Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change

Monday, 14 December 2015

Reduce, Re-use, ReSparkle! Our seasonal family crafts workshop with Tooting Library

On Saturday 12th December TTT offered our fourth annual Resparkle! seasonal crafts session at Tooting Library -  this time combined with Jeni Walker's monthly Meet & Make.

The aim was to teach children and adults how to make interesting, fun and attractive decorations or presents using household materials - newspaper, drinks cartons, scrap textiles.

Here's what we had on offer to make:
  • drinks carton wallets
  • newspaper present bags 
  • textile and paper decorations
  • paper flowers
  • adding to the Library's collage Xmas tree
  • and some children made up their own ideas...



All these activities are easy to repeat at home - for us it's all about mixing creativity and upcycling everyday waste.
And it's all about enjoyment and making things together. 

Some children did every single activity on offer, then went back for more..



The afternoon was delightful - a real mix of Tooting's cultures, with a lot of concentration and focus from three dozen young people. There were rewarding challenges working with new materials and techniques, and persisting with folding, cutting, punching and sticking to make beautiful things.



Most of the adults were making too - it was great to see the mix of generations and also whole families doing these engaging activities together.
There was a lot of achievement, pride and quiet celebration.

 



Thanks so much to the multi-tasking TTT volunteers who ran the day: Jane, Jeni, Hilary, Rachel & Chuck.
Thanks to Tooting Library - to Heather and Khalid for inviting us (and for helping to clear up at the end).

                
                                      
 More photos in this slideshow  

See you at December 2016 Resparkle!

Friday, 11 December 2015

BATCA Community Heroes

BATCA Hero Hilary
It was a good night for TTT and our partners at last night's BATCA (Balham & Tooting Community Association) Community Heroes Awards.  Our Rooting in Tooting colleagues at CARAS (Community Action for Refugees & Asylum Seekers), won a Team Award, while Hilary Jennings ex-co-chair and key player in TTT since 2008 was a highly commended hero(ine).
Eleanor Brown, CARAS Youth Services Co-ordinator, with Hafsa and Waseem



We were happy that our nomination for the ever helpful Ilesh Patel at Miss U Stationers also resulted in a highly commended award.  

Hilary, delighted (and somewhat surprised!) with her award, reported that "it was a great evening with a real sense of warmth and pride in how this area is a place of community and diversity. A few people mentioned it being an example of how diverse community can live well together."

All the Community Award winners are listed in the BATCA press release - click here to read it.

Email us if you'd like to find out more about our Rooting in Tooting project and check out the newly launched CARAS website!  And don't forget tomorrow's Reduce Reuse Resparkle at Tooting Library!


Monday, 7 December 2015

Resparkle! plus Meet & Make: Free upcycled crafts activities in Tooting next weekend

Two long-running TTT crafts projects which mix creativity and attractive recycled materials are coming together on December 12th at Tooting Library.

Reduce, Re-use, Resparkle! has been offered with our partners Tooting Library at Christmas for the past four years.
Meet & Make is community artist Jeni Walker's monthly project for local upcycling and making.
On Dec 12th we are bringing them together for a free event.

Resparkle! is all about making fun Christmas presents or decorations out of recycled materials - do come along from 2-4 at Tooting Library on the 12th. All ages, all welcome, all materials provided.

The regular attendees (and others!) at Meet & Make are invited to come along too - make some great upcycled festive decorations and also get some inspiration and encouragement on any making project of your own. All artists and makers welcome.

Three inviting photos from last year's Resparkle! -














More Meet & Make news:
Our newly formed connection with local charity Wandsworth Oasis was knitted a little closer last month with the generous hosting of our monthly Meet & Make in their new shop near Amen Corner. 

Helen brought along the finished shopper trolley started at last months M&M, Jeni whipped up a couple of tiny aprons for her toddler art classes and Martin chatted at length about the possibilities and challenges of starting a social enterprise based on up cycled making.
 
