A new year and a new beginning for Midlothian’s Climate Action Hub

Tuesday January 23rd 2024


The staff of the Midlothian Climate Action Hub, from left to right, Ian Malcolm, Naomi Knights and Bruno Santos.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Prior to the festive season kicking off, final arrangements for the Midlothian Climate Action Hub were being put in place to ensure that it would be operational from the very start of 2024. In December, the final interviews for the Hub’s three staff took place in Dalkeith and later that day, in Penicuik, the members of the Hub’s Steering Group were formally elected.

The three staff are:

– Ian Malcolm, Hub Manager. Prior to his appointment, Ian was the Coordinator for the Midlothian Climate Action Network and played a key role in the successful funding application to the Scottish Government that enabled the formation of the staffed Hub.

– Naomi Knights, Community Engagement Officer, will be known to many of Midlothian’s communities through her previous role with Midlothian Voluntary Action and her befriending role with Volunteer Midlothian, in which she will continue on a part-time basis.

– Bruno Santos, Community Engagement Officer, joins the Hub team from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland where he was the Climate Fringe Coordinator. runo brings event organisation and volunteer support experience to the team while he has also been active in various community food initiatives.

The Hub Steering Group

Following a formal process amongst the Midlothian Climate Action Network’s member groups, the following persons were elected to the Hub Steering Group:

– Julian Holbrook, Chairperson Damhead Climate Action

– Douglas Strachan, One Dalkeith Community Development Trust

– Julia Pennycuick, Midlothian Wildflowers

– Chris Sydes, Penicuik Community Development Trust

– Sharon Hill, Mayfield & Easthouses Development Trust

– Jenny Maddalena, Rosewell & District Community Council

– Xica Dabin-Debono, The Glencorse Association

In addition to these elected members, MVA has a standing place on the Hub Steering Group and this is filled by Lesley Kelly, the Chief Officer.

The Hub’s early priorities are completion of a mapping exercise to fully understand the needs, challenges and ambitions of Midlothian’s community groups and organisations, and how they can best be supported and empowered. An inclusive approach will be taken to ensure that no groups, whether currently involved in climate action or not, feel excluded. To support this activity, four ‘Outreach’ events will be held in various locations in February and March.

The Midlothian Climate Action Hub is a partnership between Midlothian Voluntary Action and the Midlothian Climate Action Network in which the community-led approach is represented by the Hub Steering Group while the operational side of the Hub is led by the MVA.

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