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Southall Transition Annual General Meeting

Tue 09 May 2017
The Southall Transition AGM took place on Thursday 4th May 2017 at St John’s Community Hall, Havelock Road, Southall.

Southall Transition has been in existence for just over three years. Their purpose is “To initiate and implement initiatives which seek to build environmental and economic resilience in Southall, leading to greater self-sufficiency and wellbeing for people and the wider environment, particularly in response to the challenges posed by peak oil, climate chaos, and economic instability.”

They hope to achieve this by:

  • Raising awareness.
  • Articulating a vision.
  • Developing a framework.
  • Engaging and building networks.
  • Initiating and implementing projects.

They have a clear vision of how Southall could be cleaner, greener, more just and fair, and more globally aware – with people taking responsibility for their lives, their gardens, their streets and parks

This year has seen good progress on solid foundations. They have raised awareness, built networks and worked well on particular projects.

Raising awareness in the Southall area of climate change, peak oil and sustainable economics...

In the past year they have had one film show and discussion: ‘Crash Course’ looking at the intersection of economy, energy and environment. They also worked with pupils from Villiers and Featherstone High School, Clifton Primary School and Greenfield Children’s centre as part of the Southall Orchard Project, and growing our work with schools is vital to raising awareness.

The other large event to raise awareness was the ‘Incredible Edible’ evening at the Dominion Centre, where the inspirational Pam Warhurst came down from Todmorden to speak at the Dominion Centre, on local food for local people grown in visible public places. They partnered with Ealing Transition for this and had a good attendance. They hope to build on this in the future with some ‘incredible edible’ plots here in Southall – that will visibly display that we can grow good food in the middle of our urban area.

Engaging and building networks with people and groups already active with these issues …

During the past year they have strengthened their links with Ealing Transition, through partnering on the Incredible Edible event. They have worked closely with Fare Share, Ealing Council, Catalyst Housing, Greenfield Children’s Centre, the Metropolitan Police, Ealing Park Rangers, Hope for Southall Street Homeless, The Hanwell and Norwood Green Orchard Trail Group and the Canal & River Trust. All of these partnerships and networks are important but they also all take a lot of time to build and a particular tribute goes to Mani Dhanda for the huge amount of work he has put into these.

Initiating and implementing projects that involve local people in food-growing, tree-planting, enjoying nature, sustainable transport and energy, addressing waste and recycling.

At last year’s meeting they talked about two new projects we hoped to see:

Bixley Triangle: the small area next to the canal and near the Bixley Field allotments that had been overgrown and frequented by drug users and others. In the past year they worked with others to clear the site, level it, re-seed it and plant trees and fruiting hedges. It has transformed a messy problem area into a real highlight.

FareShare: this is an organisation that takes food donated by supermarkets and distributes it to community groups. They worked with FareShare to find a local hub and to raise funds to kickstart the project. It’s all taken much longer and a lot more work than they hoped, but they hope to have more good news soon.

By far their biggest project has been the Southall Orchard Project. The past year has seen the completion of Phase 1 in Southall Park, and the start of Phase 2 in Southall Recreation Ground. The latter included planting 41 new fruit trees and 50 metres of fruiting shrubs, including apple, damson, hazel, blackthorn, greengage, plum, quince and pear.

The Southall Orchard Project received recognition in receiving the ‘My Playgreen Award’ for “Creating access to trees and green spaces for children in urban environments”. The award from the King Baudouin Foundation and Timberland includes a £5000 grant to help further the project and was collected by Mani Dhanda and Andre Rungen at a ceremony which took place at the Impact Hub in London on Tuesday 14th March 2017.


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