Elsewhere in the TTT arts story the power of making saw many hands came together to put paint, paper and glue to the Giant Saxophone. The friendly yellow giant was witness to young mums with their children, Pilates teachers, Meet & Makers, local arts practitioners, people claiming that they 'aren't any good at this art stuff' another saying they 'literally hadn't made anything in years' all creating a very pleasing result both visually and in the sense of connecting together.

We have plenty more participatory making planned - please come and get involved, and also do share your ideas for new projects or community groups and partners to join up with. 
Contact us at transitiontowntooting@gmail.com

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

TTT's experience of the Climate march weekend in London and Paris - our personal responses

We'd like to share our responses to the Sunday 29th Climate Justice march in London, and to actions that replaced the banned march in Paris
And we'd like to share news of the Transition Network day in Paris on Saturday 28th.
All these events and more are urgently linked with the COP21 Climate talks in Paris which are running until December 13th.

We're sharing three blog posts: 
  • this post on some of our personal reactions
  • then a post about community-level responses
  • and finally a post about the global view 
This is a snapshot of the experience we felt as participants....

What did taking part mean to us personally?

London

Hilary: It was hugely reassuring to see so many other people willing to give up a cold and windy day to marching

The march began, for us, at Tooting Bec Tube. We didn't know how many would come, after putting out the invitation via our blog. On the day, 7 of us met, with the world on one head and giant sign saying, "urgent".

We emerged in the centre of London and spotted one or two other likely groups - I guess this is how a march begins, with intentional meeting of friends and colleagues with a common cause. By the time we arrived at Park Lane, we realised that there were many common causes to put under the banner of "Climate March" - vegans, community energy, anti-oil, anti-fracking, save the polar bears, Greenpeace, revolutionaries, drummers, fundraisers and photographers...

We even had apples thrust until our palms from those campaigning against waste food! Delicious they were too.

TTT's experience of the Climate march weekend in London and Paris - a sense of community

Here's our second blog post in response to the Climate march weekend, COP21 and Transition's contribution

Some 'community-level' responses

London
We marched with the Transition bloc. Inherently local, it is affirming to feel part of a wider community form time to time. Sunday gave space for us all to talk to each other in a different context compared with many other occasions. This wasn't about delivering a project, although ultimately it is, but did give space for strengthening bonds that will bear fruit in the future.

The Transition gang, including friends from Lewes, Crystal Palace and Kingston
Transition Town Huddle by Deborah Mason


Paris
Transition France and Transition groups in Paris co-hosted a free workshop day on Saturday 28th. 
Here, we met in the huge (and unheated....) 'La Générale' space for an afternoon of sharing experience, eating and drinking, and then an evening conference.
 

Charles: "For 13 hours I was immersed in a sharing community coming together with powerful intentions. The community included the everyday diversity of Paris with its mix of north african and mediterranean faces....different from the diversity we recognise at Tooting Broadway. It was affirming to feel that I could simply approach anyone and talk about shared ideas, ask for support or get some feedback.

TTT's experience of the Climate march weekend in London and Paris - the global view

Our third post in response to the Climate march weekend, COP21 and Transition's contribution

Thinking about impact and action - the global view

Paris 
Charles: Another of the replacements for the banned Paris march was the 'human chain' - a line kilometres long where participants linked hands (for a short while...until the stewards said 'C'est fini' as the whole action was ad-hoc and not police-approved).

Here's some of Transition links in the chain. We're holding copies of the pages of '21 Histoires de Transition', strung like bunting.

All along a street with several Metro stations - just like Balham to Tooting Broadway - there were theme clusters in the chain, where you could pop out of the Metro and group around global issues such as Energy, or Justice, or Nature, or Solutions. 

There were other chains worldwide - including Brussels, just emerging from 4 days of public lock-down, and also replacing a banned march.
The chain was ephemeral but we still came together to witness what we wanted to express in the planned march...along with a few mexican waves.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

People's March for Climate - This Sunday 29th November!

