HGN x Wellbeing Cafe, Wednesday 28th

Herefordshire Green Network will be teaming up with the Wellbeing Cafe on Castle Green this Wednesday for the first in a series of Make, Do and Mend events.

We have been so impressed by all the work the Wellbeing Cafe has been doing to tackle food poverty in Hereford during the school holidays this summer, and we can’t wait to get involved ourselves.

As the first in a series of events around Herefordshire we will be bringing free sustainability activities to their pop-up community cafe this August. Come on down to brush up your metal working skills making bugs and flowers from old tin cans, or bring your bike along for a check up with our bike mechanic. In fact, while you’re at it why not grab some delicious lunch from the cafe itself, served up from food that would otherwise have gone to waste.

Sustainable Food Cities for Herefordshire

Those of you who came along to our July HGN Gathering about local food security will be pleased to see more information here from Kristen Prichard. Kristen works as a Health Improver Practitioner with Herefordshire Council and is currently moving Herefordshire towards a Sustainable Food City (SFC) award.

Across the globe, communities at every scale have recognised the key role food can play in dealing with some of today’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges and are taking a joined up approach to transforming their food culture and food system.

From obesity and diet-related ill-health to food poverty and waste, climate change and biodiversity loss to declining prosperity and social dislocation, food is not only at the heart of some of our greatest problems but is also a vital part of the solution.

The Sustainable Food Cities approach involves developing a cross-sector partnership of local public agencies, businesses, academics and NGOs committed to working together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live.

Kristen is in the initial stages of mapping activity across the county and is really keen to celebrate the great things going on by achieving a SFC award for the county.

Further information can be found here: http://sustainablefoodcities.org/about

Exciting job opportunity with Sharenergy

Work with a UK-wide network of activists to build the community solar movement, empowering people to tackle the climate crisis with practical action in their neighbourhood.   

Sharenergy is a not-for-profit co-operative helping people to set up new community-owned renewable energy societies. Sharenergy works across the UK and across the technologies. Founded in 2011, we have worked with over 100 community energy groups and have been instrumental in establishing many successful and innovative projects.

We are recruiting a Project Officer to work on the development of the Big Solar Co-op, a new and exciting community energy project with a UK-wide scope. Sharenergy is based in Shrewsbury but we welcome applications from candidates who wish to remain based elsewhere as long as they are prepared to travel regularly as part of the job. 

For more details and how to apply see:  https://sharenergy.coop/jobs

For more on the Big Solar Co-op project see https://bigsolar.coop

Many thanks! from the team at Sharenergy

Funding for Climate Action…

In July Big Lottery announced a new fund to support people and communities who are taking a lead on responses to climate change. Click here for more information.

Here in Herefordshire a group of people associated with Herefordshire Green Network and New Leaf are developing ideas about the best way we can collaborate on a shared local funding bid.

If you are having similar thoughts – or if you think your bid would benefit from some collaborative input from others locally – please get in touch! We would like to make a Herefordshire bid as joined up and inclusive as possible.

Please contact admin@hgnetwork.org with your thoughts… thanks!

A Future Thinking Picnic for Spring Greens

This year’s Spring Greens Fair brought together more people than ever; though there were less activities, stalls and exhibits than before! The days we run for schools children have really taken off and we aim to build on this success. Several of the old Spring Greens team are stepping back and we are now looking for people to bring fresh energy, ideas and activities to future events.

Emerging new ideas include evening benefit events in support of Schools Days and active networking to encourage more contributors, but we need help. Could you get involved in Spring Greens Fair to help us bring more magic and creativity back into this much-loved event in 2020?

Please join us on Sunday 18 August, 12.30 – 4pm at Court of Noke. It should be a picnic! Bring food, drink, & ideas to share…

If you can’t come along, please contact us with your ideas & offers of help. 

Bull to take HGN by the horns?

HGN has a new administrator, Kate Bull (above, centre, with fellow Kington XR activists), who picked up the reins from Alice Waddington at the beginning of August.

With a background in PR and marketing, Kate hopes to bring those skills to the network at a time when the combined expertise of HGN members is needed more than ever.

Since last November, she has been an active member of Extinction Rebellion, helping to set up the Kington group, and was arrested at Oxford Circus during the London rebellion in April.

“My eyes were well and truly opened to the climate and ecological emergency we are facing, last autumn,” she says. “I woke up with a bang. Since then, I’ve wanted to put my energies into projects that contribute positively to the future of our planet, so I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to help run the Herefordshire Green Network.”

She added, “I’m not yet very familiar with the green sector, so I’m really looking forward to meeting HGN members and learning from them.”

Kate was the initial marketing manager at The Courtyard, Hereford’s Centre for the Arts, when it first opened in the new building on Edgar Street. Like many women, she became self-employed a few years later so that she could work from home around bringing up her three sons. Working mainly in the arts, she was the inaugural co-ordinator of h.Art Herefordshire Art Week for the event’s first three years. She set up the Galanthus Gallery in Wormbridge and co-ordinated the first ever Powys Arts Month, as well as providing consultancy services to many individual artists and arts organisations in Herefordshire and Powys, as well as nationally.

More recently, Kate worked at Herefordshire and Ludlow College, managing the group tutorial programme which included presenting tutorials herself on a range of subjects. She loved engaging with students, and is particularly interested in projects which connect with teenagers.

HGN members are warmly invited to come and meet Kate at the next Members’ meeting, on Wednesday 25 September at 5.30pm.

