Welcome to The Warehouse!
Thirty years of history have made it what it is today – Friends of the Earth (Birmingham) Limited first moved into the Warehouse in 1977. For many years, it was run as a co-operative and we hope some of that original community spirit remains, so that we are still ‘the little green community in the big city’.
Friends of The Earth local groups in the late 70s were groups of very active campaigners, leading by practical example. Our general ethos remains the same – we are still fighting for a cleaner and safer environment at local, national and international levels. In light of this, we ask our tenants and volunteers to follow the building’s environmental policy. For example, we have provided recycling points around the building for paper, cardboard, aluminium, glass, etc. We also ask that you practise simple resource/energy-saving methods by thinking of the simple things; turning off lights and computers when not in use, not having the fire on and the doors and windows wide open, not leaving water taps running, not filling the kettle up when making one cup, etc. We don’t want this to appear dictatorial at this point, as we generally operate a free policy, but this is important for us on a number of levels. We should be seen to ‘practise what we preach’, there is simply no need to waste what is wasted in mainstream culture. This creates massive environmental problems, and we have no desire to add to them. On a more simple level, we also need to conserve our limited finances.
Birmingham FoE now owns and manages the Warehouse building, the rents from tenants hopefully paying for any maintenance, wages for a Building Manager, rates, etc. The rest of our funding comes through our supporters. Birmingham FOE is registered as a ‘Society for the Benefit of the Community, under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act.
Birmingham Friends of the Earth is run by a Management Committee, which meets on average seven times a year, and devolves its function to two working groups, which meet on a more regular basis. However, the day-to-day running of the building is carried out directly by the Building Manager, currently Phil Burrows, with the Campaigns Support Worker, Julien Pritchard, and a team of volunteers.