TTT will be joining the Transition Bloc at the march, join us :
11am at the entrance to Tooting Bec Underground Station on Sunday 29th November.

More information from organisers, including a route map is on the Campaign against Climate Change page here

This weekend marks the beginning of the 2 week International Climate Conference in Paris called COP21. As we all think about recent events in Paris and wish for peaceful resolution to conflicts the world over, the City hosts the World's major leaders with hope to gain Global agreement to cut carbon emissions and prevent run away climate change.

Our very own Jeni Walker at a similar march earlier this year
This is the largest scale of negotiation on Climate Change mitigation and, if successful, has the highest possible positive impact for the future of us humans on this Planet we call home. However, politics is a tricky business with competing motivations and historical contexts, not to mention very well funded lobbying from those businesses that don't want limits on carbon emissions.

We must let those politicians know that we, the people, care. 
Care that they go to the table with open minds, care they think about the long term, not the few years to the next General Election, care that they listen to the scientific evidence alongside the human suffering that comes from ever more frequent extreme weather events.

You can read about our experience at the march earlier this year here

And think about the reasons why you might want to march here

Hope to see you there, Richard and TTT gang.


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

TTT receives Wandsworth Recycling Golden Ticket prize - THANK YOU Ms Osmond!

Wandsworth's Golden Ticket prize draw scheme means that every two months a properly-sorted bag of recycling - complete with a WBC golden ticket put there by the householder - is selected to win a £5000 prize. Half of the prize is a community pot which the winner donates to local community groups, and half is the householder's own reward.

Three weeks ago the first of four monthly draws took place, and Ms Osmond from Tooting selected Transition Tooting as one of the winners. We have received £1000, and so have two other organisations: FAST, a young people's project in Nine Elms and Share Community which offers training support for disabled people.


Charles from TTT; Michaela, Kerry and Jason from FAST; and Annie from Share Community



All of us in TTT are bowled over at being selected by Ms Osmond.   We hugely appreciate it, and will report back on what we do with these valuable funds in order to help make Tooting a more sustainable and happier place. Thank you again!

Ms Osmond's donation is extra generous because she added £500 of her personal prize to make the community pot a round £3,000 - so her three selected organisations each received £1,000.

NB this scheme continues for three more draws, so it is really worth householders popping their golden tickets into correctly-sorted recycling, and certainly worth community organisations registering as potential beneficiaries. To get more tickets or to register, click here on the WBC website or  here on the WRWA site 

Here we are joined by Michael Singham, WBC Waste Strategy Manager...and yes, a bag of recycling. 
The next draw is on the 18th December - Good Luck and Happy Recycling!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

'Bringing Nature Closer to Home': Wildlife Gardening Forum November 2015

'Bringing Nature Closer to Home' is the tagline of the Wildlife Gardening Forum, which held its tenth anniversary meeting yesterday at the Natural History Museum in London.



Several of us from Tooting and TTT attended - along with 80 other gardeners, enterprises, government agencies, charities and community groups. It's always a stimulating day (available to all; the Forum has 800+ members now).
Anyone can use the Forum's rich resources at www.wlgf.org/
Forum meetings are held twice a year and give us a valuable chance to hear practical ideas from across the UK, learn about brand new research and discuss key topics with experts and practitioners - in sessions or over coffee.



I've found there has always been learning to bring home to Tooting from these Forum meetings. 

Plus practical things to do - here is a citizen science survey that will let us contribute to earthworm research (ie 'soil ecosytem services').



Monday, 9 November 2015

Community Energy in London - Question Time

Tooting's own Furzedown Low Carbon Zone (FLCZ) is joining Community Renewable Energy Wandsworth (CREW) and Repowering London to host the city's first gathering of all local community energy groups:

Community Energy in London - Question Time
Free Entry!

