December 9th 2021
Reflecting on 2021 and looking ahead
As another year draws to a close its amazing to look back on what we have acheived this year through Transition Rugby, and think about what we can look forward to in 2022. Some of the highlights in roughly chronological order include:
Climate Cafe in March (and Picnic in the park in May) to relaunch following lockdowns
Created our constitution and outlined our vision, allied with TALAM (Repair Cafe) in order to handle grants. April held our first AGM and appointed a chair (Carrie), treasurer (Becca) and secretary (Alex).
New website up and running
Green Drinks - monthly social event now a regular feature in the Seven Stars
Key note presentation at Rugby Council's Climate Summit and successfully pushed for them to create a Citizen's Panel on Climate Change
August saw the relaunch of Sustainable Saturdays which has been growing bigger and better
Successfully applied for £10k grant from Green Shoots to improve the Pleasance Herb garden with raised beds and a community notice board - work to commence 2022
Started an Instagram and Twitter @transitiontownrugby
Planted 100+ trees at Viaduct Mound on Abbey St to improve air quality and biodiversity on an area of waste ground.
Stakeholder in the new Town Centre Strategy, pushing for environmental considerations to be top of the agenda
Lent our support and worked with a number of organisations including Rugby Borough Council, Repair Cafe, Rugby Timebank, Warwickshire Climate Alliance, Rugby Artists & Makers, Rugby Litter Busters, Reaching Out from Rugby, Rugby Living Streets, Garden Organic and probably several more!
What we can look forward to in 2022
Looking at organising a big event with a number of partners in March or April. Agenda TBC but watch this space!
Commence work on the Herb Garden
Continuing to hold RBC to account on their commintments to addressing the climate emergency
Involved in Hillmorton Fun day 4th June
Loads more stuff that we haven't even thought of yet!
December 8th 2021
Transition Rugby making positive contributions in Future Town Centre Strategy workshop
Members from Transition Town Rugby were helping to put environmental considerations to the top of the priority list as Rugby Borough Council began its stakeholder workshops with an online event today. Besides RBC and the members of the project team, other stakeholders included the likes of local business owners, Rugby Central, Rugby police and other community groups.
Following on from our recent survey where we asked members to view the proposals put forward by the council for the redevelopement of the town centre, the overwhelming view was that the priority should be to focus on a '21st Century Transport System'.
From this perspective, it was an extremely encouraging start to the process, as themes of prioritising people over traffic were discussed very positively, with fairly unanimous support. TTR's proposal that prioritising a green transport system, allowing safe and quick access to the town inevitably leading to increased business and income, was well-recieved.
While this was a good opportunity for us to ensure sustainable and environmental issues are kept high on the agenda, we must keep in mind that "talk is cheap, actions speak", therefore its vital that we continue to hold RBC to account and make sure they follow through and not just 'greenwash' with nice words!
November 20th 2021
A lovely day of planting trees to improve the scrubby area called Viaduct Mound, at the north end of the Great Central Walk. Fantastic job by Cllr. Neil Sandison who got hold of a couple of hundred saplings just before Covid hit nearly two years ago, and has been keeping them in a paddling pool in his garden since then!
With Transition Rugby's help we attracted about 15 volunteers and planted nearly all of the trees, which will form a wildlife habitat over the next few years, absorbing carbon, improving air quality as well as acting as a barrier to the railway line for the residents of Abbey St and South St.
Nice to hear from a few residents who stopped by to see what we were doing, and expressed their appreciation!
You can read more about this project here.
November 16th 2021
Huge thanks to all stallholders, crafters, musicians and members of the public who turned up to make November's Sustainable Saturday the biggest yet! Great to hear some of the conversations going on and to see people in Rugby connecting on sustainability issues. Welcome to all new members who signed up that day too! A few photos from the day are on the Instagram post below.
October 7th 2021
At our most recent steering group meeting, Becca reported her Facebook litter picking group is really... "picking" up. Sorry for the bad pun. Great news though, and with 233 members at the time of writing this, it's inspiring to see all the amazing effort put in by people across the borough. This stuff is of course nothing new and happening all the time, however it is really good to have a single group where we can shout about our achievements, as this encourages more people to have a go. Please join it and maybe you'll feel inspired too!
