IF you really believe in something, giving up your own time to volunteer is no barrier.
This is true of green-minded George Fincher of the Manx Energy Advice Centre, who gives up each Saturday to meet with the public on how to make their homes more energy efficient.
Every Saturday between 10am and 4pm you will find George at the Green Centre in Chester Street, Douglas, and this dedication has earned him a nomination for volunteer of the year in the Flybe Pride in Mann awards.
Muriel Garland, of Zero Waste Mann who also operate out of the Green Centre, said: ‘George is not only a mine of information on renewable energy, but also has a knack of explaining things so people can understand.’
Muriel added: ‘He has volunteered there for the last three of four years. What impresses me is he’s an engineer but he’s good at talking to people, and he wouldn’t recommend anything unsuitable, and the Manx Energy Advice Centre generally have been pioneers of trying to get things moving.’
George, of East Baldwin, was quick to deflect praise away from himself, stressing it was the co-operation between the Green Centre’s three resident organisations – which also includes Friends of the Earth – that makes the Saturday volunteering worthwhile.
‘Really it’s the combination that makes the Green Centre work,’ he said. ‘If there was only one of us there we couldn’t cover all the types of queries we get, but the groups overlap so well, between us there’s not a lot we can’t answer.’
What kind of things do people want to know from George?
‘It’s things in the home I talk to people about, things like insulation, draft proofing, energy efficient lights, and habits like switching things off,’ he said. ‘People want to ask what is possible. For example, how renewable sources can be connected to the national grid, and what the costs are.
‘There’s no such thing as a typical Saturday, or a typical question, whatever is topical; like when Onchan pulling out of the kerbside recycling was in the news.’
The Green Centre is also a handy direct link to the public, and public opinion on green issues.
‘We find the most common source of questions is from people who have recently moved to the island, about what is and isn’t happening here,’ said George. ‘In some respects like recycling the island is quite far behind the UK and Europe, and people, especially from places like Germany, can’t believe just how far behind.’
Nominations for this year’s Pride in Mann awards have now closed.
• We’ll be explaining how you can vote in Pride in Mann soon.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 6 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west