Congratulations Pippa!

We are delighted to announce that Pippa, Chair of Transition Wilmslow has been awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year Honours List for services to Stroke Medicine.  Pippa has recently retired from a distinguished career, engaged in pioneering work as Consultant of Stroke Medicine at Salford Royal Hospital and Professor of Stroke Medicine at the University of Manchester, researching developments in the treatment and rehabilitation of stroke patients.

But of course we know and love Pippa as our Chair of Transition Wilmslow!

We are ably led and encouraged by her enthusiasm for the aims of the world-wide Transition Movement – “communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world for a sustainable future.”

Pippa stresses the importance of participating in our local communities in both physical and social activity, coming together in common purpose to find ways to improve our environment, to make better lifestyle choices and so benefit our all round physical and mental health.

Here she is at work in our award winning community garden and orchard

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Transitioners Down Under!

News from a Wilmslow Transitioner now living in Western Australia

Living smart

Transition is really taking off in Australia.  Of course they have very similar problems to those in the UK but there are some stark differences too:

  • the weather – it’s a lot hotter and good for generating solar power
  • there’s a lot less water – months of no rain and bush fire problems
  • the soils here, particularly here in Western Australia are very poor, in fact Perth is really one big sand dune
  • it’s BIG so things are very spread out and people drive a lot more

The Living Smart Programme

The whole idea started out in Fremantle 2002.

The Living Smart course is a 7 week affair (3 hours every Tuesday evening) consisting of ten key modules:  Water     Power    Waste    Simple Living    Gardening for Food     Transport   Healthy You    Gardening for Biodiversity   Healthy Homes    Community

It’s about training people to understand what can make the difference to living sustainably. Importantly, it includes behavioural change techniques that provide participants with the skills and knowledge to take action in their own homes to improve their quality of life and reduce their environmental impact – so critical to getting more of what people learn in the course implemented.  See more at the Living Smart Website

Here is Marianne’s account of one of the sessions.

Tonight we did a great ice breaker – called “Sustainability Bingo” where we had to find people who did something in each of the categories (these were things like “use your own shopping bags” “cycle to work or shops” “drive a small economical car” etc.).  Then we were asked in small groups to declare why we were there (and write it down) and then assess which things individuals in the group had in common.  This was followed by an interesting discussion about behavioural change and how important goal setting is (a way of talking to your subconscious as well as a way of recognising and breaking down barriers to change).  The course involved being very hands on with lots of activities, tonight mostly focused on what we wanted to know, why we were interested and the behavioural change stuff.

We hope to bring you more news from Marianne soon.

Wilmslow Community Energy scheme at risk by Government apparent attacks on solar generation

North East Cheshire Community Energy (NECCE) fears their community solar scheme cannot go ahead due to the Government’s proposed plans to savagely cut support for rooftop solar energy systems.

Before the last election its parent group, Transition Wilmslow, was encouraged by Government support to start a community benefit society to invest in local energy generation and provide funds to plough back in to the wider community. This would build on the work Transition Wilmslow has done with Wilmslow Town Council doing household energy surveys, using a thermal imaging camera.

NECCE has been working hard for the last 9 months to identify suitable community buildings, raise awareness and set up the right structure, engaging with students who were keen to reduce costs for their school. They were particularly excited about getting solar panels on Wilmslow High School as it was spending over £100,000 per year on its power bill.

The benefits would be:

  • cheaper electricity for the school
  • a rate of return to people who invested in the scheme
  • income for a community fund.

In August, our local MP, George Osborne said:

“I am happy to support you wherever I can.”

Andrew Backhouse acting chair of NECCE has said that many people have been very keen to invest into something local that will:

  • pay them a level of interest
  • reduce our carbon footprint
  • help local schools generate their own electricity
  • help children learn about this in the process
  • and cut their costs.

This is now unlikely to happen!