City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA, United Kingdom
6pm to 9pm on Thursday 12th November 2015

Please confirm your place as we are filling up. Email us at: communityenergyinlondon@gmail.com

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Help shape a 2016 vision for Tooting


We're running a couple of fun events in the next week and you're invited!

Join us to reflect and celebrate 2015's activities and achievements and let's imagine what we might want to do for Tooting in 2016.

Come along. Everyone welcome!
  • Saturday, 07 November, 10am - 1pm, at Mushkil Aasaan, Upper Tooting Rd (next to Nando's)
  • Tuesday, 10 November, 7pm - 9pm, at the Trafalgar Arms, Tooting High St (back room)
If you can't make it, take some time to think about these questions and get in touch with your thoughts and ideas.
  • What could TTT do in Tooting in 2016?
  • How can TTT support people in Tooting in 2016?
  • What ideas do you have for our projects and activities?
  • How could Foodival evolve, or the community garden?
There are plenty of ideas brewing and we hope some of them become an exciting 2016 reality!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Wandsworth Oasis UPFest: Tuesday 3rd November

'It's all about waste'  That's how Gill Perkins, CEO of the Wandsworth Oasis charity, describes the driving theme behind UPFest: the Oasis event on Tuesday November 3rd:
All welcome to a fun and original evening: a catwalk and showcase of the joy of upcycling clothes and textiles. 
TTT are proud to be involved via Jeni Walker and her initiative Sustainable Making and Arts Tooting - SMArT

Location: the Oasis shop at 234-250 Mitcham Road, Tooting SW17 9NT
Timings: 5:30pm to 10:00pm on Tuesday 3rd November.
More UPFest details online here- entry by donation.

Jeni has been making scrap silk skirt scrunchies in World AIDS Day red - available on the night next week. Here she is last week in the decorated window of the new Oasis shop at Amen Corner in Tooting:

Oasis supports local people who are affected by HIV and have successful charity shops around the borough. Gill and the team work (tirelessly) to sell as many of the items donated as they can, but inevitably there is still so much that may be fated to become landfill. 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Leo's Garden: an oasis tucked above Tooting

Tooting has a new and delightful asset!
 
A new garden balcony for all the staff at the Tooting campus of South Thames College opened today in memory of Mumney Olusanya (or Leo, as he was better known). Leo was Facilities Manager at the Tooting campus, and died on the 31st October 2013. Leo’s Garden is a University and College Union initiative and was opened by Angie Birtill of the Trade Union Studies Centre.

Angie raising a fizzy apple juice as a toast to Leo's memory

Spring bulbs were planted later today in memory of Leo, adding to the planting done over spring and summer this year - all funded by the volunteers themselves. As well as a memorial to Leo, the garden is consciously about health and safety - creating an attractive place for any college staff to boost their wellbeing during a busy day. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

From the Local to the International - Journeys of imagination and generosity at the Transition Network International Conference

Back in September, Charles Whitehead wrote a preview piece about 8 of us from Tooting heading to the Transition Network International Conference at Seale Hayne, Newton Abbot. We went by caravan, car share and train arriving the day before, early afternoon and late at night.

You can read all about how we contributed to the conference in Charles' blogpost here. Following the conference, we were all excited to share our experience of it as it had so much energy to give! Please do click on the links in the highlighted words, if they are of interest. There is also a Storify of the Conference and a blog on the Transition Network site.

Tooting heads West!
Home away from Home, with cake!

After arriving, pitching our tents, siting and re-siting our caravan and finding our rooms, Jenny , Hilary and myself participated in the Transition Skills day, learning lots about Transition Thrive , designing a new economy in "REconomy" and how to "Become your own Developer" before the conference actually began.

Meanwhile, Lucy was running her own workshop on Creative Engagement, she writes...

