Present: Bertil, Steve, Tobias, Martha, Jon, Janet C, Suella, Sarah, Emily, Luke, Ruth, Meg, Marie, Janet S, Madeleine, Shobhna, Anila, Caroline, Jason.
Apologies: Ken & Lillian, Sue-MV.
We have two account Transition Town Loughborough £1103.73 and Transition Loughborough containing £365.20. Main expenditure of liability insurance and main sources of income are donations, bags, plants, potato day and apple pressings. Agreed that we had can use some of this money to support projects discussed later in the meeting.
Recent events and activities
Steve said we attended Picnic in the Park, Hasting Community Association summer fete, the Mela, and the Upcycle Your Life events. Emily said we’ve had 8 Upcycle Your Life events at Fearon Hall so far this year, and they have worked very well. If anyone has any ideas to run at future Upcycle Your Life events please have a word with Emily. These events have been a good work of linking lots of lovely local community organisations and people together. Subsequent ones will be a bit longer, and will be food & harvest themed ones in September and October and a festive theme in December.
Janet C told us about Grow Loughborough 2018 which was took place on the Herrick Road/Forest Road side of the town which brought together lots of social organisations that were involved in growing, arts and well being, including JSH, crop club, TL, well being cafe, etc. Had about 450 people visit over the weekend of the event, with much positive feedback. Had a Charnwood Borough Council grant of £6K this year, so need to start fundraising now to run it again next year.
Janet S said Picnic in the Park was very successful, engaging lots of people. Could have done with more helpers on the stall, even if for just half an hour. Need to remember that most people attending that sort of event aren’t there for Transition, so we need clearer, more
basic information to grab people’s attention. Steve said the Hastings event went well with Charnwood Chai present, which helps to draw people in. We donated some of the money we raised to the Hastings Community Association.
Suella said we should note that Transition Loughborough has been involved with Loughborough in Bloom. We don’t have the result yet, but the judge (Colin Wood) that came all the way from Boston, Lincs spent a good deal of time in both LAGS and our community allotment on King George Road.
We had first apple pressing of the 2018 Autumn season this last weekend at Sutton Bonington. We’re concentrating on doing events we’ve done before because Steve is mostly doing them himself this year as Jon isn’t available at weekends. Apple pressings are a really great way of engaging with people in events to encourage the use of food that would otherwise go to waste. Caroline suggested putting a list of the dates on the Google Group so that Steve can get some help. People encouraged to safe plastic bottles for apple pressing events so that they can take the juice away.
Caroline explained about Potato Day, that we share with Transition Chesterfield. Idea is to encourage people to grow their own whilst helping raise funds to support our projects. We offer pre-orders between October and early December for a large range of varieties. On Saturday 26th January the orders will be distributed from a stall in Loughborough Market, along with three or four varieties of seed potatoes for sale on the day. This year we are having Karen Gimson who does the the gardening on Radio Leicester come to Fearon Hall on 27th October. Her fee will be a donation to Rainbows Hospice. Emily also suggest that Rainbows could have a stall at one of the Upcycle Your Life events.
Next year the seed swap will be held separately from the Potato Day. Decide on 2nd February at Fearon Hall for the seed swap so that we can tell Garden Organic. Hopefully tie in with Upcycle Your Life event at the same time, and Valentines – sowing the seeds of love!
Community allotment has gone well, with new members coming along. Crops have grown well despite the drought, and some crops have been distributed to Fearon Hall, etc. Plans for growing ginger next year! Could have a workshop on Asian vegetable growing. Suella knows someone who does a good talk on exotic vegetables. Martha mentioned LAGS, the student garden on campus that meets regularly on Friday afternoons. Already preparing for Freshers bazaar in October to recruit new members from the newly arriving students.
Forthcoming events and Fearon Hall
Transition Loughborough and Fearon Hall have been building a relationship together for several years, linking events and projects such as Charnwood Chai. Meg said through the projects being done at Fearon Hall there has been a lot of community support for closer links to be developed and to build on community relationships we’ve been involved with. One of the key events in Fearon Hall’s year is a Harvest event, in conjunction with All Saints Church next door. This will be on 6th October and Transition Loughborough folk will be there.