The expected policy change is going to stop any chance of progress. We understand that the Government might want to reduce the cost of energy in the short term – but they should be thinking long term to cut carbon emissions further, taking advantage of local investment, and doing more to boost local community involvement.”

Here’s what Caitlin a sixth form pupil at the local school said

“I think it’s disappointing that the government has changed their stance on the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) considering their huge positive effect on the UK’s energy supply. The initiative’s removal has had a major impact not only nationally but also locally. Our school could really have benefited from solar panels, both environmentally and financially, not to mention the valuable learning resource that would have been created”

The community group have written to George Osborne asking him to support their cause and back subsidy for solar, but so far he is awaiting a response from the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

If you want to know more about community energy locally, or to ask for help in reducing your energy consumption, contact Andrew on Andrew.backhouse@phonecoop.coop or 01625 537087

More details of NECCE  are on – http://necheshirecommunityenergy.org.uk/

Also see http://keepfits.org/news//we-should-call-community-energy-the-mailman

 

Transition Network Newsletter

The latest edition of the Transition Network Newsletter – worth a read here

It includes details of:

  • their new publication -’21 Stories of Transition’
  • how a community responded when overwhelmed with refugees
  • news of Transitioners from around the world going to the Global Climate Conference which takes place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Paris.

 

The day we won Rob Hopkins

We were honoured to host the founder of Transition Wilmslow last week… here’s what he wrote about his visit, complete with podcasts:

https://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2015-05/day-transition-wilmslow-won-me-competition

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Rob’s talk to a packed room on election night… local artisan beer is more exciting than corporate imports.

Brixton Pound

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Brixton Pound: one of many examples of how a local currency has been adopted encourage local spending.

Zero Carbon Britain?

Can we do it? Yes we can!

This was the main theme at ‘Love Wilmslow, Love Our Planet’, a joint venture with Churches Together in Wilmslow and Transition Wilmslow at The Wilmslow Guild on St Valentine’s Day 2015.

What do we have in common? It’s a wish to look after our planet, to keep it for future generations too, and to take steps to reduce climate change.

We started the morning session with Paul Allen, one of the authors of Zero Carbon Britain who gave an uplifting and rich presentation about how reaching zero carbon emissions was very possible:

  • We could rapidly reduce UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net zero by 2030, using only currently available technology.

  • We could reduce our energy demand by around 60%, with particularly large savings in heating buildings and transport.

  • It is possible to meet 100% of the UK’s energy demand with renewable and carbon neutral energy sources; without fossil fuels and without new nuclear.

Read more here and download the latest report.

 After a bread and soup lunch Professor John Handley gave a talk entitled ‘Lindow Moss; Making Sense of the Planning Application, followed by discussion.

 Meanwhile there were craft and recycling activities to learn – composting, biscuit decoration, crochet, knitting, making gift boxes from Christmas cards to name a few. A highlight was a ‘stomp’ – a musical and movement performance using scrap material, organized by Wilmslow High School students.

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Participants were also alerted to many local initiatives to reduce climate change. Some are recycling tools through Work Aid, raising money for solar lights and cookers for slums in Nairobi through Kibera in Need and cutting down on food waste through Waste Watch. If we don’t do a lot to cut our energy consumption, the future for our children will be very different with climate change.

 So how do we get there? Part of the way forward must be to strengthen our community. We need to encourage one another, and the town council could be a leader in this. Perhaps we could have electric cars and bikes as a greener part of the Wilmslow Motor Show!

Most of all it should be fun!

See what Low Carbon Lymm is doing. Also…..

Ashton Hayes going carbon neutral

A talk by Professor Roy Alexander

Friday 13 March 7.30pm-9.30pm

Wilmslow Guild, Bourne St, Wilmslow, SK9 5HD

Ashton Hayes, a community of about 1,000 people, is aiming to become England’s first carbon neutral community. By working together, sharing ideas and through behavioural change they have reduced carbon emissions by 23% since 2006.

RGS-IBG members free, non-members £5 donation on the door.