Another busy two years! 2010-2011

In 2010 we were pretty busy!

As well as a lot of time spent putting together and submitting bids for funding towards the energy measures at the Village Hall and then undertaking those measures, here’s what happened:

May 2010

We had a First Anniversary (Fairtrade) Tea Dance to celebrate and promote the achievements of the project. This was well attended with over 200 people involved.

July 2010 Our Community Bench Building project began.

On Saturday 17 July a group of village residents joined forces with the Countryside Unit at the County Council, to provide a number of simple rustic-style benches along the Greenway. These aim to serve as ‘rest stops’ for walkers and cyclists and link in with the Health Walks we have set up. This was the first of around 6 community bench buildings sessions we arranged, and we linked in with the Derrington Millennium Green Trust to put some new benches on the Millennium Green and Millennium Wood as well. The local pub supported us by providing platters of sandwiches and chips for the workers!

September 2010 we held the second Derrington Local Food Festival.

This time the event was even bigger! Talks from experts took place in the gazebo – and to respond to the growing interest in Domestic Poultry Keeping we invited a poultry expert to talk about poultry keeping, plus a village resident whose business includes building bespoke hen coups and sheds. This year around 300 people attended.

In October 2010 we undertook another community consultation survey to ask people for their views on a number of possible projects. Within ten days we had received 85 responses.

One question was ‘Do you think that installing computer facilities at the Village Hall is a good idea?’ 84 out of the 85 respondents said ‘yes’ and lots of people said they would be interested in training opportunities e.g. sessions on ‘How to email’ or ‘How to use the Internet’. There were many suggestions about other courses or help sessions that people thought would be useful, ranging from help with digital photos, to how to shop online. With the help of our resident volunteer IT expert, Charlotte, this project is now being put into action.

In October we began another series of films in the Village Hall focusing on climate change and sustainability. These were, Thursday, 7 October 2010: Beyond the Pole about the attempts of two best friends to organise the first carbon-neutral, organic, vegetarian expedition to the north pole.

Thursday, 4th November 2010: The Power of Communityabout ‘How Cuba Survived Peak Oil’. This documentary charts the transformation of the Cuban economy after the country’s oil and gas imports were halved following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It shows how food production switched from large farms and plantations to small organic farms and urban gardens.

Thursday, 2nd December 2010: Wall-E aimed at adults and children and challenging society about issues such as consumption, wastefulness.

2011 was busier than ever!!!

January 2011 We bought two laptops and installed wireless connection at the Village Hall.

Being able to use computers can open up a whole new world to people – direct communication with loved ones on the other side of the world; a wealth of information at your fingertips; help with CV’s, finding a job etc. Since January 2011 weekly ‘drop in’ sessions have taken place each Wednesday at the Village Hall. Also a drop in session takes place on the last Friday morning of each month. These have been possible with the fabulous support of Charlotte Udall and Peter Bray, who have helped people with a wide variety of topics including email, excel, job hunting, CV writing. Our IT experts have also helped Rose, who runs the Art Classes, who now uses the wifi network during her art classes … and many social club users are bringing along their own laptops to use while enjoying a pint!

January 2011 we set up shoe and cartridge recycling at the Village Hall. We have been helping the local pub and the Council work together and hope to have a new Recycling Node installed at the pub very soon.

We planned and held our Village Hall Energy Measures launch event/celebration event on February 16th 2011, with around 100 people attending including our funders.