Two green nominations for Sidbury company

A Sidbury woman was up for two separate eco-accolades on the same night last month for her energy-saving business.

YouGen, launched by Cathy Debenham in 2009, provides advice for homes and businesses on how to save money through environmentally-friendly initiatives.

The business was named WWF Green Game Changer at the International Green Awards in London on November 20.

Cathy said: “It’s an enormous honour, and a huge encouragement to us that such an eminent panel of judges think we’re doing something useful.

“We’re such a small team that sometimes you get so busy just getting things done that you forget to look out over the parapet.

“To be given this award is a wonderful indication that some people think we’re on the right track, and will spur us on to do more and do it better.”

Cathy was pipped to the post to be selected as South West Sustainable Energy Champion, but said that YouGen’s focus is national rather than regional, so she was surprised to have been nominated.

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The award was taken by Steve Edmunds of Mole Valley Farmers, a collective that helps keep costs down for those in agriculture by local sales.

YouGen combines her firsthand experience – her house has all the green mod-cons, including solar panels, a wood-burning stove and room-by-room heating – with advice from industry experts.