Transition Town Ilford hosts Eco-tent  at the Green Fair!

An exciting first!

For the first time Transition Town Ilford hosted an Eco tent at this year’s Green fair on July 7thin Valentines Park.

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The tent buzzed with activity the whole day.  Visitors could get information about walks on the wild side in Redbridge  from Francis of Nature conservancy,  have a conversation  about Climate change with Wanstead Climate Action, take away a free glass  bottle of milk, learn how to compost and make cuttings, take away some free seeds to grow at home and make seed “bombs” to plant,  do children’s eco crafts  and get a free drink of water. In addition a Restart Party was held in the Cranbrook Centre where people could take electrical goods and learn how to fix them.

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We also had a programme of workshops at set times. All of these attracted a good number of people.

upcycling workshp.JPGcompost workshop.JPG

modern washable nappies.JPGseed sharing.JPG

Healthy food and drink demonstrations included making sauerkraut, pickles, nutrition balls, raw food and juices, herbal teas and  Kombucha tasting.

Other workshops ranged from Upcycling  cardboard and fabric(very popular) to what Redbridge council is doing about the climate emergency, from how to run a play street to using modern washable nappies, from bee keeping to  buying Fair Trade products.

The team of volunteers were fantastic. We were delighted at the interest. It was the first time but hopefully definitely not the last !

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See the range of workshops we are running at the Redbridge Green Fair!

Two weeks left for the Redbridge Green Fair in Valentines park!

Sunday 7th July 11.30-6.00pm

Transition Town Ilford is getting busy to bring you an exciting array of eco-workshops, fermentation demos, upcycling with plastic and other materials, environmental information, a repair cafe, herbal teas and their properties and more…

We have a friendly marquee where activities, workshops and demonstrations will be run throughout the day.

Extinction Rebellion will be joining us at some point so please check here for the latest timetable in the coming days.

We really hope to see you there.
Bring anything you would like to fix or any info you’d like to share.

Email us on ilfordtransition@gmail.com if you want more info.

Join our official launch at exciting new Ilford venue

We LOVE Ilford and care about sustainable living and community life. We’ve been around for a while and now think it is time to formalise.

YOU ARE INVITED TO OUR LAUNCH ON SATURDAY 27 APRIL, 2.30PM AT HUB CENTRAL, 2ND FLOOR, ILFORD LIBRARY

Please join us. Bring your mug, share what you are doing, watch a Transition TED talk and help us launch Transition Ilford. We have a programme to include inspiration, networking, practical ideas, a vision for Ilford. We will end at 4.30. See our Constitution here.

Begona, Jenny, Olcay, Peter, Ros, Ruth, Shilpa, Sobia, Suhas

Email us on ilfordtransition@gmail.com or ring 07985 540786 (Begona), 07957 534908 (Ros), 07816 068947 (Ruth), 07962 971030 (Shilpa) or 07961 394818 (Suhas)

Our meeting on clean air for Ilford and all

On Friday March 8th representatives of Transition Ilford met with Cllr John Howard ( Lead Cllr on the environment and clean air for LB Redbridge) and Cllr Farah Hussein, one of our ward councillors.

It was very good to learn about what the Borough is doing to promote clean air and to see how Transition Ilford can contribute to this.

We learned the Council is:

  • Lobbying the Mayor of London to include the whole of Redbridge in the Ultra Low Emissions Zone when its second phase begins (2021).
  •  Introducing School Streets at all its primary schools. This Guide from Friends of the Earth gives info about the scheme. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/clean-air/guide-local-groups-school-streets. School Streets are a zone around the school which cars cannot enter at the times when children are going to school in the morning and leaving in the afternoon. Redbridge has received funding for the first 3 schools.
  •  Running an accreditation scheme on  air quality in most primary schools in the borough called “Stars”. It is funded by TfL.
  • Upgrading its vehicle fleet to be more energy efficient and lobbying TfL to include bus routes in Redbridge in its cleaner bus routes scheme. https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/buses/improving-buses
  •  Having a consultation about clean air in the Borough in June. We suggested that they may like to come to The Green Fair and consult with people there. They were interested in this idea.
  • Making Ley Street into a green Zone with better cycling lanes and a supercharging point for Electric cars.

It would be great to know if others are interested in getting involved in promoting clean air in the borough. Do email us at ilfordtransition@gmail.com or text 07816 068947.

Ruth

I just switched to 100% renewable energy and saved £300 a year

renewable energy logoI found out this week that I can switch to 100% renewable electricity and save £300 a year!

As part of our efforts on educating ourselves to educate others on energy consumption, alternative energy suppliers and going 100% renewable, we had arranged a meeting with Giovanna Speciale, from SELCE (South East London Community Energy),. SELCE is group of skilled Greenwich and Lewisham residents who share a vision: a low carbon future in which everyone can access affordable energy to meet their needs and has a voice in how that is produced.

