WITH Arctic ice melting in record heat and tropical islands facing rising sea levels, tackling climate change can seem like an impossible task.

But one Oxford group has shown that by making tiny changes, all of us can make a difference to the environment.

In fact, Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon has so impressed the national Climate Coalition that last week it was presented with the organisation’s first Green Heart Hero community inspiration award at the Houses of Parliament.

Group members Eleanor Watts and Cathy Gibb picked up their award on Tuesday from TV presenter Clive Anderson and celebrity historian Janina Ramirez.

The Oxford group saw off competition from hundreds of others across the country to pick up the prize for work they have done in the local area.

In a citation about the award, the climate coalition said: “Since its creation in 2013, RHILC has been hugely successful in working towards its vision of making Rose Hill the first zero-carbon council estate.

“They encouraged the council to install 190 solar panels on the community centre, generating 57,000kWh of electricity a year, and the car-share club now has an electric car powered by solar.

“They also run bike and electric goods repair workshops, swap shops, and organised a thermal imaging campaign to advise residents on minimising heat loss.

“Recently, they have worked to install PV panels and battery storage systems in social housing.”

The group said it was ‘delighted’ to win the accolade.

Ms Watts said: “We think climate change must be tackled at an international level, but for this to happen ordinary people must be persuaded that they should and can do something about it too.

“As a community action group, we try to include different kinds of neighbours in different ways.

“Outdoor people may do tree planting or litter picks; indoor people may be motivated by talks or films.

“If everyone feels valued for what they can do, a community action group like ours can help to tackle climate change.”

The The Climate Coalition is made up of more than 130 organisations ranging from the RSPB and Women’s Institute to Christian Aid.

The awards are the culmination of a campaign to celebrate ‘the things we love that are at risk from climate change from sports rained off to beauty spots hit by floods.

Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds, who nominated the group for an award, added: “I was thrilled to hear they were recognised for all the fantastic work they do.

“Climate change can seem like an overwhelming problem but the group have shown that when like minded, passionate and determined individuals come together they really can make a difference.”