Transition Loughborough Zoom Meeting 21st July 2021

Present: Ruth, Jon, Jason, Emily, Ken, Janet, Harry, Martha, Sue, Suella, Christian

Chair: Jason

Actions from previous meeting: Sue said COP26 campaigning was going OK and if anyone was interested in take part please contact her still. We were asked by Fearon Hall about the “Have a Go” scheme in October which we’d discussed on the Google Group shortly afterwards but hadn’t decided upon doing anything for.

Finances

Jason said we’d just paid public liability insurance. Current account balance is £3812.54 with an aditional cash balance of £326 being held by Martha. Martha said nobody seems to want to restore the polytunnel sheeting so there is £200 from various fund raising to be divided between LAGS and TL (£100 of that is included in the £326 being held).

Caroline has queried some money that was supposed to have come into the account from Leicestershire County Council which it is not clear whether it has arrived (the Carbon Literacy grant). Jason is going to look into it, and have a chat with Steve to work out what some of the incoming/outgoing amounts were in the Loughborough Building Society account.

Jason was proposed as the new treasurer to replace Steve, with the existing four signatories changed to three. Signatories were proposed to be Jason, Janet and Sarah. Sue and Steve to come off as signatories.

Vote: unanimously in favour

Sue said that at one point there was the idea of a back up finance group, which only met once. Sue asked for this to be noted and Jason suggested that the signatories could form such a group.

Carbon Literacy Update

Caroline had sent a note to say we have two more Carbon Literacy courses running in Sept and Oct, with Leicestershire County Council funding. Everyone who submitted pledges for the first County course has passed, and the next batch of pledges has just been submitted to the Carbon Literacy Project group for assessment.

Constitution

Jason suggested that the constitution is amended to include two meetings. Emily suggested meetings in the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes. This is something that would need to be proposed to an AGM, along with discussing any other changes to the constitution. Sue said the reason for having a formalised constitution in the past was to help with applying for grants and council run projects. Ruth said she supported the idea of formalising regular meetings. Jason suggested starting a Google group thread to discuss these changes. Sue suggested that the person chairing the next meeting should be decided at the previous one and they are responsible for organising the meeting. Agreed that we should hold an AGM in the Autumn. Ruth had talked to Fearon Hall and the Pitt Room would be £40 for two hours if it was possible for it to be face-to-face (given the pandemic situation).

Repair Cafe

Jon said we have a Repair Cafe pencilled in for 21st August but with the current pandemic conditions holding it is a 50:50 issue up for discussion. We haven’t yet publicly advertised the Repair Cafe, so we only need to tell the repairers and Fearon Hall if we decide not to run it. Harry said that at John Storer House there was a noticable hestiancy of people coming in, despite them having services reopened, and they are looking at the possibility of having to close some of their services in the next few weeks. Emily suggested putting a page on the web site pointing to videos for common repairs. Some of the repairers/volunteers aren’t comfortable about taking part in face-to-face events they don’t absolutely need to at the moment.

Consensus at the meeting was that we should probably cancel this Repair Cafe. Jon will contact the repairers and Fearon Hall.

Potato Day 2022

Janet said it is happening again this year inconjunction with Transition Chesterfield. Steve, Sarah and Jon have already volunteered to help (and others welcome to join in!). Again because of Covid we’re planning on running it along the same lines as 2021, with largely online ordering starting in October ending in early December. We don’t know if we could have a market stall so we’re planning on running without one again this year. Last year we did all the advertising online without posters as the locations we’d normally put posters were closed. Paul had suggested back in 2020 that we could have a voucher for a coffee/tea at Baxter gate which Janet didn’t want to forget about, even if we can’t do that in 2022 due to Covid. Harry said he was happy to promote it on the general community noticeboard in John Storer House.

Allotment

Jason said it has been an interesting summer at the community allotment. There has been some discussion about the “vision” for the allotment, which is becoming important now so that we know how we’re running the plots next year. Jason suggested setting out in writing how different areas of the allotment are used (shared work areas, small individual plots, what is expected of people coming to the plots, that the plots are all organic). Martha said the Ruth & Luke and others had their own spaces in the past which have worked well alongside the shared gardening space, but that we need to make sure that people aren’t taking over areas that are already being used for shared space and that they’ve met with the garden group so they understand the ethos.

Jason read out the points that Steve had sent to the Google Group. The members at the meeting agreed with all bar his point about dividing the site up into small plots.

