This Exeter City Futures’ Connect, Resourceful Exeter, ( 22nd February 2023), showed how resourceful many determined organisations and individuals are in the city.
We’re grateful to our presenters for sharing their organisations and projects. There is so much positive action taking place in Exeter, and it was a pleasure to highlight some of it through this event.
Thank you to Positive Light Projects for the venue and St Sidwell’s Café for the delicious food!
We heard from speakers as follows:
- Philippa Roberts, Binit
- Emma Croft, Exeter Community Fridge
- Andrea Bristow, Merry Go Round Toy Library
- Councillor Tess Read, Green Party St David’s Ward on Ward Grants
- Jen Harris, The Baby Room Exeter CIC
- Exeter Library of Things
- Jane Hawking, Remade ECI
The presentations this week gave us insights into current projects and organisations, as well as tips on how to get involved or share information.
Firstly, Philippa Roberts of Binit, presented information and expanded on existing conceptions of a circular economy. She laid out the issues with waste management in Exeter and how Binit can provide a more valuable solution.
Emma Croft, from Exeter Community Fridge, discussed the need to reduce food waste by redistributing surplus food which is at the heart of the Community Fridge concept. Whilst some think of the Community Fridge as similar to a food bank, there are differences – this is about sharing food with a short life, reducing waste, for free, to anyone.
Andrea Bristow of Merry Go Round Toy Library talked about the benefits of a toy library and recent successes they have seen with their work – including how 94% of customers now buy less toys and moving the library online. The Toy Library can be accessed by families or groups and is open to donations.
Councillor Tess Read, of the Green Party in St David’s Ward, provided a useful reminder and update on Ward Grants which can be accessed by local communities. The funding of these will change after April, so do use and share this information.
Jen Harris, of The Baby Room Exeter CIC, talked about the venue and what you can find there – from cloth nappy kits, baby group Nappucino and hiring equipment such as slings and breast pumps (see: Exeter Sling Library). Jen also discussed her recent talks including giving a talk at a local school in partnership with local CIC NEST.
Representatives of Exeter Library of Things, located above the Sidwell Street Bakehouse, shared information on the organisation which promotes borrowing over buying. The Library currently has tools, gardening equipment and leisure activities items which can be borrowed by joining as a member. They are open on Saturdays, 10am – 2pm.
Finally, Jane Hawking of Remade, explained the ins and outs of this Exeter Community Initiative project (see also Jelly and the Bike Bank). Jane is working within the community to provide sewing and upcycling workshops in Exeter.
Following the presentations the provocation question ‘Can Exeter be a Circular City?’ was asked of the group and this was discussed over food and refreshments. It was great to hear conversations sparking off around the room. We hope they continue!
It’s worth mentioning that during the evening some other organisations were brought up:
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation – originating from the woman who broke the solo round-the-world sailing record, this foundation is one of the main resources for a circular economy and cities.
- Community Builders – Some of you may have heard of this initiative that works with Wellbeing Exeter and ECI to build connected communities in Exeter’s 13 wards.
- Darn Good Studio – A creative mending and clothing repairs studio based in Exeter and Totnes.
- Love Food CIC – delivering cookery classes in Exeter and to raise awareness of the benefits of local produce and cooking.
- A – Z of recycling and waste from the City Council – what can be recycled.
- Denis the Dustcart – Recycling news and information from the City Council.
- Tess Read was discussing local grants which may be of interest to some. https://exeter.gov.uk/people-and-communities/grants/exeter-grants-programme/exeter-ward-grants/
- Exeter Connect for information, support and advice on grants and funding and other matters for the VCSE sector.
- Exeter Sling Library and Consultancy – Carrying kids since 2010!
- Climate Action Hub – A drop-in hub, run by volunteers there is space to advertise your climate-action projects and host events/workshops etc.
- Exeter Repair Café – Fixing electrical items, bikes, garments, toys, garden equipment etc. Next event on 18th March 2023 at the Climate Action Hub.
- OWNI – An AI enabled resale marketplace founded by Kalkidan Legesse (of Sanchos).
The next Connect event is, Spring Sharing of Local Green Initiatives, Wednesday 29 March 2022, 5.30-7.30pm, city centre venue to be confirmed. We have 5-minute slots available for presenters. You can register here or contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org