"Once I'd recovered from the news that my main collaborator, Ruth Ben-Tovim (she of the Tooting Transition Shop from 2012), was sick and I would have to get on and run the day long Transition workshop on the arts and creating community on my own, I decided this Transition Conference (my 4th) was going to be about getting on and doing it with the resources I had to hand. I calmed myself by imagining the 14 strangers I was about to meet and wondering why they could be interested in learning about the craft of making things happen, and the art of creative participation. The knowledge they would all be doing this in a Transition context i.e. making the world we want to live in by modelling the changes in how we live where we live, immediately made me relax. I felt I could be myself and invite them to give all of themselves to the workshop, which they did! The day was astonishing for the rich diversity of their expertise, their generosity to give and gain from one another and the final artworks they created together. I was bowled over by how much creative ground we covered and my abiding faith in the central role our imaginations and creativity play in Transition. I have spent 3 years capturing this in the transition book in the arts, Playing for Time - making Art As If the World Mattered and it felt as if the book had in a sense, come home.

This feeling of generosity, sharing and common goals was echoed by Jenny's experience, she reflected later:

"It was inspiring and encouraging to meet other people from around the world who share a vision for a fairer, more community-led world. A focus on collaboration, partnerships and relationship building was a common theme. It's something we cherish in Transition Town Tooting and will continue to build in 2016. A Neighbourhood Plan, Foodival and our garden projects wouldn't be possible if it weren't for the generosity and energy of our partners and volunteers".

My experience during the Transition Thrive training was similarly applicable to our activity in Tooting and encouraged me to be active in looking after the wonderful volunteers and core group of Transition Town Tooting as well as offering the opportunity to participate to more people through Open Days and outreach.

Our Workshops: Outdoor Learning with Young People and Creative Facilitation with FanSHEN


Day 2 and the conference proper begins... Jenny, Charlie, Sharon and I hosted a workshop on Outdoor Learning with Young People. We shared our work in Outdoor Learning in 3 areas:

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

So what is outdoor learning?

For the past 2 1/2 years, TTT has been running outdoor learning classes with pupils from Gatton, a local primary school in the community garden. From weekly sessions with Reception and Year 1 classes, to 7-week projects with the Year 6 students, the classes encompass a huge range of cross-curriculum learning, developing new skills and vocabulary and allowing the children to fully interact with nature in the safe and beautiful environment of our garden.

But I still get asked regularly, what exactly is outdoor learning? So, here's a brief example of my class today, on a beautiful autumn morning with a lively Year 1 group...

After warm greetings and not-at-all-exaggerated reports on how much they had grown over the summer holidays, the children discussed the different seasons, today's weather and how the sunshine made them feel: happy, bright and a bit sweaty! We then looked at some of the plants we had been growing - a cherry tomato that I picked just before they arrived and a beetroot. They were very excited to discover that beetroot acts as a natural dye and took great delight in getting a red thumb. We also went to look at the green and yellow pumpkin that was growing in the vegetable beds.

Then we played an energetic game of seek and find, bringing back different numbers and colours of grasses, leaves, pinecones, sticks and acorns. The children learned that the squirrels love to eat acorns and hide them away so that they can eat them later in the winter; we found lots of buried acorns in the garden - sorry squirrels!

And then, while half the group help collect objects for the Big Draw, the other half used trowels (remembering the safety instructions I taught them last year) to dig up the old pea plants in their little veg bed. The plants went on the compost heap to be recycled in the garden. We all put our hands into the freshly dug soil to feel how it was drier on the top and damper underneath but was also loose like crumble mix. And the numerous worms that were unearthed during the process were all gently and kindly transported to the bush where rumour has it they were having a big worm party...

Finally, after making big shapes, small shapes and star shapes, the children exploded with an impressive "Acorns!" for their "word jump". Exit one group of happy, rosy-cheeked, energised children.
Sharon

 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

From the outside looking in

Mena participating in the garden
Earlier in the year, we had a visit by an MSc student from Edinburgh called Mena Grossmann. Mena, as she describes below, used Transition Town Tooting as a case study to explore diversity within the Transition Town Movement for her MSc research project.