Sue pointed out in the early days of the allotment there was a suggestion that the “community” at the allotment should encourage local people from the area around the site. Jason said it is important for people who start growing at our allotment realise that we only take on the plots annually, which is OK whilst we have money and resources to run the plots. Ken said that whilst the micro-plots may sound good in theory, the allotment plots were originally all community space and he felt uncomfortable that he might be stepping onto someone’s space. Ruth offered some of the space that she and Luke use. Both Ken and Martha were against the offering of any small semi-permanent individual plots.

Consensus was that people weren’t happy that the compost bin space was taken down. It was acknowledged that Steve has put lots of work in the plots but that he should not have allocated space to people without consulting the wider group. Jason suggested such consultations could be done via the Google Group which everyone at the meeting agreed with. New members are encouraged to have the same ethos as the wider Transition group (organic, community, peat free, etc) and take part in shared gardening activities/maintenance.

Harvest Period Activities

We’ve only had one approach to use the apple press this year (on a non-public event), which is current stored in the Fearon Hall garage (which is going to be pulled down at some point- Jason will check with Fearon Hall when this might be). Martha said the University is unlikely to run an apple event this Autumn. Janet said she like to be kept in the loop about the apple press as there’s a scratter there that needs fixing.

AOB

Emily said the Coop store in Barrow-on-Soar are now taking lots of plastics that can’t be recycled – this doesn’t include the Coop shops in Loughborough and Quorn because that’s a different sort of Coop.

Jason read out Caroline’s note about the Christian Climate vigil at Jane Hunt’s office, as well as for Great Big Green Week in September.

Next meeting: Potentially hybrid (face to face with Zoom option for remote attendance) later in the Autumn, being chaired by Sue (Janet and Jason said she’d volunteered).

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Meeting announcement

We’re planning to hold a Transition Loughborough catch up meeting on Wednesday 21st July 2021 at 7.30pm. Agenda items include:

  • Allotment land use – small plot and shared planting etc.
  • Repair cafe – details and any adjustments needed for Coronavirus?
  • Change to account signatories plus change of treasurer.
  • AGM – when and where.

With the current increase in Covid infection rates we’re planning on using Zoom to run the meeting online. If you’d like to join please contact us for details of the Zoom link.

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LAGS Plant stall this Saturday, 5 June 2021, at Fearon Hall

During last year’s spring lockdown, when so many people discovered gardening as an activity to keep positive, LAGS and Transition Loughborough ran a virtual plant stall and had some of the plants which the  student gardening Landscaping and Gardening Society (LAGS) had produced. This year, the health situation is completely different, but LAGS again have a lot of plants – vegetables as well as flowers, especially wild flowers – which they want to share with nature lovers in Loughborough. So, with the cooperation of Fearon Hall and the Transition Loughborough Community Allotment folk,  the second monthly plant stall will be held outside Fearon Hall next Saturday, 5th June 2021, from 11am to 1pm.

We would love to see you on the day to share our plants with you. There will also be some seeds available from the Transition Seed Swap which unfortunately could not take place earlier in the year. All donations will be shared by Fearon Hall, LAGS and Transition Loughborough.

If you are unable to come to the event this Saturday, you can join the LAGS community gardening group at the student garden on Loughborough campus (behind car park 5) where they regularly work on Friday afternoons from about 3-6pm.

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June Carbon Literacy Course

Leicestershire Residents Invited to Become Carbon Literate

We are inviting more Leicestershire residents to engage in a days’ worth of learning about the climate crisis and the ways in which individuals and communities can tackle it, after running a successful Carbon Literacy course during May.

Transition Loughborough has been running an online Carbon Literacy course throughout May and now has spaces on another course beginning on 14th June. The courses are funded by a SHIRE Environment Grant from Leicestershire County Council and are accredited by the national Carbon Literacy Project.

Anyone living, working and/or studying in Leicestershire is welcome to sign up: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/carbon-literate-leicestershire-june-2021-tickets-148762234849.

Carbon Literacy is defined as “An awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis.” The course covers topics such as climate change science, the ways in which the climate crisis is already impacting us, both locally and globally, and what we can do to act as individuals, communities and organisations.

All attendees will make two pledges to cut their own, and their communities, carbon footprint and attendees can receive a certificate of accreditation once their pledges have been assessed by the national Carbon Literacy Project.

Caroline Harmon, a member of Transition Loughborough and the lead trainer for the project, said:

‘We so pleased to have had our first course for Leicestershire-residents almost fully booked, with 19 attendees. Everyone is really enjoying the opportunity to learn, alongside other Leicestershire residents, what we can do in our communities to tackle climate change and to share experiences and ideas.  The course has a real Leicestershire-flavour to it, but attendees are also joining more than 18,000 people around the UK and the world who have completed a Carbon Literacy course.’

The courses are open to anyone living, working or studying in Leicestershire. Unfortunately, they are not open to Leicester city residents or those in Rutland.

