New Year Get Together 2019

We continued with our tradition of bringing together friends and families linked to Southend in Transition through their direct work with us or via aligned projects.

We met at Trust Links site in Westcliff and enjoyed the warmth of the straw bale building while setting up the tables to look festive. Over biscuits we got to do create some lovely vision boards with wishes, hopes and goals for 2019 expressed through pictures, drawings and words. It is a great way to reflect on what matters to us and start the process of change. Tea and conversations stimulated by the cut outs kept flowing and chocolate biscuits were abundant.

We then had speed talks where anyone who wanted to talk about a project or personal change for 2019 has 2 min to present to others who then in turn can provide advice and support.

I kicked off talking with gratitude about all the volunteers and groups which contributed to the plot in 2018. We thanked those who enable us to be involved in this work while they look after the families or households. I spoke about not believing the illusion presented by the media and politicians and that there is more that unites us then divides us but that the distractions presented are in direct contradiction of the day to day of community groups which come together to make a difference to where they live and beyond. We will continue developing the plot in 2019 to make it a welcoming and beneficial place to our communities.

Duncan spoke about the relaunch of the Repair Cafe. Questions afterwards were about fixing sawing machines and these skills will be available. Anyone interested to contribute to the Repair Cafe contact duncan2seath@gmail.com

Ron told us about the orchards work happening in East of England. The February pruning workshop was over subscribed 2-3 times the capacity showing how much interest there is. Dates for plums summer pruning will be available in the future.

Ane spoke about thinking where your energy comes from and that many companies provide a reasonable price while sourcing green energy. Steve added that some companies directly invest the money in new green infrastructure. His advice was to see the Ethical Consumer score and a price comparison sites result and go with what you can afford. I added that this year 50% of the 10 lowest tariffs offered green energy. Matt signed up with Bulb so if you are interested to try them out he can refer you and that gives both parties money off.

Donna spoke about her work with dance therapy and the qualification she is gaining through Tamalpa. She talked about her inspirational teacher in her 90’s who is well and supple and what can be achieved through this type of therapy. She continues working with Emerge and putting on shows. Contact her at emergeartsdonna@gmail.com, 07839889187

Matt talked about the work done by Trust Links in developing sites in Canvey and Basildon. They hope to open up a cafe along the lines of Real Junk Food cafe but one which is pay what you can to make it affordable to everyone. On a different note St Alban’s will be looking at re-developing  their facilities to make them available to the community. Milton Community Partnership keeps running a number of community projects from St Mark’s Church Hall. He also talked about the breastfeeding support groups run by Eleanor and Alicja with one group hosted in the hall. To find out more or to volunteer contact chiefexec@trustlinks.org

Steve told us about the therapeutic gardens developed in Rochford Hospital and the work to be undertaking on developing new gardens on the grounds open to the public as well. He is also encouraging people to attend the demos organised by the Extinction Rebellion. Anyone interested to find out more or to become a trustee please contact him on steveburrow65@gmail.com

Tilly spoke about Southend Soup and events coming up in a few months time.

After that we had a music session led by Susan, the drums and Nella’s instrument basket came out and everyone contributed to some rhymes when food was ready.

We had lots of food to share with people bringing nibbles, main courses, desserts and drinks. Plenty to chose from vegan buckwheat and mushroom bakes, through to roasted and steamed veg through to jam tarts and homemade chocolates. There where plenty of seconds and I think everyone left pretty full and satisfied and we had enough cake to give out packs on the door.

Great start to this year ahead which will continue to test us and also offer opportunities to grow personally, as a community and as inhabitants of one and only planet within the generous boundaries of nature.

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