Meg also keen to broaden the reach of the Fruit Routes on campus to the wider community, and link to the harvest events on campus on 19th and 20th October. Meg wants to celebrate anything edible, crafts, preservation and making foods more widely accessible. Meg is looking to develop the green space around the Hall, the church, the historic quarter old rectory museum and Fun Palaces national event scheme. Meg very keen to hear from anyone who wants to get involved with planning and delivering the Harvest event. There’s a Fruit Routes meeting on 11th September to look at supporting the growth of the project out
from the University. Idea is to not be inclusive to Fearon Hall and its local area but to show how other groups around Charnwood could use similar techniques to link between each other.
Steve described Charnwood Chai, which is a way to challenge some of the negative social attitudes towards diversity and multiculturalism, by discussions over a cup of tea. Anila from Anand Mangal community group agreed that tea was good way to start conversations between people. Suella said she was very impressed with what had been achieved so far by the Anand Mangal ladies.
Sarah said that TL are entering a tree in the annual Christmas Tree festival run in All Saints parish church. She and Janet S. have been working on a list of potential of what can be used at decorations. We’ve booked space for a 5ft hazel tree with lights, so that the tree itself can be reused in a community garden after the event. Decorations could represent the areas that TL are involved with, such as mini bicycles to represent transport, windmills made from waste plastic to represent energy, hearts to show hearts and minds. We can do lots around crafts, recycling and plastic waste. Costs to be sent to the Google Group to agree.
Emily talked about Upcycle Your Life events. The council funding runs out in January, which is £120 per month. TL could possibly put some of our money towards this. Meg said that she’d been looking at groups that do “Community Mondays” scheme to let people volunteering to pick up skills, applying them to their local area and being supported by
their local community centre (“sharing skills, sharing time and sharing food”).
Marie said that Transition Leicester’s Leicester Fixers have received a grant to run repair events throughout Leicestershire. She wanted to know what sort of support that was in Loughborough to run more repair related events? Jon and Janet S. have arranged events in the past, but neither are currently available to attend weekend Repair Cafe events. Marie said the grant includes training one person from Loughborough as a PAT tester for use in community events. Marie said they are planning an end of the year (2019) event to celebrate repairing. Meg was interested in working with Marie on this, possibly to help people get skills to get back into work, with some support from Government/Job Centres. Jon said that although he can’t be at Repair Cafes, he’s happy to contact repairers, etc to organise the event if someone is available on the ground on the day.
Steve told us about the council’s Charnwood Community Heroes, for which Transition Loughborough has been nominated. There’s an award ceremony on 29th September at John Storer House. Meg said that there may be a grant available for a project within the Lemyngton Ward from one of the local councillors, but we will need to apply for that and money would need to be spent by December. Talked about what event this could be – we didn’t want to just make up an event/project just to get money! Decided to take the kind offer to the Google Group for ideas and people who would like to take this forward.
Caroline said our energy group haven’t done very much recently and wonder if a new event next year could be run? She works for Marches Energy Agency which have an energy saving demonstration vehicle that has just been refurbished (we’d used it some years ago to promote Open Homes events). She was wondering if there was interest in using it for an energy saving/efficiency based event next Spring. It would need one or two people from Transition Loughborough to come along to help staff the vehicle alongside Caroline. There was a lot of interest in having at an event – possibly alongside Fearon Hall’s summer event where there would already be lots of people around.
Janet S asked if we could have some notice boards for events. Jon said we had an A-frame notice board and a fold out board, but Janet was keen on having a pinboard type display board. Also had a suggestion of getting some properly printed leaflets made that wouldn’t have inks run at outdoor events and that could be used to promote something house to house. Janet C and Emily talked about collaborating on making a cut down, snappier version of the general promotional leaflet we have.
Emily said there is an eco-social at the Boat Inn alongside the canal on the evening of 17th September- all welcome. The pub have also said that they are happy for us to grow edibles in their planters, along with a promotion for the TL community allotment that Emily is coordinating. The Boat are also keen on supporting community meetings, etc.
Sarah said that she’s looking for someone to make corn dollies in the Leicestershire area – please let her know (at the Purple Pumpkin Patch on Ashby Road) if you know of anyone.