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Plant/Seed swap at Fearon Hall 1st May

Just a quick heads up that Martha and some of the LAGS members are planning a plant/seed swap outside at Fearon Hall on 1st May, 11-13 o’clock. Come on bring your spare plants and seedlings or even seeds. This gardening season is going to be better than ever!

There will be refreshments for sale at Fearon Hall too.

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Carbon Literate Leicestershire

After the success of the Carbon Literacy Courses we were funded by Charnwood Borough Council to deliver last year, we’ve now been funded by Leicestershire County Council through the “SHIRE Environment Grant” to deliver a similar set of courses for residents in the whole of Leicestershire.

The Carbon Literacy Project aims to aims to instill an understanding of the role of carbon dioxide and similar “greenhouse gases” in Climate Change, and provide the motivation and abilities for individuals to help tackle the issue, not only within their own lives but within the wider community through the organisations they work with and for.

Carbon Literacy courses offers a day’s worth of learning, covering:

  • Climate change science
  • Carbon footprints
  • Social equity in relation to climate change
  • What you can do to act – as an individual and at community level
  • Strategies and skills for communicating action on climate change
  • A chance to reflect on the impact climate change is and will have.

In order to achieve accreditation you will need to:

  • Attend the course (three x 2 hour online evening sessions)
  • Do some work at home ahead of the course (1.5 hours. Involves watching a documentary and completing an online carbon footprint tool)
  • Complete a short written assessment during the course. This will be submitted to the Carbon Literacy Project (CLP). CLP accredits the course and will check your assessment before issuing certificates

The fee of £10+Eventbrite’s fee is simply to cover the cost of accreditation so that attendees can receive a certificate after the course. If the fee is a barrier to you attending, please get in touch with us, via Eventbrite, as Transition Loughborough has a bursary fund for this course and may be able to waive this cost.

We currently have two courses lined up – one in May and one in June.  We also plan to host two more courses in the Autumn at dates to be arranged.

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Allotment potato planting on 31st March

With the next easing of Coronavirus restrictions due this coming Monday, the allotment group are planning to hold a potato planting session at the community allotment between 4pm and 7pm on Wednesday 31st March.

As there will be a a maximum of 6 people allowed on the plots at one time under the new Government guidelines, a three hour period should help space out the activity.  The planting will be done in a socially distanced way and anybody coming to help is requested to wear a mask (unless medically exempt). People attending will also be invited to contribute their ideas for what to grow and how to organise the allotment site for the coming year.

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Notes on Transition Loughborough Zoom Meeting 16th March 2021 at 7pm

Present: Bertil, Donna, Jason, Jon, Dawn, Janet Smith, Ken, Martha, Meg, Ruth, Emily Sharman, Sue

Meeting notes

Had introductions as not everyone had met before. Jon summarised the minutes from the last meeting. Sue said that the Quakers have been active about COP26 and one person from TL had contacted her after the last meeting.  They’d had some information back from Jane Hunt MP’s office and the Quakers are doing an internal meeting in April about it.

ACTION: Anyone interested in being involved in COP26 campaigning should contact Sue.

Finances

Jason is waiting to take on the treasurers post from Steve once the lockdowns are over and they can have a face to face meeting. They will update the co-signatories on the account at the same time, removing Sue. Jason said there wasn’t an account update from Steve but we haven’t run many events so haven’t spent very much.

Fearon Hall

Jason said we need to consider events such as Repair Cafes and if we could be involved with the gardens around the hall. Meg showed us an animation of the plans for Fearon Hall and the parish green, which included replacing the garage we rent with a covered patio/meeting space. The plan aimed to encourage more people to come to the Hall and green and then promote their sustainable/environmental agenda. The proposal was accepted as part of a wider project and they are now awaiting funding. In the meantime the garage is still available to TL to use for our storage and events. Janet asked what the timescales were but Meg didn’t know as it is a small part of a larger CBC plan and Town Deal funding bid.

Dawn then covered events at the Hall. They have two gardening groups. One is the Rectory Wildlife Garden (also involving Martha and LAGS). They are is replanting the amenity beds at the front of the Hall with edibles, based on the Incredible Edibles ideas. The second group is being formed by a lady called Catherine who wants to start a therapeutic gardening group. This will be launched during Mental Health week in May. Catherine will be doing the Hall’s pots, the beds near our garage and help with the amenity beds.

On 2nd/3rd Oct Dawn is planning a Fun Palace free events for people to “have a go” (rather than just watch someone doing something). She already has people wanting to do things as diverse as martial arts and poetry, and they have 199 1 hour slots to fill. Dawn would like TL to be involved in this – we need to think what hands on events we could run!

