Repair Cafe at Queenswood

As part of the Healthy Living & Sustainability Workshops at Queenswood on Saturday 10th February there is a fabulous Repair Cafe opportunity…

Got something to fix? Then bring it along and the team of experts will try and mend it for you. There will also be a kids clothes swap so bring a bundle down and take a new bundle home! All that and you can walk in the woods too…

 

10th February, 10am – 3pm, free entry. No need to book – just turn up! … and a special ‘Fix Your Bike’ session is available from 10am – 1pm.

 

For more details please contact Tim Kaye on 01981 550043 or email tim@clan-cic.org

www.queenswoodnandbodenhamlake.org

From Burnout to Balance

Burnout was a strong and recurring theme throughout the series of Transition Regional Network events that were hosted nationally at the end of last year for those involved in Transition across the UK.

Transition Network are now offering a two day introductory workshop in the UK for those in need of support. Alternatively they would be interested to hear from us if we would like to explore the possibility of bringing the workshop to Herefordshire…

Below is a link to more information via the Facebook event page. Do share this with anyone you know who might be interested – and comment if you would like to see this happening in Herefordshire.

From Burnout to Balance: Co-creating Cultures of Collective and Self Care
2 – 4th March, Bristol, UK
Sliding Scale £25 – £150 

Help to Heat Grants

Energy company grants are currently available towards the cost of insulation and heating for qualifying Herefordshire households. Herefordshire Council have widened the criteria for grants under the government ŒFlexible Eligibility scheme ­ meaning more households can benefit (for example those on a low income but not receiving benefits).

Particularly good funding rates (up to 100%) are available for LPG, Oil and electric heating upgrades.

 

A poster advertising the scheme is available to download here. Please distribute / display it around your local communities as appropriate.

 

To the Ends of the Earth

Antidote your anger about Donald Trump’s ‘scientifically ridiculous’ tweet inviting some “good ‘ole global warming” by joining an evening with Herefordshire Green Network and an award winning film narrated by British national treasure, Emma Thompson.

To the Ends of the Earth follows concerned citizens living at the frontiers of extreme oil and gas extraction, bearing witness to a global crossroads – the mayor of an Inuit village in Canada’s high arctic who fears animal damage at the hands of seismic testing, the environmental lawyer visiting energy production zones, and the river conservationist in Utah, fighting to protect the river from oil shale projects.

To the Ends of the Earth brings forward the voices of those who not only denounce the rise of extreme energy, but also envision the new world that is taking shape in its stead: a future beyond the resource pyramid, a post-growth economy.

After the film members of Herefordshire Green Network will host a discussion exploring our own local futures. What is beyond exponential growth – and what would our world really look like if it wasn’t dominated by the current global hierarchy

 

“Wonderfully in touch with this historical moment.” Mark Achbar, The Corporation.

 

Thursday 25th January, 6pm – 8pm at The Courtyard, Hereford.

 

HGN Gathering – Coming to your … Food Rescue

On Wednesday 17th January in the dark atmospheric basement of the Left Bank Speakeasy around 25 people came together to shed light on local food waste, with the aim of developing some local grass root community responses.

Tony Kennall and Patrick Vansloun of the Worcester Food Rescue project described their impressively organised approach to their city food waste. They took us step by step from their initial discussions with supermarkets through to coping with Christmas 2017 – and the huge volume of surplus food they have been able to keep out of landfill and re-distribute to communities over this period … and the mountain of landfill food waste that is still beyond them.

Jacqui Allsop of Hereford Food Bank brought us up to date with the situation in Hereford city. The Food Bank provides emergency food to those who have been referred to the service. Hereford Food Bank has only very limited capacity to store donated food, and has to carefully manage the logistics of collection and re-distribution of food, and the constantly increasing referrals from local agencies. Jacqui also described hot food provision in the city – which is available daily to anyone who needs it.

Peter Norton of Brightspace Foundation then focused on the issues of hunger and food insecurity. A recent Oxfam report showed that more than 500,000 people in the UK are now dependent on food parcels… a shocking figure in the 7th most wealthy nation in the world. In Herefordshire more than 2000 people accessed the food bank last year, and as Jacqui described this figure only includes those in crisis and referred into the service. Countless others are invisible to the statisticians – and it is partly in response to those in need but not receiving help that Pete is developing a Food Poverty Alliance for Herefordshire.

The presentations left us all thinking, and after some discussion and mindmapping of ideas the group highlighted some possible areas of interest & action to take forward. We particularly focused on the problems of rural isolation and the cost of local public transport, and the need for support to be made more available within our rural communities.

