17 October 2014

Northern Projects Meet Up in Penrith

On Wednesday 15 October representatives from the northern Communities Living Sustainably projects attended an event hosted by the CAFS (Cumbria Action For Sustainability), who run the Sustain Eden project.

The event showcased the work that has been taking place at Sustain Eden, including details about local food growing in community gardens, a draught-proofing service and a swishing and swapping service.

Other highlights from the event included finding out about transport projects in Middlesborough, One Planet Living in Sunderland, urban food growing in Wingrove and volunteer recruitment in Irwell, in addition to other initiatives and examples of success across the region.

The event highlighted that each project was encountering similar challenges and proved an invaluable opportunity to share experiences and strategies for dealing issues encountered.

The event also discussed a variety of topics including how projects can engage with the harder to reach, how you keep volunteers engaged, how you can make energy interesting and how to ensure sustainability of the projects after the end of the funding period.

The afternoon was spent discussing approaches to these topics and has given us a number of ideas to test out locally.

We also attended an event in the evening run by PACT (Penrith Action for Community Transition) on local food growing and sourcing which was a great opportunity to further share ideas and experiences from the food aspects of our projects. It was also interesting to meet local people from the area who are doing their own food growing and to learn about their challenges and successes - from battles with aphids to rearing unusual beetroots!

And...last, but certainly not least, we found some plant-themed poetry on our way to the PACT event...