Working together for an East Kent Transition!

reflection on the East Kent Transition Gathering by guest blogger Melissa Wilson

Last month on Sunday the 30th of September, representatives from various East Kent ‘Transition Town’ projects and other pro-environmental sustainability groups joined together to discuss plans for an East Kent Transition.

The event was the first official gathering and was held in Augustine House Library. Canterbury Christ Church University kindly provided the venue and the attendees contributed various delicious refreshments which everyone enjoyed!

The concept of a ‘Transition Town’ involves being part of an international Transition network made up of local communities, villages, towns and cities who work together to create locally based responses to global challenges. Some of these challenges include the effects of Peak Oil, and Climate Change.

The idea for the East Kent Transition involves groups working together to create a resilient, abundant, and more environmentally friendly lifestyle in East Kent. The idea explores ways in which we can meet our needs locally and become self-reliant. One of the main aims for a Transition in East Kent is to become at least 80% self-reliant as a community for food and other needs.

The gathering involved three parts; an introduction to what the individual organisations were doing in East Kent, a 1 hour interactive workshop from Debbie Warrener (Eco-psychologist) and lastly a 1 hour facilitated dynamic session. There was also an opportunity to browse the stands set up by the individual groups.

The introduction was a great chance for each group to talk briefly about their projects and goals. The various speakers included representatives from ‘Transition Towns’ in Whitstable, Canterbury, St Margaret’s Village, Deal (Deal With It), Hythe, Folkestone, Faversham and Rye. There were also representatives from the various pro-environmental sustainability groups in Kent.

The 1 hour interactive workshop from Debbie Warrener, Eco-psychologist, explored the concept of ‘Inner’ Transition. This is the belief that the most important Transition comes from within and therefore the ‘Outer’ changes (e.g. creating food gardens and sustainability projects) are not the only important factors.

Lastly the facilitated dynamic session provided an important opportunity to decide and prioritise the main aims of how to achieve a Transition in East Kent. Several of the main priorities decided on for focus were – Sharing Volunteers & Activities – Energy Descent Plan – Finance, and – Sharing Resources.

Overall the event was a great opportunity for people to make new connections, share ideas, and work together towards a common goal. At the end of the evening all the organisations agreed they would definitely meet again and the next event has been planned for February!

For details of the concept of a Transition Town please see http://transitiontowns.org or for details of the next event in East Kent please check back here to the Grapevine+

CCCU’s Student Union Ethical and Environmental Officer Abby James with  Kent University Environment Officer Thomas Currie

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