25.03.24 Community


The Community Climate Action Project’s learning and mentoring programme has now been in full swing for nearly a year, and as the participating community groups gear up to launch their community climate action plans next month, we wanted to share some of the amazing work they’ve been up to.

Since April 2023, representatives from Southmead Development Trust, BRICKS, Vassall Centre, Hillfields Community Garden, Windmill Hill City Farm and Knowle West Media Centre have been attending monthly workshops on a variety of themes, from nature, food, waste &resources, jobs & skills, transport, energy and housing & buildings, to upskill themselves and their communities on how to tackle the climate and nature issues that most affect their communities. Alongside, they have been running their own workshops and engagement activities to better understand their communities’ priorities and to co-develop a community climate action plan*.

In Southmead, Ella from Southmead Development Trust has been running craft workshops, joining community meetings and hosting pop-ups to gather ideas for climate action. Her highlights include meeting new people in the community, running craft sessions and hearing young people’s ideas at the primary school workshops she and Andrew delivered.

“After an assembly where I introduced the project, the children at both schools discussed in small groups about what we want our ‘Future Southmead’ to be like on the themes of food, transport, energy, waste, and the natural world. They were bubbling with brilliant ideas, and I was so impressed with the understanding and care for Southmead that even some of the youngest children had.”

Andrew, volunteer, Southmead Development Trust

In Brislington, Georgia who works for BRICKS at St Annes House has held community conversations exploring what a climate and nature plan for Brislington could be and what it would need to contain. They compiled all the priorities and questions that had come out of previous workshops, conversations, surveys and pop-ups at things like Brislington market. The group discussed what had come up so far, explored what was missing and what questions we needed to ask. They also held Brislington Utopia 2040: A Climate and Nature Action workshop in January, in collaboration with Dr Emma Geen.

Hillfields Community Garden has grown over the course of the programme, starting out as a fully volunteer-led organisation, and later becoming a Charity with some paid staff. Sarah, Nicki and the rest of the team have been doing lots of engagement events and activities within their community in Hillfields as well as a survey, and most recently had two community climate action meetings to share food, and find out what is important to their community which was led by trained residents. The room was buzzing and they captured some great ideas on how to improve Hillfields.

“Flying the flag for local residents and bringing this project to Hillfields has been incredible. We are hopeful that this consultation will bring about real change in our community. Being part of a bigger city wide initiative is really important and adds validation to what we are trying to achieve.”

Sarah, Director, Hillfields Community Garden

Ruth, the community champion and local resident working with Windmill Hill City Farm, has been doing lots of work on their Love East project, talking to people about their priorities for East Street and Bedminster. They initially did a ‘call to action’ leafleting campaign, inviting residents to join other like minded people to talk about climate change concerns at a hyper-local level. An online survey followed, along with the establishment of the Love East group, people with a passion for East Street who want to focus on climate change. They have been holding engagement events, culminating in one this weekend to finalise priorities for their plan.

Annali at Knowle West Media Centre has been using creative approaches, technology and the arts to explore new solutions to problems and ways of doing things. They have been collaborating with Knowle West Alliance to create a climate action plan with the people of Knowle West, and running creative workshops to start conversations on climate action, including using collage and games to access the knowledge and wisdoms that people already have on these issues and to understand their priorities.
In February, the 5 community groups that are working on their plans came together to meet with city experts across the key themes for a peer-review roundtable session, where they gathered advice and input on their communities priorities. They left with an understanding of what was realistic, who the key players are in making things happen and with offers of support moving forward. It was a fantastic event with lots of energy and generosity from city experts as well as a huge amount of work for the community groups involved.

The majority of communities participating in the learning and mentoring programme are now working hard on finalising their community climate action plans, which will be launched on 25 April 2024. Book a free place for the launch event.

The application window to be part of the next cohort of the learning and mentoring programme is open until 10am on 27 March, with the first workshop starting on 1 May. If you are interested in being involved, please check out the information pack and submit your application. We are particularly keen to receive applications from demographic communities experiencing social and economic disadvantage who may face barriers to leading climate action locally.

*(with the exception of the Vassall Centre who have deferred this element to later in 2024).


Find out more about the Community Climate Action Project

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Community groups

Hillfields, BRICKS, Windmill Hill City Farm