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Launch success leads onto Streetwise training

12 March 2013

A special ‘Streetwise’ training session in Hacheston on Saturday, April 20 is taking bookings now following the first ever East Suffolk Greenprint Forum which attracted over 30 people. Thursday’s meeting focussed on local food and Fairtrade which feeds into one section of the Transition Streets Handbook which will be provided at this training session. 

Transition Streets is a way of bringing together small groups of friends, neighbours and colleagues focusing discussions around a workbook to create effective, practical, money-saving and carbon-reducing steps which each person can adopt. The Hacheston course follows a successful Transition Streets trial carried out by a Greenprint Forum member.

April's Hacheston training session is free and will run from 9am to 5.30pm. It will be led by two Transition Totnes approved trainers and is for people who would like to get six to eight people living near them together to explore the issues and inspire each other though the Transition Streets work book and local knowledge. To book either call 01394 444747 and leave a message or email deborah.wargate@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk.

“More and more communities are realising that they need to find ways of sustaining themselves in the future. This transition streets training will help people who are thinking about the proactive action they can take and encourage in their communities learn about Transition Streets, what has worked for others who have run it and begin to identify strengths and weaknesses in their own plans.” said Andrew Cassy, Chair of the Forum and member of East Suffolk Partnership Board.

“With more communities in an area taking part the benefit of sharing resources and experiences will make the process a great deal easier and more effective. This is a great example of taking local action and will hopefully inspire others to start developing their own community action plans,” added Andrew.

In Totness between January 2010 – July 2011 organisers found that each household saved around £570 and 1.3 tonnes of CO2 per year, while those taking part consistently report that the greatest benefits to them are the new social connections they have made with their neighbours, making them feel more connected to, and part of, their local community.

"Last week's first meeting of our East Suffolk Greenprint Forum was held as part of Fairtrade Fortnight and Climate week and attracted 32 people to the session which is an excellent start as we develop it further to support more communities and organisations as they act to improve the lives of people in Suffolk Coastal and Waveney through efforts to improve environmental impacts," said Andrew.

"Mik Bedson from Suffolk Acre spoke about the benefits of local food including: taste, nutrition, and wellbeing and the support that Suffolk Acre can provide, while Debbie Wargate summarised some of the challenges facing producers, such as despite producing 70% of the world's food, over half of the world's hungriest people are smallholder farmers.

"The meeting also looked at how the organisations making up the Fairtrade Foundation are trying to help and the strengths and weakness of their methods and the wide range of products now available with the Fairtrade Mark - from cotton and olive oil to chocolate and coffins. Good discussions were held and the results will be shared within the Forum and the Councils and those who come on the ‘Streetwise training’", added Andrew. 

The Forum is open to all to join and become involved in. Visit www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/yourdistrict/greenissues/greenprint/ for more information about Greenprint initiatives.

The Greenprint Forum was established in Suffolk Coastal in 1996 to enable organisations to come together, share information and work together to improve the environment of the district but has now become a community environmental forum for East Suffolk.

Suffolk Coastal and Waveney Councils have adopted a Joint Environmental Policy to support their own business plans. This builds on earlier environmental policies, highlights some of their achievements so far and maps out their vision and objectives for the next ten years.

The policy and action plan can be found on www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/yourdistrict/greenissues/footprint/jep/ and both Councils will be working closely with Greenprint to help deliver their goals.