The Prince of Wales is a man on a mission. Having personally founded 18 charities, he presides over the largest multi-cause charitable group in the UK, which raises over £100m annually and includes The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, The Prince’s Countryside Fund and The Prince’s Trust, which has just announced £2.5m of investment in the places hardest hit by the riots across English cities in August 2011.
Prince Charles’ new focus for positive change is you. Start is his new initiative designed to help all of us begin to take simple steps for sustainable living, and to show what a more energy efficient, cleaner and healthier future could look like.
The concept has been developed and is now lead by Joey Tabone, a stalwart of the Prince’s Charities team. “Start is fun, enjoyable and a little quirky,” he says. “We want to involve the public in positive activities which make a difference while conveying an easy sustainable-living message.”
“Let’s inspire people with positive messages about what they can start doing, not what they have to stop doing.” HRH The Prince of Wales
Joey’s team wants to help people engage in their everyday actions in a new way, with both their hearts and minds. They believe that through our everyday choices and how we approach what we do, we all can make a difference. So far so good, but how is Start actually going to change the behaviour of the public?
At its hub is an interactive website which, while still in its infancy, is becoming a useful and dynamic resource for green living advice and actions. But several such sites already exist, so what’s different? Start’s power may lie in its ability to go where other sustainability initiatives cannot: to appeal beyond environmentalists, to a sometimes sceptical and cynical general public.
Start believes it can do this because it has: a world famous patron; an innovative and accessible events schedule; a motivated and switched on team; and a committed group of corporate partners who are prepared to put their extensive marketing capabilities to work for the cause.
Celebrities are also being brought on board, with actress Barbara Windsor for example, endorsing the benefits of holidaying in the UK (thereby avoiding air travel). “Britain is such a beautiful place to holiday in, I’m going to promise to start encouraging people to ‘carry on camping,’” she says.
In its first year, Start held a 12-day festival for 30,000 people along the Mall in London and took Prince Charles on a national rail tour (the train ran on chip-fat) with a swathe of accompanying regional events.
Read more about Prince Charles and his latest initiative START.