An ‘Everyday Climate Hero’ from Kensa Heat Pumps in Cornwall will see her portrait taken by world-renowned photographer Rankin plastered on billboards around the UK.

Marie Hand, Kensa Heat Pumps’ Factory Supervisor, is part of a campaign which seeks to bring to the forefront the unsung heroes during the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

As world leaders convened in Glasgow for COP26 to negotiate the planet’s climate future, ordinary people from across the UK showed them how they, and others like them, are making a significant difference to reducing our carbon footprint.

It is these unsung, Everyday Climate Heroes that Rankin, the UK’s most renowned photographer, has brought to the forefront in this campaign, which was unveiled at COP26 and displayed on over 400 billboards throughout the UK for the duration.

Marie, Factory Supervisor at Kensa Heat Pumps said:

It’s just trying to give people the understanding that we can change this, It’s never too late. I don’t want to have my grandchildren growing up and it’s no better. It will be. If everybody did just a little bit you’d be surprised.

Marie started with Kensa back in 2006, and has seen and supported the company’s growth into the UK’s leading ground source heat pump manufacturer. She started as a Production Operative making the heat pumps on the factory floor, progressed to Factory Supervisor, and is now training to become a Manager.

Marie oversees production in Kensa’s busy manufacturing facility, helping get heat pumps out of the door and enabling more people switch to renewable energy.

I absolutely love working for Kensa because of the help we give to people in fuel poverty! It’s why we do what we do, and my team and I make the heat pumps that do this.

There’s definitely the cost-saving element, because Ground Heat Source saves a lot. But also I think people are starting to think about the environment now. And it’s just the way forward. It really is the way forward.

I have a little granddaughter. And I’d like her to grow up with better air and not so much pollution in the air. When I was young the climate wasn’t really spoken about. But now, it’s all I’m speaking about to my grandchildren.

The bespoke work is in partnership with the Futerra Solutions Union, a new non-profit, which uses the power of culture to accelerate sustainable development.

The campaign aims to change the face of climate action in the UK, breaking through the stereotypes of only politicians and activists having a media profile, when so many people are making a difference every day.

The ten Everyday Climate Heroes identified by the Futerra Solutions Union and shot by Rankin range from a former coal miner to a farmer; from scientists to teachers, community volunteers, a factory worker, and a waitress.

Photographer Rankin, said:

The Everyday Climate Heroes all have thought-provoking stories to tell. Through imagery, I wanted to highlight the extraordinary change being made by these ordinary people within their local communities and to the environment.

This project takes the spotlight away from the world leaders and places it on the people that make up our nation, we all have a part to play in tackling the climate crisis. And now is that time.

Solitaire Townsend, chair of the Futerra Solutions Union said:

It’s not only the Royals or protestors who care about climate change. Across the UK people are making a real difference, everyday. Our neighbours, our friends, and our children are all starting to do what they can in millions of different ways, every single day. These are extraordinary portraits of everyday people. We couldn’t be more proud to help raise up these voices.

Listen to Marie’s story:

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