At our meeting at the end of February we’d been asked to bring a laptop and our current energy bills. There was a brief explanation on what fuel poverty is, the health effects of fuel poverty and the work SELCE does to alleviate fuel poverty.

The key to avoid paying excessively is to compare energy suppliers regularly. There are other things that can be looked at such as payment options, tariff options and there may be discounts available.

We then went onto analyse our personal energy bills with the focus being:

Tariff types: standard, variable, fixed, prepayment.

  • Unit price
  • Standing charge price
  • Estimated annual consumption.

We were asked to check a comparison site, something independent such as Citizens Advice or USwitch and input the data gathered from our bills to see what type of discount and supplier we could change to.

To my surprise, not only I was able to save up to £300 per year but also I could go 100% renewable with a new Green Energy company 🙂

Some of us had prepayment meters which tend to be very expensive. Luckily there’s a way to change them, even if you are in rented accommodation.Begona

We looked at insulation and other saving tips briefly as time had run out.

It was a very interesting and inspiring meeting.

Begoña Belmonte (Transition Ilford committee)

We want Ilford taken over by Play Streets – please apply by 1st May!

playing-out-logoRedbridge Council is supporting a fantastic and long overdue movement to give streets over to children.  We question why cars and traffic are able define what we do on our Ilford streets. We say, why not get the children outdoors and off their devices, to play, scoot, ride bikes and run around on the streets, as happened not so very long ago?

It is looking likely that Christchurch, Montreal and Toronto Roads will be joining the scheme in June following a meeting last week attended by Ilford Commonwealth Estate residents Puneet, Bushra and Ros.  They plan to apply by 1st May to be able to start Play Streets in June. But there are 4 different deadlines, so if they miss that they can always start in September.

Transition Ilford is VERY keen to get a very large number of Ilford streets participating.  We see this as a practical way of reclaiming a lost space, bringing people together, raising awareness on the environment and how change happens, and of course creating fitter, happier, more connected children and communities.  Do let us know if you are tempted by this and we can put you in touch with the Council officers and maybe we can help you with it too. 🙂

Here’s some information taken from the Redbridge Council website.

Why run a Play Street?

Play streets is a growing national movement encouraging informal playing out. Some of the benefits include:

  • improving children’s health and wellbeing
  • building stronger communities and a sense of belonging
  • encouraging more active citizens
  • changing culture around children’s freedom

Play streets have been running successfully in places like Hackney and Bristol and our pilot scheme here in a Redbridge has been a great success. Here is a comment from one organiser in Barkingside:

“In this day and age, we rarely see children playing on the streets, they rarely get out and converse with neighbours. Play streets is a wonderful informal way of allowing this to happen in a safe and manageable way. It was such an enjoyable, multi-cultural and multi-generational event and really helped build a community spirit that we would not have otherwise seen.”

Read more about the benefits of playing out.

Woodlands Road, Ilford

How to start up

Below are the ‘four simple steps’ you can follow to make this happen where you live:

  1. Talk to your neighbours
  2. Get permission and support
  3. Tell everyone
  4. Play out

You will find some fabulous video guides and resources on the Playing Out website including a lively video guide and additional templates you can find at the bottom of this web page.

Auckland Road, Ilford

You will need a bit of time and energy. The whole process, from having the idea to the first session, takes around 2-3 months. But please don’t let that put you off – the work can be shared and much of that time is simply waiting for us to give permission!

Contact your local Neighbourhood Engagement and Education officer if you want an informal chat about it.

Deadlines for applications to Redbridge Council

If you aim to hold your play street from:

  • 1 March to 31 May onwards the deadline for us to receive the application is 1 February
  • 1 June to 31 August onwards the deadline for us to receive the application is 1 May
  • 1 September to 30 November onwards the deadline for us to receive the application is 1 August
  • 1 December to 28 February onwards the deadline for us to receive the application is 1 November

If your application is approved, you will be able to run your play street sessions for a 12 month period  at the specified time and location :). After this 12 month period your application will be reviewed.

“What is brilliant about this scheme is that is so easy.  Residents do not need to set up things for the children to do or organise food or get loads of equipment like in street parties.  You just close off the street, take out a cuppa and maybe a chair and let the children play. If you are not a child and don’t want to play you can just chat with anyone who is around or maybe read a magazine! The Play Streets don’t need to be for a long time – just an hour or so but they are regular, even if only once a month.  Residents wanting to use their cars or delivery vehicles just need to wait until someone can ‘marshall’ the vehicle at walking pace”. Ros Southern, Transition Ilford

If you would like to organise a street party as a one-off event, it is exactly the same deadlines.


 

 

 

Energy advisor training, solar potential and community energy in Ilford 25.2.19

solar-energy-logo-6CEEE710DF-seeklogo.comWe have set up a meeting for Dr Giovanna Speciale, CEO of South East London Community Energy to share SELCO’s knowledge on reducing fuel poverty, energy advice (reducing) and an imminent funding deadline to apply for solar projects.

