Present: Sue, Jon, Sarah, JanetS, Caroline, Emily, Hannah, Steve, JanetC, Jenny, James, Bertil, Tobias
Meeting Start: 7pm Tuesday 5th September in Fearon Hall
Guiding Principles: Sarah had never seen it – copies were handed round. Steve said that Charnwood Borough Council had wanted to know that we had something like them, but didn’t want to see them for Charnwood Chai application. Tobias asked if it would be good enough to get grants – it has been so far.
Food: Steve said that the food group has an allotment and showed off some of the harvest (squashes, spuds, carrots, sweetcorn, raspberries). Community event apple pressings have started now. Caroline asked how people can get involved – volunteer to help staff the apple pressings at events. Steve said we meet at the allotment on Wed evenings 5.30pm to 7pm from mid-March to end of September. Sue asked about the Winter Feast. We had it for a few years – nothing planned yet (but see below!).
Transport: Met on an ad-hoc basis. Have provided input into Ashby Road refurb to try to make cycling along the road better and safer – one of the things we suggested was implemented. We’ve met with county councillor Max Hunt to discuss ideas about the national sustainable transport development funds. Funds are aimed at new infrastructure builds and new promotional activities. Bertil said that Parishes can put together documents that can influence council planning requirements, which might be able to include sustainable transport options. We’ve also run some more bike repair workshops. Sue suggested holding another Transport Group meeting to discuss options available to make sustainable transport part of planning process.
Potato Day: The aims of the project are to provide local people with cheap seed potatoes and raise funds for Transition. On 14th October we’ll have a Potato Talk in Fearon Hall. Paper and online orders will be available for advance orders, which includes a wide range of seed potatoes, beans, peas, onions, garlic, green manures, etc. This year we’ll also have a seed swap on that day. Caroline showed potatoes harvested yesterday from seeds sown in from Potato Day last year.
Energy: James said he’d been involved in a Divestment scheme in Durham and would like to get involved with a reactivated Energy Group that could push a similar scheme forward in Loughborough. Interest in arranging something like that amongst several people in the room.
ACTION: James to bring together a group to look at ideas and options.
Hearts and Minds: Sue described that Footpaths courses that we’ve run in the past . She wondered if it could be asked on the mailing lists, website, etc if people want to take part in such a group again? Sue is also working to generate links with local mosques.
JanetC says that a couple of years ago she started managing the Facebook group for Transition Loughborough, with Jon looking after the Twitter feed & web site. She showed some stats that showed that engagement is increasing year on year. She asked that if any groups are setting up events please send her details and PDFs of any leaflets/posters. Jon would like the same for the website/calendar/Twitter, but we need to ensure events are firmly confirmed or booked before promoting otherwise we look silly and people get confused.
Tobias said that Hastings Community Association have been involved with a Charnwood Borough Council consultation about a country park plan that they have near the tip. The association are holding a meeting about the consultation next Tuesday.
Emily talked about her idea called Make It Festive that she is applying for Arts Council funding for. The idea is to teach people how to craft Christmas decorations, gifts, etc from the contents of their recycling boxes. The aim is to have mix of both online materials and
three face-to-face community events. Emily introduced Hannah who runs recycled silversmithing classes, which may form a prize for people taking part in these activities. Emily would like to work with Transition Loughborough and could link up to Sarah from Purple Pumpkin Patch, and the folk at Fearon Hall and the Wellbeing Cafe.
Jon said that Matthew Drury had produced an excellent introduction to climate change and what people can do to help tackle it, aimed at teenagers and young adults. This will appear on the website soon.
Repair Cafe: JanetS explained that it runs every couple of months at Fearon Hall, but depends on availability of repairers. Covers bike repairs, electrical repairs, gluing repairs and sewing/clothes repairs. Janet, Suella and Martha have spent spare time making shopping bags out of donated, recycled materials. Often arranged in conjunction with Utilise Social Kitchen events. Jon isn’t arranging any more before Xmas as he’s involved with apple pressing, harvesting and potato day, but if any other people would like to arrange one before the New Year please get in touch.
Finance: Steve reported that we now have two building society account, with the two names that people use (“Transition Town Loughborough” and “Transition Loughborough”). We have just over £1000 in the two accounts. The biggest expense of the year is the insurance, followed by rent for the four allotment plots. The good news is that we are raising money from events such as Potato Day, apple pressings and bag sales. Caroline suggested having a finance group meeting to discuss the details with the signatories. No questions raised on finances.
ACTION: Caroline to arrange finance meeting.
Regional Transition Activities: Caroline reported on attending a regional Transition meeting earlier in the summer, which set up a Facebook group called “Resonate” to share ideas and projects.
Charnwood Chai: Growing out of the links that were built with various ethnic groups in the town, several Transition people attended post-Brexit community building events. Out of this grew the idea behind Charnwood Chai, using tea as a vehicle to get different people and groups to sit down together to share ideas about climate justice, communities and skill sharing. We have just been given a grant by Charnwood Borough Council to develop the Charnwood Chai project and link different groups around the area. Jenny asked how information about such schemes are getting out to people who aren’t online – Steve said it was just getting going so aside from the recent Mela in Loughborough town centre they hadn’t promoted it much yet. Transition Loughborough is the grant holder with many other people and groups involved in the planning, management and execution of the scheme.
Sue suggested having a meeting about marketing and promotion, which JanetC, Sarah, Emily and others were keen on being involved with. James asked if Steve had heard of Baca, which is a charity that helps unaccompanied young forced migrants. Steve said that Town of Sanctuary were known about and Sue said Town of Sanctuary were working with Baca.
ACTION: Sue to arrange a marketing meeting.
Working with other local organisations: Caroline said that other Transition groups do lots of things with other organisations in their towns. JanetC said that she started a Master Gardeners project to help groups to promote themselves to people who might like to get involved. There might be the potential of a central hub where people find that sort of information, and working with the University to get more of a flow between the campus and the neighbourhoods.
Emily explained about the potential of connecting with Canal and River Trust to encourage foraging and edible growing along the canal, incorporating seeds and plants from the TL community allotment. This would extend the Fruit Route from campus out through the town to the canal. One idea is to do litter picking in an area, and then arrange the litter into the word “LOVE” or “PEACE”, etc to highlight litter and discourage people to drop it. Emily then uses some of the litter to do crafting.
Networking Event: Emily said that there was potential for an environment group meeting at the Boat, with a mixture of local community and businesses. Sarah said there is a Loogabarooga festival being organised by Love Loughborough during the upcoming school half term.
Caroline asked if we should have another general meeting in February 2018? Several people agreed that we should.
ACTION: Caroline do a doodle poll to find people’s availability.
Winter Feast: these are social events with food & entertainment to celebrate what Transition Loughborough has done in the year. JanetC asked what the goal behind the event was, to which Sue replied “having fun”. Could be a way to reach out to some of the diverse groups in the town that we don’t normally reach. Some enthusiasm for such an event but nobody stepped forward to organise it before Xmas. Suggested that instead we do a Spring Feast, that would need to be organised before hand?
AOB: JanetS said some of the textile repairers will be at the Love Your Clothes event at Fearon Hall in a couple of weeks.
Sarah offered use of her Purple Pumpkin Patch crafts & gifts shop on Ashby Road for small group meetings when she wasn’t already running events and workshops there.
Meeting closed at 9pm.