Green Mingle in Bristol

Brilliant leadership is coming as ever from Bristol as they instigate a regular ‘Green Mingle‘ to share ideas about how to respond to the climate emergency…

This month they will be considering the future for local organisations and businesses. This summary provides details to help organisations determine how best to respond to the climate emergency: “In Bristol we’ve pulled the emergency cord” –Bristol City Council and some organisations in the city have declared a Climate Emergency. But what does this mean? Could your organisation follow in their footsteps?

.. and could Herefordshire follow in those footsteps too?!

Mapping Household Food Insecurity in Herefordshire

This week HGN welcomed three inspiring speakers to share information about the important work they are doing in Herefordshire to address issues of food insecurity and poverty. 

Mary Burton from Brightspace Foundation, Harry King from the Wellbeing Cafe and Kristan Pritchard from Herefordshire Council’s Public Health team discussed their three different and complementary approaches to tackling the complex and interrelated issues of food waste, food insecurity, child poverty, and obesity in Herefordshire. 

With some shocking statistics about the levels of food waste – and heart-breaking insights into poverty, and child hunger – the workshop looked particularly at what is already happening in Herefordshire to address these issues, and what more the HGN audience of around 30 people felt should or could be happening. 

‘Good Food for All’ – an alliance of local organisations led by the Brightspace Foundation – aims to ascertain the scale of food poverty and insecurity in Herefordshire, and develop shared strategies to address the problem. For anyone who would like to know more please look at Brightspace Foundation’s website: https://www.brightspacefoundation.org.uk/our-projects/social-cultural/good-food-all

Kristan Pritchard from Herefordshire Council introduced the audience to the Sustainable Food Cities model they are hoping to introduce in Hereford. The award will mean:

  • Promoting healthy and sustainable food 
  • Tackling food poverty, diet related ill health, and access to affordable healthy food
  • Building community food knowledge, skills, resources and projects
  • Promoting a vibrant and diverse sustainable food economy 
  • Transforming catering and food procurement
  • Reducing waste and the ecological footprint of the food system 

Kristan and her colleagues are working closely with Brightspace Foundation and other agencies locally, and this very positive step from Herefordshire’s Public Health team combines sustainability approaches with strategies to meet local public health needs. For more information see:  http://sustainablefoodcities.org/about 

And .. after a chance conversation in February of this year, Harry King and Yasmin Price were inspired into action to tackle food poverty and food waste locally, and have developed ‘The Wellbeing Cafe’ – an exciting and dynamic new project that will be making use of food waste in Hereford city to feed school age children during the ‘Hungry Holiday” gap this August.

The Wellbeing Cafe’s goal is to combat household food insecurity and its subsequent health inequalities through the provision of healthy, affordable food that everyone can access. The project is looking for supporters, volunteers and users – and will be making free meals available to all under 17 year olds from Wednesday – Saturday each week during August, alongside a programme of free holiday club workshops (such as cooking, arts, and crafts). The Cafe will be at Castle Green Pavillion, and for more information see: https://www.facebook.com/TheWellbeingCafeHereford/  

… Some inspirational stories and projects that aim to tackle the injustice of this ever growing issue in food-producing Herefordshire. Our audience went away keen to support the work of those who are involved. 

Our speakers (left to right) Mary Burton, Kristan Prichard and Harry King.

Thanks as always to Natalia and Left Bank Village for supporting this event.

Social Media training…

Fastershire is offering a workshop on Social Media Strategies in Hereford on Friday 26 July.

In this FREE training session, Faster Business advisor, Jack McCaughtrie, will help you understand how to better manage your social media and generate a better return for your time.

Go to http://www.fastershire.com/about-fastershire/events to book your place/s and see what other workshops they will be hosting throughout the year.

Location: Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Skylon Court, Coldnose Road, HR2 6JS

Date: Friday 26th July 2019

Time: 12:00-14:00

Community Energy in Herefordshire – thinking again and doing more

Thursday 25 July, Grange Court, Pinsley Road, Leominster, HR6 8NL 7.15/7.45pm  FREE  (sign up via Eventbrite https://tinyurl.com/yygcp2u3)

Come and join Pomona Solar Co-op, Leominster Sunrise and Leominster Community Solar on 25 July for a community energy eveningwith a range of talks that we hope will inform and inspire you. 

All three co-ops run systems that silently generate zero-carbon electricity for Herefordshire – home-grown power that means a bit less needs to be imported from outside the county.

Public awareness and support for carbon reduction has never been higher, and both our county council and several town councils have declared a climate emergency – so we know there’s an appetite to do much more. With the withdrawal of feed-in tariffs the community energy sector is needing to look for creative solutions and new models at a most crucial time, and some potentially exciting funding is becoming available via the Midlands Energy Hub and Marches LEP. So it’s time to think again.

Come and join the three Herefordshire co-ops at 7.15pm (after their AGMs) for drinks and a bite to eat, with the talks starting at 7.45pm.

You’ll be hearing from Etty George of Sharenergy about their take on challenges and future for community energy; from Tim Yair, the Marches’ brand new Senior Energy Project Officer who’ll explain about the funds now available through the Rural Community Energy Fund and the Marches Renewable Energy Fund; from Jenny Bartlett from Transition Leominster about their energy descent planning; and from one of the Pomona directors, Jackie Jones, with a brief outline of the state of the community energy sector. And then we’d like to get your ideas.

Please sign up via Eventbrite https://tinyurl.com/yygcp2u3

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