Page last updated at 18:07 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Award win for prison fuel scheme

Debbie Hewitt with inmates from HMP Leyhill
The scheme could soon be rolled out across England

A Gloucestershire project which turns waste sawdust into briquettes for use as fuel has won a Best in Britain award from a national fuel charity.

The Wood-u-Waste briquettes are made by inmates at Leyhill Prison using sawdust from its furniture workshop.

More than 1,500 bags of the briquettes have been distributed to vulnerable households in Dursley since the scheme began just over a year ago.

The National Energy Action charity award includes a £5,000 prize.

Wood-u-Waste beat more than 100 other projects to win the Affordable Warmth - Sustainable World Award.

'Tackle fuel poverty'

Now the three volunteers behind the idea are looking at ways to roll it out across England.

They have already expanded by taking in extra waste sawdust from local joiners to meet growing demand.

"The approach is simple," said director Adrian Jacques.

"We take the briquettes from the prison to be sold [at £2 a bag] though a network of local community shops and charities.

"They take some of the profit to help their work and we use the rest to distribute bags for free to vulnerable households in fuel poverty."

Maria Wardrobe, competition judge for National Energy Action, said: "The briquette project has succeeded in bringing together people from around the community in the fight against fuel poverty.

"This award scheme has demonstrated just how much support, enthusiasm and determination there is amongst all of those who entered, to devise schemes that help to tackle fuel poverty in their communities."

Print Sponsor

Fuel scheme up for national award
03 Jun 09 |  Gloucestershire

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