Monday 25 February 12.30.  Venue to be advised, depending on numbers.  RSVP essential.

Ilford Transition members have been attending SELCO sessions to build up their knowledge of hands on community projects making big changes to energy use and poverty in South East London.  Sobia Mahmood and Jenny Coverdale are very inspired fuel poverty wordingand have set up this meeting.

An outcome we are hoping for:  to have a community energy project in Ilford and Redbridge. 🙂

For info on SELCO click here.

To get in touch please email: ilfordtransition@gmail.com or 07761 093610 (jenny)

 

Extinction Rebellion

Saturday Nov 17th 10-15am : Shutting down Waterloo Bridge 10-15 am

We had been told on social media to walk up and down the bridge until the signal was given, at which point we were to follow instructions from the stewards in white sashes. I was slightly apprehensive. I couldn’t imagine how we were going to be able to intercept the non-stop flow of traffic.

Then, suddenly a man just in front of me stepped over the barrier and sat down in the middle of the road in the path of buses which slowed and stopped.

 

I called, ”Do you want us to join you?”(silly question)

“If you like” he replied. We clambered over the crash barriers and in 5 minutes a couple of hundred people had blocked the bridge.

The Police were very polite, warning us that we could be arrested, and that it wouldn’t look good on our CV’s. However, nobody near me was.

We were asked by a young woman on an improvised soap box to share food and talk with someone else about why we had come. My conversation partner told me that she believes we have left it too late to stop runaway climate change but felt she must come anyway. Another, a civil servant from Bath, had never done anything like this before, but felt compelled to witness by her presence.

We were reminded all the time that this is a non violent action and it is out of desperation at the way the government is not taking the seriously the need for urgent action on climate change. For example, it allowed fracking to re start in the same week that the latest IPCC Report came out stressing the urgency of taking action to cut carbon emissions

So how does the Extinction Rebellion connect to Transition Towns?

The Transition Movement began in 2002 with just 2 towns, Kinsale and Totnes. The groups were people who wanted their towns to “transition “ from being places which depended on fossil fuels to communities which flourish, where healthy food is grown and sold, wildlife is given space and respected, the local economy thrives with small businesses set up to meet needs, renewable energy is produced and used, where people re-learn the old skills of repairing, mending and reusing possessions. It has now grown to a movement of … groups. Our little group in Ilford is one of those.

It defines itself as,

“A movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world”
The Transition website is full of inspiring stories about what people all over the world are doing in their own communities.  https://transitionnetwork.org/

Transition works at community level to imagine what a different kind of society could be like, and to demonstrate that well being is increased, not decreased, by living within the limits of the natural systems of the earth. It encourage people to acknowledge and express their hopelessness, despair and pessimism in the face of all the ways we, as humans, are exploiting and destroying the earth, the air and the sea.

The protests on Saturday also came out of the raw grief about the failure of our political and economic systems to respond to this. In our society we live within a “story” of how things are in the world which seems incapable of imagining a different future, and there is a deep desire for many to break out of that. The Transition Movement is able to help us to picture what that future might look like and then start to make it happen in the places where we live.

 

 

 

 

Let’s plant some trees and wildlife shrubs in Ilford this winter!

Ilford Transition Town is looking for volunteers to take part in planting wildlife shrubs in South Ilford.  It’s a practical, easy and loving way to bring wildlife to a densely packed urban area, and one of the least green parts of the whole borough of Redbridge.

Friday 7th December  10 am -12noon at St Lukes Children’s and Community Centre

We’ve ordered 50 saplings from the Mayor of London’s scheme offering free trees to community groups in London We’ve chosen the wildlife and shrubs pack

  • Hawthornberries
  • Common Dogwood
  • Blackthorn
  • Goat Willow
  • Guelder Rose

These small trees have great benefits for attracting wildlife into Ilford and most also have herbal medicinal benefits.

Want to help plant them or look after them on a long term basis?  Just turn up on the day at St Luke’s Centre (google map link) or contact Peter from Ilford TT.  E: petermusgrave1950@gmail.com / M: 07943 986988 / T: 0207 041 7194

A bit more info on why we like the London Mayor’s scheme:

All have beautiful flowers after 2/3 years. Bees and butterflies love them, then birds and other invertebrates will come. This is great for South Ilford!

  • Blackthorn flowers first in March, before leaves come out – has sloe berries in Autumn
  • Hawthorn has leaves first, then flowers and red clusters of autumn berries
  • Dogwood has lovely red stems for winter display, with white flowers in spring –best to cut it in early summer to promote fresh shoots for vibrancy
  • Guelder Rose has lovely flowers and lovely berries
  • Goat willow has lovely catkins in spring . It grows fastest and would be best as a structural backdrop behind the other plants

 

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