For us and the Transition Movement as a whole, engagement with academic research has to be 2-way, with both parties benefitting. We hope Mena's research will give us real insight into who we are reaching through our work in Tooting.

Mena will be publishing her dissertation after it has been marked, we can't wait! And will share it when we can.

If your Transition Initiative is interested in engaging with academic research, The Transition Network do have suggested guidelines to help negotiate the first steps of partnership between a Transition Town and a Researcher, these can be found here. There is also the Transition Research Network who focus on this area and provide a forum to link a researcher with an Initiative. However, we sort of made it up as we went along...

Over to Mena...

"Somebody told me that Tooting was like an onion, because it has many layers. During my 2-week stay in Tooting, undertaking interviews and participating in TTT's activities as part of my MSc dissertation on diversity and participation in the Transition Movement, I was able to have the incredible opportunity of unpeeling some of those layers.

Coming to TTT, and Tooting in general, as a complete stranger, my first days felt like when you're cutting an onion; eyes watering furiously and impaired vision. However, after a few fascinating days visiting the community garden, going along to a neighbourhood planning meeting and undertaking a couple of interviews, a map began to develop bit by bit in my mind as I started to develop an understanding of the functioning of TTT, of the multitude of community groups working in the area and of the social networks and connections that link them.

Monday, 5 October 2015

From today: the new 5p tax will be charged for single-use plastic shopping bags

The long-debated tax of 5 pence per single-use plastic bag becomes law from the 5th October in England, and applies to 'free' bags from larger shops and chains (enterprises employing more than 250 people). Smaller shops can also charge if they wish. The sums charged go into pots for charity...so there are some complex processes, rules, exceptions (and fines for non-compliance) behind the scenes. 
Read the government's guidance for retailers here.

So what? 
In 2013 we used 8 billion of these 'free' bags per year, just from UK supermarkets....with year-on-year totals growing.
Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have already implemented this tax - the latest figures show that in Wales, the use of these short-life bags nationally has been reduced by 79% over 4 years.

The majority of these bags are instant waste, with an enormous cumulative impact in terms of costs of dealing with household and business rubbish, and blight from windswept litter all around us. 
Read TTT's earlier 2010 post about global plastic pollution here
They are derived from oil, a non-renewable resource. (There are other options such as bidoegradeable cornstarch).

Of course there is a carbon saving if bag use is reduced - savings in terms of materials used to make them, and their distribution, and the carbon costs of disposing of them. 
'Reduce' has much more positive impact than 're-use' or 'recycle' and is much more within our own control.

What does this mean for me?
There's a new article - click here - which summarises exactly that.

Which shopping bag to use today?
There's an easy option that can suit all pockets: 
use a textile 'bag for life'. 
Made of jute or cotton, they are recyclable when they finally pack up - cut up and composted, or used as mulch.

For a good short article about re-usable bags, click here.

Cloth bags also have a carbon cost in their own production and distribution; some long-life shopping bags are made of plastic textiles.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Urban Heat 2nd October '15: our third Tooting workshop on community-led approaches to urban heatwaves

Today we hosted the third workshop in the Urban Heat research project. This is an 18-month research process into community-led responses to urban heatwaves, with a particular focus on the local impact on vulnerable people. The research is led by the Policy Studies Institute at the University of Westminster, with funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
For the details of the wider project, please see our short posts on the two previous workshops in June and July. TTT has been inviting and convening local groups to take part, and hosting the events.

Today's workshops saw diverse Tooting community organisations meet a group representing the strategic and borough-wide institutions who have a mandate to act on heatwaves alongside many other priorites.
This was not intended to be adversarial...! The purpose was to bring together key players who respond at different local and city 'levels' to heatwaves, all in the interest of local people's wellbeing and health.

