Since 2015 I have worked with Transition Bro Gwaun (TBG), an environmental volunteer-led organisation based in Fishguard & Goodwick, working to empower the community to take actions to reduce their impact on the planet. I’ve managed a diverse range of projects including Transition Cafe, which used surplus food, set up a community fridge and led a Pembrokeshire-wide food waste reduction initiative called Make a Meal of It. This involved organising activities with/for other groups, piloting an educational resource and co-ordinating large events, attracting visitors with hands-on activities, talks and workshops. I also have experience co-ordinating community energy projects for TBG and Community Energy in Pembrokeshire.
I am an experienced teacher and can support groups engaging children, young people and adults to find out more about sustainable living, particularly related to food and energy. This may be through formal education or tailored to the needs to the group.
At TBG we work with our community to embed a sense of ‘can-do’ and encourage everyone to give new ideas a go. We have found the support offered by Renew mentors really valuable because they understand how community groups like ours work, the restrictions, and opportunities available to us.
Why are you drawn to this area of work?
My activism and work experience centre around education, food and renewable energy – making them accessible for all, without costing the earth. As a teacher in schools and other settings, with children, young people and adults, I enjoy meeting people and sharing learning. As Project Manager for Transition Bro Gwaun I have worked alongside a dedicated team of volunteers who have achieved some incredible firsts for Wales; a surplus food cafe; community fridge; and, community funded wind turbine! Working with passionate people who know their community and what matters to them is inspiring.
Setting up a successful community action or project does take planning, and what works in one place may need adapting for other areas. For example with Fishguard & Goodwick Community Fridge we have always encouraged anyone and everyone to make use of the food – reducing food waste is everyone’s responsibility. To ensure the legacy of the project we welcome financial donations as we do not have funding to cover ongoing costs, as well as in-kind support from volunteers who receive peer training and on-going support. After some concerns from local residents we held an open day and now many people in the area use the community fridge and take an interest in it operating smoothly.
What is your vision of your region in 2050?
Everyone will have somewhere comfortable to live, with secure access to nutritious and tasty food, renewable energy and an empowering and interesting education. We will be listening to young people much more, recognising they are the future we will ensure they are able to participate in decision making and have the skills to do so. Communities will be more connected with spaces for people to come together to meet, socialise and learn from each other, no-one will be lonely.