Notes from tonight’s meeting

What a lovely evening for sitting out in the Barn Cafe, chatting and discussing Transition on a summer’s evening. It could almost have been Greece, and I only wish that someone had brought a camera to record it.

Nigel and Kate came along to their first meeting — they had seen our stall at the carnival. And Alex brought along the fabulous Farnham map that he had made.

We discussed four topics tonight:

> possible next outings for the fabulous Farnham map
> financing/funding for that map
> the role of schools in survey feedback loop
> Sustainable Modern Lifestyles

There were also announcements regarding:

> Transition Farnham Leaflets
> fund raising
> ‘Farnham Grows’ festival (25 July)
> Upcoming session at a school in Andover
> Farnham Carnival

Thanks to Finn Jackson for chairing the meeting. Next week’s session will be chaired by Casper Gray and will be held at St Thomas on the Bourne.

Possible Next Outings for the Fabulous Farnham Map

Alex asked for ideas on when the new Farnham map could be used. It was a pity that Paula was not there, as the map was primarily built for use on her Community Orchards project.

Bysh said that there was an ideal opportunity coming up at the Farnham Grows festival, on 25 July at the Maltings. (See below — he also needs volunteers to help man the stall on that day.)

Funding for the Fabulous Farnham Map

Alex said that he had spent in the region of £150 to build the map and would like this to be refunded at some point. (Paul Whewell has apparently already agreed to fund part of this cost.)

Finn said that he thought any project that wanted funding from Transition Town Farnham funds should get agreement for that funding before the event, not afterwards. Not only was this something that had clearly been defined in the group guidelines agreed together in March (see guideline number 1), but in this instance also he recalled explicitly hearing Alex say that he would cover the cost of the map.

It was agreed that this was an important principle which should be discussed and clarified amongst the whole group.

The role of schools in survey feedback loop

Rob said that he had attended a talk recently which talked about the importance of measuring improvements that are made in reducing carbon footprints, and the key role that school children can play in gathering data.

The cycle (if I understood it correctly) is that academics write questionnaires to capture data on carbon footprint reduction. These can then be distributed to school children who gather the data and feed back the results to the academics.

Children, it has been found, can play a key role not only in gathering large amounts of (useful) data, but also in increasing levels of motivation: both for participation in the surveys and in taking action to reduce carbon emissions.

Rob is in discussions with Vincent Gallagher (the key academic) and also with Bentley and Hampshire councils.

Next step is for further data gathering. (See also Alex’s announcement on a school visit in Andover, below.)

Sustainable Modern Person

Casper led another discussion on this key ongoing project.

The group agreed the importance of making the project widely accessible , and also discussed offsetting of greenhouse gases other than Carbon Dioxide.

Methane, for example, is around 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. It might be worthwhile, therefore, to find ways to offset the methane produced by local cows.

Next steps are to produce a list of relevant greenhouse gases plus alternative ways of offsetting them, locally if possible.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Transition Farnham Leaflet

Joyce distributed copies of the two leaflets which had been handed out at the carnival and asked for feedback to be emailed or posted to her by Friday 10 July.

(Tom pointed out that this might include positive feedback as well as negative.)

Next step will be for Joyce to combine the feedback to produce an updated leaflet or leaflets.

Fund Raising

Rob said that he had just raised £300 for Bentley Greening Campaign (from Hampshire and Bentley councils), with a promise of £200 more from the Energy Savings Trust. He also planned to raise more from other sources, which other Transition Farnham-ites might like to use. (One example was BIFFA community projects, which they have to fund in return for their use of the local landfill site.)

ACTION: Rob to let us know the name of the person in Guildford who can give us training in how to raise funding.

ACTION: Alex to talk to his mum about this — she apparently has relevant experience in raising local grants.

‘Farnham Grows’ Festival

Bysh said that he had arranged a stall for the Farnham Garden Share at the Farnham Grows Festival at the Maltings on 25 July. (This would again be close to the FLFI one.) However, since it was his partner’s birthday on that day he needs other people to volunteer to man the stall.

Alex said that he would volunteer to do this.

Upcoming session at a school in Andover

Alex said that next Wednesday(?) he would be running a session at a school in Andover.

He said that a key learning agreed with the teachers was the idea of not preaching to children about climate change but instead getting them to take the lead more in their own learning (and actions they will take to deal with climate change).

Rob’s comment about the importance of children in generating enthusiasm and key measurement data (see above) was also very relevant.

Farnham Carnival

Alex said what a great day it had been for the juicing stall at the carnival. He said that it had really taken off when they had taken the juicer off the tables and into the road and it had become a piece of street theatre.

Joyce said that in her experience of manning three different stalls this year it was important also to have people manning the stall who could chat about Transition Farnham to the people who had been attracted by the apple juicing, street theatre or whatever. Otherwise people would not realise that it was a Transition Farnham stall.

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