The community groups summed up their ideas and proposals identified so far, and these were grouped into three themes:
  • Bridging and making connections
  • Communications and awareness
  • Resources and infrastucture
Everyone present discussed each theme in detail - so we can all understand, anticipate and respond to the impact of urban heatwaves, together. There was a lot to talk about!
The research team will be summing up points made and actions proposed. This is 'action research' - it is up to us all locally to decide which of these ideas are most valuable and can be put into practice, while the researchers continue with the next steps of the project.
We'll keep you informed.

Represented today were: Age UK (Wandsworth), Be Enriched, Emergency Planning at St George's Hospital Trust, Furzedown Low Carbon Zone, Housing Strategy & Development at London Borough of Wandsworth, Neighbourhood Network SW17, Public Health at London Borough of Wandsworth, Thinking Works and Transition Town Tooting. Thank you all!

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Growing Tooting

TTT is delighted to launch Growing Tooting, a new project to promote community gardening in Tooting and nearby neighbourhoods. This is a year-long project which aims to attract more people into growing healthy local food.
You may be familiar with some of the benefits of community growing, for instance:
  • Socialising with a shared interest 
  • Improving your health via gentle physical exercise and eating fresh, highly nutritious fruit and veg 
  • Helping the environment by reducing food miles 
Whether you are completely new to growing fruit and veg, or whether you are an experienced gardener wanting to develop your growing skills, this project can help you. Having a garden isn’t necessary: we can also give you ideas about growing on a windowsill, windowbox or balcony. If you’re a school, community group or club, or a local enterprise and you’d like to set up a growing space or develop an existing one, we can help too, with ideas about crops, composting, encouraging wildlife, etc.

In the coming months we’ll be holding a number of community events, so please follow the Growing Tooting posts on this site. In the meantime, if you’d like to contact the project: call Martin on 07980 095 152 or EMAIL US

We are very grateful to Wandsworth Borough Council Big Society Fund for their support of this project.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Electrical or electronic items that need fixing?

Broken something & reluctant to throw it away?
The Restart Project, encourage and empower people to use their electrical and electronics longer!  They are back in Tooting on Saturday 26th September - 2.30 - 5.30pm at Mushkil Aasaan, 220 - 222 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7EW (next to Nandos), so do come along! blog post image
Do note that Restart Parties are a community self-repair space where you take responsibility for your own gadgets and data, so please do not forget to take any back-ups beforehand, if relevant – and if possible arrive during the first two hours to allow time for fixing!

Restart Parties have become a regular feature in Tooting and we are on the lookout for skilled local fixers. If you are interested come along and say hello - or email Hilary Jennings for details.

More info re the Restart Project HERE including details of regular skillshares all over the UK and further afield.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Foodival Stories

Over on the Foodival blog we have been rounding up the stories from this year's sustainable food event in Tooting.  There's a Balham woman who grew bananas ...
Bananas grown by Susan in her Balham back garden
And Sophie was the new face winning the prestige title of Top Tooting Cook 2015 with her beautiful culinary creation.
Top Tooting Cook Sophie with her prize winning dish
Pooja produced the tastiest dish according to the judges and Jenny Shand from SHARE Community Garden managed to cultivate the ugliest vegetable!  There's more on the prize winners here

Dave says: "Gimme Fracking not Solar!"
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister tried to persuade us that subsidies for those dodgy polluting, diminishing, ever harder to reach fossil fuels are much more important than those for renewable technology.  Indeed this government plans to make community solar power generation unviable by slashing solar feed-in tariffs.  Sign the petition here to try to get this folly debated in Parliament.  Thanks to Furzedown Low Carbon Zone for highlighting this issue.

Then there was the mysterious Giant Pea spotted up and down Tooting High St and featured in this Wandsworth Guardian video
Children show off the Ugly Vegetables - the red pepper was voted the winner!
Keep an eye out for more stories from the Foodival, some great pictures and a video over the coming days.
Meanwhile what did you think of this year's Foodival?

