It’s Official!

We are now an Official Initiative within the Transition Network!

This is a great way to round off our first year. Looking back over it I can’t believe the great time we’ve had and the new friends we’ve made.

It was last January that Ruth, Will and I realised that we all had the ambition to start a Transition Initiative in Clevedon. We have been convinced for some time that the Transition approach to the issues of Climate Change and Peak Oil holds great promise because it focuses on building a strong and resilient local community. So we went out to find like minded people and so far there are 132 of us! By March we had created a nucleus of eight people who formed our core group and so we could begin to take the Transition message out into the community. In this we were greatly helped by Maggs and Carl at the Veg Box who are the natural ‘green hub’ for Clevedon.

The Farmers’ Market were also great, giving us a subsidised stall.

Bean planting with the children

Doing the market stall has been one of the most pleasurable parts of our year. It always has a good atmosphere (well the pouring rain in October wasn’t great!), and has given us a chance just to chat to people about a situation which makes many people feel totally disempowered. We have had seed planting and produce swaps and look forward to starting the new season in March. We also enjoyed having stalls at the Clevedon Flower Show and the Marlens Festival.

Our first public meeting exceeded our expectations, not only by the number of people who came, but also the breadth of ideas that came out of the Open Space session which we held during the second half of the evening. Out of the follow-up meeting came our Subgroups (Transport, Food, Recycyling, Re-Skilling and Energy- see the projects heading on the home page for more details).

We have had several Green Drinks evenings and thanks go to Mike at The Salthouse for hosting these. They’re a great opportunity to stay in touch in the months when we don’t have a more structured meeting.

There have been frustrations. The main one has been a lack of funds, no surprise there! We have come to realise that without public liability insurance we cannot do a lot of the projects which will make us a credible and useful addition to the community, and this costs money. The last thing we want is to be labelled a ‘talking shop’. So we are now concentrating on raising funds so that we can start the reskilling workshops and garden share projects which we have waiting in the wings. We’re on course to do this in the spring.

And unintended consequences – our Re-skilling Subgroup have become a demon quiz team, and yes, they have finally won £10 which they have proudly donated to the funds!

In January the Core Group is going to have a brainstorming day when we will plan next year. If you have any ideas about projects that we should consider or other organisations that we could be working with we’d love to hear about them.

In the mean time, watch out for Ruth’s food blogs and listen to her on Radio Bristol on Graham Torrington’s programme on Monday 13 Decemeber when she will be talking about local food at Christmas.

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