  • Community Food Hubs. We discussed various approaches to the idea of a Food Hub:
    • A model that would work in the same way as local Food Assemblies (links below)
    • Community Fridge. This might be based at a central location but with local outlets in the villages around Herefordshire.
  • Food Social Clubs – making use of existing local centres such as churches and community centres and combining food collection (either direct from Supermarkets following the Food Rescue approach or from a central Community Fridge) and distribution that would be available for all. This could be supported by local social activities such as cooking, preserving, shared music and gleaning.
  • Gleaning – using surplus food direct from growers. People suggested that we might explore working with local growers such as Arkstone Mill or Canon Frome Court, and explore options around juicing fruit to ensure it can be stored and used. For more information there are links below to Worcester Gleaning group and West Country Gleaners.
  • School Holiday Food Clubs. Peter described statistics that show 3 million children currently go hungry during school holidays, and activities around schools as food distribution and provision centres are increasingly important. Holiday projects based in our local schools could include food growing and cooking alongside other activities. Funding would be needed to cover the cost of heating and cooking, and projects might need to borrow community centre kitchens. Saxon Hall in Hereford already offers a holiday club on this basis.
  • Legislation. It was broadly agreed that tackling the root problems of surplus is paramount, with people suggesting that supermarkets should be fined for overstocking. Changing the law on ‘best before’ dates should also be considered.

 

We will return to food insecurity as an issue at our HGN Gathering on the 16th May 2018. If in the meantime anyone would like to start to explore ways of developing one of these ideas – or other ideas, such as the city Food Rescue project – please get in touch and HGN will support you.

More information is given via the links below.

And if you would like to donate to the Hereford Food Bank ideally phone or email to see what they need before going along. Please also always ensure that food is within its best before date, otherwise the Food Bank has to pay for its disposal as ‘waste’…

 

Links:

Worcester Food Rescue, and an article about the project here.

Hereford Food Bank

Herefordshire Food Poverty Alliance: Good Food For All

Food Assemblies

Community Fridge

Food in Community CIC Totnes

Worcester Gleaning group

The Gleaning Network

 

To get in touch with HGN email kate@hgnetwork.org 

What Jesse said…

Apparently ministers Jesse Norman and Claire Perry have called for local authorities to do more to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle air quality after it emerged just 5 councils in the whole of the UK have taken advantage of an electric car scheme.

In 2016 the Department for Transport launched the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, offering funding for local authorities to buy and install electric car charge points. The scheme makes available up to 75% of the cost of procuring and installing charge points, however local authorities have to fund the remaining costs through public and private sources.

… and it seems there has been a huge failure of uptake at local government level.

Read about it in full on the gov.uk website.

 

Something for the dinner table…?

… not really! But it’s a good conversation starter?

Some of you might have noticed this piece in the Guardian or on Midlands Today last week. Transition Malvern Hills are demonstrating remarkable ingenuity with the UK’s first dog poo powered street lamp…

“Dog walkers on the Malvern Hills are being encouraged to drop the waste into an anaerobic digester which converts it into methane to fuel the lamp. Ten bags are sufficient to provide two hours of light. Creator Brian Harper said he wanted to find a use for it after seeing poo-filled bags being left at the area of outstanding natural beauty….”

There’s more on the story here from Transition Malvern Hills, along with lots of other excellent project ideas too.

 

Inspiring talks over the border…

Low Carbon Lichfield and Transition Lichfield are presenting a series of inspiring talks for a new year, including…

Thursday 15th February – Living with Climate Chaos. Speaker Professor Carolyn Roberts of Keele University and Lichfield Science and Engineering Society is a specialist in water resource management and science communication, who now works mainly as a consultant assisting businesses and universities to develop technological innovations that take us closer to being environmentally sustainable.

Wednesday 7th March – Community Ownership of Energy. Internationalbusiness development consultant Anthony Walters will be talking about the benefits to the community of taking ownership of local energy production and how this might be achieved.

 

Venue for all – George IV pub, Bore Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LU, start time for all is 8pm

Keeping the energy going…

Given the storms over the past week, this is just a reminder that the Keep Herefordshire Warm energy advice line is open for calls:­ 0800 677 1432. They’re urging those who are fit and well to check in on neighbours who are not so fortunate, ­particularly in areas hit by power cuts and within isolated rural communities.

Customers relying on power for electricity equipment or vulnerable in the event of a power cut can sign up to Western Power Distribution’s Priority Services Register through Keep Herefordshire Warm.

Western Power Distribution (the electricity distributor) also operate a power cut helpline – 0800 6783 105.

And of course, those struggling to keep warm can also access free and impartial advice via the KHW helpline.

Food Rescue…

OUR FIRST HGN GATHERING OF THE NEW SEASON! Wednesday 17th January 7.30pm at De Koffie Pot, Left Bank, Hereford, all welcome.

 

Global news in January is often difficult to stomach. 2017 is now officially the hottest year on record and forecasters are predicting increasingly arid landscapes around the world. Here in the Herefordshire in the winter grey, mud and rain that seems hard to imagine – but what we are confronted with is record levels of use at UK food banks, and 19% of households in Herefordshire now officially defined as living in poverty.

In a food-producing county no one should go hungry, and at our first Herefordshire Green Network Gathering of the New Year we invite you all to join a discussion about local food waste and food poverty.

Speakers include Tony Kennall from Worcester Food Rescue, an innovative local project that is dedicated to diverting end of shelf-life food from landfill to charitable organisations, plus Peter Norton of the Herefordshire’s Brightspace Foundation who is currently working with local organisations to develop a new food poverty alliance and strategy for the county, and he will share details of that project with us. We will also be joined by Jacquie Alsop, coordinator of Hereford Food Bank.

Bring along your questions and your ideas. Our aim is to gain some understanding of this issue, and explore our options for making a positive local change.

Hope to see you there.

 

 

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