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Transition Network International Conference

You may know that TTT is part of a network of Transition Towns round the world - community groups of all shapes and sizes who are each taking local action on environmental and social sustainability. TTT's motto is Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change. That encourages a wide range of activities, and inspires us to want to get on with it alongside local partners who are 'transitioning' to establish a better future now.

The Transition Network is hosting its first international conference for 3 years: hundreds of people are booked in from dozens of countries this weekend in Devon. 
Nine of us from the TTT family are attending. It's only a week after the Foodival - there are still many great and tired memories to share, and now we are about to make new ones.

 
As I post this blog four of us are zooming down the road towing a cute caravan. 

The others are packing or looking for their train tickets...


Between us we've been invited to facilitate three workshops, and we're proud to be able to do that: 
  • Tomorrow Lucy is co-facilitating a day workshop on 'The Art of Invitation: creative engagement for ourselves and our communities'. Details are here.
  • On Saturday morning, Charles, Jenny, Richard and Sharon are hosting a workshop on 'Outdoor Learning with Young People'. Details here.
  • On Saturday afternoon, Dan and Rachel from fanSHEN are offering a workshop on 'Creative Facilitation'. Details here.
We'll all attend other sessions and there will be a lot of interaction and chatting in the lunch queues.

It's very inspiring to me that 'Transition' includes TTT's local Tooting focus and the wide international network. 

In the last month we've been lucky to welcome visitors from 2 overseas Transition initiatives - Catherine and Leonard from Transition Albany in the Bay Area of California...




...and Caroline from Transition XL in Ixelles, Brussels. 
We've learned a lot from them all, and also shared the joys of Tooting. 

At the conference we're looking forward to sharing ideas that encourage us and make our community projects more effective. 

We'll let you know all about it. -Charles

Monday, 14 September 2015

Foodival 2015 Rocks!

Thank you to every veg and fruit donor, every restaurant cook, every great musician, every ugly vegetable, every volunteer, stall holder, artist, sponsor and Top Tooting Cook who made Foodival 2015 a fantastic celebration of home grown food cooked by local cooks. So many great connections made in a melting pot of south London's food community. A mountain of photos and video will be sifted and we will report back on who won what. 

But it's back to the real world of (non-Foodival, non-Transition) work for most of us this morning, unfortunately, so bear with us! Keep an eye out of the Foodival blog for more in the next few days ...

If you missed the action over the weekend, you can see what you missed in the PROGRAMME HERE

Roll on Foodival 2016 (10th/11th September 2016)

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Fantastic Day One At Foodival

It was a great Day One at Tooting Foodival with more local fruit and veg donated than ever before.  Thank you so much to all those who gave some of their hard grown produce.
Tomorrow's celebration of home grown home cooked food should be epic.  The action starts at 12.00 with plenty of food related stalls, music and some theatre involving a giant pea.  See you there!

Foodival Starts Today

Tooting Foodival 2015 starts today with the collection of home grown fruit and vegetables at Mushkil Aasaan at 222 Upper Tooting Rd, next to Nandos!  If you can contribute even the tiniest carrot to the Foodival cause, we would love to see you!

Have your photo taken in the I Grew This frame or enter your misshapen marrow in the Ugly Veg competition.  Perhaps you could enter the Top Tooting Cook competition?  Volker Nissen from Volker & Quinn will be doing cooking demos and you'll be able to taste what he cooks.

The produce will be gathered and given to local restaurants and cooks for tomorrow's big day out at Samaj Hall where there'll be music, stalls, a Giant Pea, lots of locally cooked, locally grown dishes to try and we'll find out who really is the ugliest veg of all - competition winners win meals for two at local restaurants, so why not join in for a chance to win.

We hope you enjoy the Foodival weekend!
#seedtofeast #uglyveg #Foodival2015