October 2nd 2021
Another fantastic Sustainable Saturday in Rugby Town Centre, great to see more sellers and stallholders coming to join us and a good number of people coming to have a look round despite the awful weather! Next month we have to move to the 2nd Saturday which will be 13th November, and after that it will be a Christmas market.
23rd September 2021
On Saturday we were pleased to take part in Rugby Borough Council's first Climate Summit. We thank everybody who contributed by adding their view, and hope that we were able to represent our member's views, which are diverse, but all focussed on the common goal of working towards making Rugby a better place to live as we move into an uncertain future.
One of the most pleasing developments to come out of this event was Council Leader Cllr. Sebastian Lowe's commitment to establishing a 'Citizen's Panel' on Climate, and we look forward to hearing more details from them on how this could look. Sadly the councillor was less keen on our suggestion of creating a position for a Climate/Environment Officer on the council, however overall we see this as a sign of positive progress, and we hope we can now keep pushing for more. If you are keen to get involved in this, please do get in touch!
Our full presentation can be seen here. We also heard from some other excellent speakers:
HERU, who are developing an innovative household appliance to convert organic waste into a biofuel that can then provide heating
Sustrans, who continue their great work at a national and local level developing and promoting sustainable transport
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, who provided some great in-depth analysis of wildlife and biodiversity within the Rugby area, and shared the work they are doing to hopefully reverse the decline.
RBC have now publised a full recording of the online event which you can see below:
6th September 2021
Transition Rugby Presenting at the Council's Climate Summit, Sept 18th
After declaring a Climate Emergency in 2019, Rugby Borough Council have started to make tentative steps in the right direction, and we're pleased to see the announcement of their Climate Summit on September 18th at 10am (online), which will be open to the general public. You can register here for this free online event
It's a recognition of the effort which Transition Town Rugby has been making to raise awareness and bring Rugby people together on the issue of climate change, that we have been asked to present at the summit, representing 'The View from the Voluntary and Community Sector'.
However, we are also informed that, despite this being termed a Climate 'Summit', its unlikely that we will see many councillors in attendance. This is simply not good enough!
As all our members will undoubtedly agree, a strong Climate Change Strategy must now be a top priority for all local governments, and many would reasonably argue that RBC are already well behind the curve, which is why we have to make the most of this opportunity. Transition Rugby is in a strong position to act as a portal between the council and the people of Rugby, allowing all of us to have a stronger voice, while letting the council have a single point of contact, rather than a multitude.
There are two actions which you can take today to make a difference:
We are now working on representing 'The View from the Voluntary and Community Sector' on September 18th, and we're still actively trying to collect views from as many people as possible in order to best achieve this. There is still time to contribute to this by filling in our short survey.
Email your local councillor and tell them they need to be there on Saturday 18th! Link to write to your local councillor
10th August 2021
Green Shoots Funding Awarded to Transition Rugby!
We're very pleased to confirm that we will recieve funding to improve the Pleasance Herb Garden from Warwickshire County Council's Green Shoots Fund.
More details to follow, but we would like to thank every member and volunteer who has worked towards this since work started around 2 years ago. You can read more about the Pleasance here.
A Successful Re-Launch of Sustainable Saturdays
Saturday August 7th saw Sustainable Saturdays return to St Andrew's Church in Rugby town centre. The decision to restart as quickly as possible paid off, as even though some of our regular stallholders weren't able to attend at short notice, we had plenty of visitors, and hopefully now set to keep growing as word spreads.
This event acts as a fantastic hub for everyone in Rugby who wants to do something about the ongoing effects of Climate Change. It was great to see a lot of familiar faces, but of course we want to see plenty of new people too. Please help by sharing with friends and family!
Want to get involved? Find out more here.
26th July 2021
Steering Group 29th July
All members are invited to join the Steering Group monthly meeting - we're always looking for extra help and ideas. See the Events page for time and location
Sustainable Saturday Re-Launch 7th August!
Following discussions with St Andrew's Church in the town centre, we are very hopeful that we can restart this popular monthly event and are planning on the first one being the 7th August from 10am to 2pm.
We are now actively seeking volunteers, mainly for setting up in the morning (9-10am) and packing down in the afternoon (2-3pm).
Stalls are still TBC and we welcome anyone who would like to have a presence there. This could be in several ways:
selling goods as part of a sustainability/eco friendly focused local business
promoting a local cause
demonstrating a craft
running a workshop
You can register your interest by heading to the Sustainable Saturday page
22nd July 2021
Green Drinks in the Seven Stars
Yesterday was the inaugural Green Drinks social, which took place in the Seven Stars, a lovely pub and the landlord was very helpful and supportive.
