world today and the Climate Challenge Fund has allowed communities the opportunity to explore and implement projects that help people to learn more about the issue and how they can help to tackle it.

“It was inspiring to see so many strong nominations and the winning entries were outstanding in their efforts to help address climate change.”

Notes for editor:

The Climate Challenge Fund Award winners were:

  • Energy Category – The Energy Advice Service, Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust
  • Food Category – SCOREscotland Green Futures, SCOREscotland
  • Travel Category – Healthy Living and Sustaining East-Renfrewshire, Woodfarm Education Centre
  • Waste Category  – R:evolve Recycle, Lightburn Elderly Association Project Ltd
  • Youth Engagement Category – Embedding North Glasgow’s Green Legacy, Ng Homes
  • Outstanding Contribution Category – Greener Kirkcaldy


Further information at