ACTION: Everyone in TL to think about what “have a go” 1 hour sessions we could run in the Fearon Hall October event.

Dawn would also be keen on us getting a Repair Cafe running again, probably in July/August/September when lockdown restrictions may have ended. Emily keen on being involved and helping to promote it. Jason suggested we do one at the hall and maybe one at another location. Jon asked if Fearon Hall had a bike repair group running as we don’t want to duplicate/step on toes, but Meg said they didn’t. Sue suggested a wildlife garden talk alongside the Repair Cafe.

Meg said that the cafe will be open on Saturday mornings once lockdowns are over and are looking at “Utilise style” social cooking/eating. Fearon Hall are launching a sunflower growing competition for local children (and Jason!) – they have 900 giant sunflower seeds to give out and there will be prizes for the best. Jason said as TL community allotment grow produce we could help supply Fearon Hall’s food poverty programmes. Meg said that they have a community shop that can help pass on 2nd hand items that people would throw away to people who really need them.

ACTION: Dawn will email Jon with some potential dates for Repair Cafes which he will then share with potential repairers.

Nottingham Trent Research Project Proposal

Donna, an associate professor at NTU, introduced a funding call she is interested in that is looking at food, community growing and a sense of place. She said that community gardens are one of the best connectors she has found, and each of them has their own culture. She would like to run a project to look at a number of community gardens, what activities they do, what connections to their local community they have and how they can affect the larger food system. Meg mentioned building on the Fruit Routes from the University out across the town, resulting in an “edible map of Loughborough”. Donna said the project is going to run over three years, so if it is funded we could have a three year plan for developing community gardening involving TL, Fearon Hall and other edible community growing schemes in the area. Meg was keen on upskilling people to ensure community gardening schemes are resilient to people leaving, moving away, etc. Emily suggested mapping community gardens and edible planting in the town.

ACTION: People interested to get in touch with Donna (can be done via our website contact us page)

Community Allotment

Jason said we’ve not been doing as much at the allotment during the pandemic and there was some issues and disagreements that people on the mailing list would have seen. Martha and Steve have been instrumental in keeping the allotment going during 2020 with others such as Jason and Ruth also going there during the year. Jason has talked to Steve (who wasn’t joining us online tonight) about the work he’s been doing here and Martha has also been working there in the last year.

Steve told Jason that he would like the gardening group to restate the group vision for the area, how we can introduce new people to the site, and shared community gardens vs giving people small individual plots. Ruth said its looking incredibly tidy and ready to go. Jason discussed how we could get a vision for the allotment set out – for example suggestions via a new thread on the TL Google Group mailing list. A separate meeting face to face isn’t possible at the moment as Martha pointed out.

ACTION: Jon to start a thread on the community allotment vision on the Google Group.

Talked about spending the £340 we have for the allotment. Martha suggested buying compost, and Steve and Jason had suggested maintenance issues such as fixing/painting the shed and getting the fruit cage net put back in. Suggestion that the potato planting take place on 31st March but there may still be a restriction of only six people from two households. LAGS are planning a similar potato planting at their site around the same time.

Suggestion of having a whiteboard that people use to write down what they are doing/what needs to be done. Ken is looking to do some of the repairs to the shed. Martha mentioned wanting a pump and Jon said that there should be a 12V battery pump still at the allotment that we used to raise water from the stream a few years ago. Jason asked if there was an issue with using stream water but Jon said that the Environment Agency doesn’t care about people abstracting the amounts of water we use in a day. Will start open community allotment Wednesday evening sessions as soon as we are allowed to have larger groups meet face to face. Jason showed the previous plans that Martha and Steve had given him.

 

 

 

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Zoom meeting 16th March 2021 at 7PM

We’ve picked a date and time for our next Zoom based meeting – 16th March 2021 at 7pm. At it we’ll be discussing plans for the Transition Loughborough Community Allotment for the coming year, talking about how we can restart Repair Cafes once we can all meet face-to-face in large numbers again and considering what other projects and events we might want (and be able!) to run in 2021.

All are welcome to join the meeting – just contact us for joining details.

Video conference

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Planning a Zoom meeting in March

As we still can’t currently meet together it has been suggested on our mailing list that we hold a Zoom meeting at some point in March to consider plans for the Community Allotment site and potential events that we may be able to hold later in the year when lockdowns are relaxed.  The currently suggested dates are:

  • 7pm Thurs 11th March,
  • 7pm Tues 16th March,
  • 7pm Thurs 18th March

If you’d like to attend and have a preferred date please get in touch with us. We can’t promise that we’ll choose your preferred date but we’re going to try to please as many people as possible.

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