Despite being a quiet affair there was still healthy amounts of conversation - favourite idea of the evening, can you imagine completely turfing over your entire street and turning it into a green space for growing, playing and socialising? What a wonderful vision...
Next event 18th August and currently planned for every third Wednesday of the month
11th June 2021
Picnic in the Park
We had a great turnout for our first proper face to face reunion, it was wonderful to see familiar faces and meet new members, and we had plenty to chat about.
One idea mooted was the possibility of using our space at the Pleasance Herb Garden to install a 'green' notice board, which could be used by other green and community groups in town.
A Call for Help from Rugby Unwrapped
Although our lives are returning to normal, unfortunately this hasn't been the case at Rugby Unwrapped, who are Rugby's amazing zero-waste shop. Business hasn't picked back up for them , and they face having to make a difficult decision later this year. At TTR we feel it would be a great shame to lose this kind of eco-friendly service in our town, so we're passing on the message from Sharon and Claire to help them out by coming back! For those who are unsure, just head down there with a few empty containers, and they can fill them up for you! https://www.rugbyunwrapped.co.uk/
For joining details go to Events page.
Energy and Transport Group: Wednesday 16th June 8pm. I've decided to try to merge these two groups!
Food and Growing group: Tuesday 22nd June 8pm. Becca will host the next group meeting online.
Steering Group: Thursday 24th June 7.30pm. This event will take place at Carrie's house. Google Calendar link for directions and meeting documents. All members welcome to attend
I've also been asked by Amber Merrick-Potter to share this rare and one-off opportunity with you, taking place Sunday 20th June - Satish Kumar, world renowned activist and peace campaigner, will be talking at Cotesbach Educational Trust. Tickets on sale here https://fb.me/e/U0u4j6ls
8th May 2021
A great amount of activity this week, with two more group kickoff meetings and some exciting announcements.
The Renewable Energy Group met for the first time on Monday evening with some really interesting discussion; a Facebook group has been set up as a forum to discuss, and the next meeting was agreed to be 7th June. It was good to hear from Jacky from Low Carbon Network Warwickshire, who is working on ways to help local councils develop their Climate Action Plans; something Rugby could really use. Alex shared his voluntary work for Big Solar, and Dave Hobbs shared his new renewable energy business.
On Friday we also kicked off the Community and Events Group, and came up with a few bright ideas, most excitingly the plan to hold our first proper face to face meetup later this month; see the Community Page for further details on this. We also welcome Laura who has agreed to help out with our social media!
1st May 2021
Our very first AGM took place on 29th April online. The Steering Group Report is reproduced below, as well as full minutes. The Steering Group for 2021/22 was voted in as follows:
Chair - Carrie Pailthorpe
Vice-Chair - Becca Stevenson
Treasurer - Becca Stevenson
Secretary - Alex Becker
Steering Group Advisors - Jerry Roodhouse, Maria Kang
21st April 2021
We kicked off our first interest group meeting tonight with the Food and Growing group. We heard from growing groups from Eastlands and Dunchurch, Carrie from Home on the Hill and Becca from 5 Acre Farm. There are many dedicated food growers across Rugby already and the hope is to build a good network and carry on promoting the good work already happening, while thinking of new ways to make Rugby more self-reliant when it comes to locally grown food.
A new Facebook group was created to keep the conversation going: Rugby Community Food
29th March 2021
Some big changes to the way we operate! Over the last few months our core group of members has been working on a formal constitution and group structure. This is a step towards becoming a recognised group, but for now the main advantage is that it will enable us to apply for funding. Here's a few of the things we're introducing:
Our new structure aims to break our activities down into more specialised groups. This will allow members to get more involved in the things that really interest them. By completing the membership form you can tell us which areas you're most interested in, and this will allow us to put similar people in touch, to form groups and make better connections.
We also want to apply for funding, for example the Green Shoots Fund. Applications for this need to be completed by 17th May, so if you have an idea for a project or other work that might require a grant, there's still time to get in there if you let us know soon.
Steering Group and AGM
Currently TTR activities are coordinated by a small informal core group. Under our new structure, we will hold our first AGM on Thursday 29th April where members can vote and stand for the positions of Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. More details TBC.