Sustainability Sunday – starting and ending with community

The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) has been visiting the Warehouse Café in Digbeth once a month for this year’s Sustainability Sunday programme. We’ve worked with Birmingham Friends of the Earth and ecobirmingham throughout and had different themes each month, including Active Travel in June, Sharing in July, Food and Growing in September and Regenerative Practices in October. Finally, to tie them all together for November’s event the focus was on Resilient Communities, and discussing what we can all do to make sure we’re future proofed.

The events all ran from midday until 3pm, with activities, talks and games for all the family. Alongside the themed activities each month has a led bike ride through Digbeth and the city centre with ecobirmingham, with bikes and helmets available to borrow. This gave cyclists a chance to explore the city in a completely different way, and we’ve been delighted that so many people have taken the opportunity to join us.

The programme was put together by Laura Hackett, one of the Active Wellbeing Society’s Grow and Connect coordinators, she says: “These events have been a wonderful opportunity to come together and explore how we can all better advocate for the natural world.  We have had some fantastic and inspirational speakers. November’s event was our last for now but there’s exciting discussions about what’s next so watch this space!”

We also launched our bike recycling scheme, the Big Bike Upcycle Revolution at the event, where we take in unused bikes (in a reasonable condition) to recycle, then pass on. The scheme has been funded by Sport England. It wasn’t just collection, some of the recycled bikes were given out at the events too. In addition, for those that had a bike that needed a bit of love, Dr Bike was on site to carry out repairs and maintenance.

Teams from across the organisation were involved. Grow and Connect were there, to talk about the natural world, our Active Streets and Active Communities teams had things to do for all the family, the sharing team came to talk more about their work, and offer repairs, bikes played a big role, and the food team were on hand to make sure everyone had a delicious lunch. Fitting with the sustainable theme all the hot meals provided by our community outreach team were made from surplus food.

These events were collaborations between our teams and each month we had different speakers from relevant organisations. They included Mums for Lungs, The Fruit and Nut Village, Compost Culture, Stirchley Cooperative and the Clean Air Justice Network. We’re so grateful to everyone who spoke or ran a workshop for sharing their time, knowledge, and expertise, and we look forward to working together in the future.  Additionally, we hope everyone who’s come along to a Sustainability Sunday has enjoyed their time, and the friendly atmosphere and hope to see them again at future events.  

Alice Rosenthal
Author: Alice Rosenthal