Transition Hull – What did we do in 2012?

Transition Hull – What did we do in 2012?

We maintained the full range of activities which we have developed over previous years and were successful in obtaining three grants this year to support this activity.  These were £250 from the Hessle Rd Pram Race Trust, £350 from Playscape in the Community , and £500 from the Community Futures Programme.  Our most expensive item of expenditure was Public Liability Insurance, which covers us to run stalls at events and deliver sessions at the Constable School Field Community Garden.

We organised and ran around 30 sessions at Constable School Field during the year,  continuing to work with children to develop the vegetable garden for the second year, and starting a new area for wild flowers.  We harvested some potatoes, tomatoes and sundry other veg, but our output was limited by the weather, and by the theft of some plants, particularly strawberry plants.  Despite the weather and a mowing disaster, we saw the first wild flowers make an appearance.  We also ran a very successful Fun Day for families in August, with lots of activities for children and refreshments for all. In October we took a small group  of children from the field to see the Rainbow Garden, which is probably Hull’s most well-established and inspirational community garden.

We showed a lot of films this year, and attracted a decent-sized audience to most of them. We started using the Lonsdale Community Centre for film showings, and this seemed to work well, and we had some good discussions. The following films were shown in 2012, most of which can be borrowed on DVD from the Transition Library, which also contains a growing collection of books on environmental themes.

Full length feature films:
Short films:
The Economics of Happiness
I wish I went to Ecuador
Growing Green
The Man who Planted Trees
In Transition 2.0
A Farm for the Future
The Power of Community

 Our regular meetings became monthly and moved to the Boulevard Village Hall after the closure of the Eagle. One meeting focused on mapping Local Food Webs, another on Green Energy suppliers and the Energy Saving Trust. Our AGM was held in March. We hosted a meeting at which students at the College for International Co-operation and Development, based at Winestead,  gave presentations on their projects abroad. These were located  in Zambia and Mozambique and included initiatives on solar power, biogas, farming, water pumps and education. Other Transition events included a Scrappy Do workshop for children during February half term and a Barn Dance with supper, held in November.

Transition Hull ran a number of stalls – at the Prospect Centre in January, the Vista Festival in June, the Hessle Rd Carnival and the Neighbourhood Network AGM, both  in September, and the Green Fair in November. These provided good opportunities to talk to people about the environment and transition, and sign up folk to the mailing list.

Various members attended conferences and training courses during the year.  The Trafford Hall community courses continued to be useful, and members attended ‘Fundraising for Environmental Projects’ , ‘Community Garden Network’ and ‘Food Co-operatives’. We also sponsored a member to attend a local bee keeping course. Our co-ordinator attended the ‘Local Towns, Local Food’ conference in Leeds, organised by CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) and Sustrans, and then used the ideas and material from that for our meeting on mapping local Food Webs.

We attended a number of local meetings and workshops for environmental and VCS (voluntary and community sector) groups.  The most significant were those we attended in connection with Green City Hull, where we participated in the VCS workshop in February  and in the subsequent Green Vision Summit in March. We were involved in the FCFCG (Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens) networking event in April, held at Densholme Farm, bringing together various groups from Hull and East Riding. We attended an Open Space meeting for West Hull Community Allotments and Gardens in September, held at Lonsdale Community Centre. In November we were participants at a networking event for the VCS where members of  North Bank Forum and HCC Partnerships Team outlined how support for the sector would continue into the future, and we made some useful contacts. As a result we will be working with the WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) to deliver an Introduction to Permaculture Course in 2013.

Transition Hull continued to maintain links and cross-membership with other organisations and projects working in the areas of environment and sustainability. We have worked with Hull Friends of the Earth, who have supported our events and run joint stalls with us on occasion. We support the activities at Pickering Road Community Orchard, including Wassail and May Day celebrations, as well as apple picking! There is a regular Transition Hull volunteer at the Thornton St food co-op ‘Fruit, Veg and more’ , who was sponsored by the co-op to attend the Food Co-op course at Trafford Hall. Links with Beverley Transition are mainly through the ‘Beverley Green Drinks’ get-together on the 13th of each month, at the Green Dragon. Links with Home Grown Hornsea continue through Paul Hanson, who is now working with Arthurs Organics on their veg box delivery service, which we promote at events we attend.  We support the Hull and EY Timebank schemes being set up, which are very much in keeping with the transition approach.

New this year is our Facebook site – thanks to Dave Coates for dragging us into the 21st century! We have seen an upturn in active membership during the year and we are going into the new year with a very positive feeling. We have plans to facilitate the setting up of a ‘Friends of Constable School Field’ to take forward the development of the field so that decisions about its use will be made by the local community and not the Hull-wide Transition group.

In terms of links with the wider Transition Community, it was unfortunate that no-one from the group was able to attend the Transition Network Conference in September 2012. We did however show the latest Transition Network film, In Transition 2.0, which gave a broad and up-to-date overview of the movement world-wide. The monthly Transition Network Newsletter has been circulated regularly to our local mailing list, and a link provided via our website

JP, Jan 2013

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