January 2017 in Transition

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Hello Transition-folk,

Happy New Year! We hope 2017 is full of fun and adventures as we continue our transition journey!

This month Repair Cafe returns after it’s December break at the familiar rLab (Reading Hackspace) venue, and also includes a workshop from Tony Cowling on ways to save energy in the home and reduce your bills. We also have our usual monthly meeting, a call out for homes to draught proof and a chance to get involved with a new project.

Around Reading there’s some good news from the Reading Community Energy Society, a talk on water supply and a Permaculture Design Course at RISC.

Here’s a summary of what’s on:

In Transition:
Repair Cafe and energy saving workshop – Sunday 15 January
TTR Meeting – Tuesday 17 January
Draughtbusters – we can fix your draughts and help reduce your energy bills
*New opportunity to get involved* – Reading Local Economy schemes

Around Reading:
Community buildings across Reading benefit from solar panel installations.
Reading’s water supply in a changing world – Thursday 19 January
Permaculture Design Course – Saturday/Sunday 21/22 January

Repair Cafe and energy saving workshop at rLab (Unit C1, Weldale Street, RG1 7BX) : Sunday 15 January, 12-4.30pm

Repair Cafe is back at rLab (Unit C1 Weldale Street, RG1 7BX), and there’ll be a FREE workshop on saving energy and reducing household bills at 3pm. At the workshop you will be able to get advice on energy efficiency, with practical hints and tips on draught proofing and insulating your home. No need to book, just turn up on the day.

You can also bring along your broken items to be re-cycled, refreshed and refurbished! Throw it away? NO WAY! Bring it to Repair Cafe! Also if you have your own creative project (e.g. sewing, knitting, Raspberry Pi) you’re welcome to bring them along to work on!

Repairs include:

Electronics
IT
Mechanical items
Toys
Sewing, clothing and fabrics
Tool sharpening
In fact, if it’s broken, bring it along and our team of ready repairers will give it a go!

Home made cake, tea and coffee all in plentiful supply.

Everything is free but donations are very welcome to help keep repair cafe (and homemade cake!) going.

If you’d like more information contact us at repaircafe@transitionreading.org.uk and see our website for details of future events www.readingrepaircafe.org.uk

Transition Town Reading Meeting: Tuesday 17 January, 7:30pm at Great Expectations Pub.

Come along and discuss all things Transition Town Reading over a pint of beer or cup of tea at the Great Expectation pub (33 London St, Reading RG1 4PS). We can usually be found in the library room or the Christmas room on the left or right hand side as you enter the pub.

This meeting we’ll be particularly discussing planning for 2017 and the local economy project (see below).

Draughtbusters – we can fix your draughts and help reduce your energy bills!

DraughtBusters has helped over 200 households in Reading to save energy through draught proofing and by giving advice on how to manage heating systems. The vast majority of this work has been carried out in the homes of the increasing number of people living in fuel poverty in our town.  On average our clients save £120 p/a and all of them are now warmer in their homes. For more details see the DraughtBusters website: http://readinguk.org/draughtbusters/  The service is offered free of charge – donations for materials are welcome.

We are looking for more homes in the Greater Reading area to draught proof – if you or someone you know is interested then get in touch by contacting DraughtBusters directly via their contact form.

DraughtBusters will also be running workshops next year at Reading Repair Cafe on Sunday 15th January and Sunday 19th February. People will be able to get advice on energy efficiency at the event, with practical hints and tips on draughtproofing and insulating their homes (see Repair Cfe event above for more details).

Reading Local Economy schemes as part of Reading Climate Change Strategy

As part of the Reading Climate Change Strategy, Transition Town Reading was earmarked to:

– Conduct research into local outlets that would consider trading in a Reading pound to strengthen the local economy

– Support local economy to explore methods used in UK towns and cities to increase local identity and build number of local businesses

Alex is going to start looking into potential local economy schemes and potential businesses in Reading. We would like to get together a team of interested people to work with on this. If you’d like to be involved then contact Alex at treasurer@transitionreading.org.uk

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Community buildings across Reading benefit from solar panel installations

Over the past three months solar panels have been installed on 10 community buildings including places of worship, community and council buildings and charity headquarters in and around Reading. That’s a total of 176kWp renewable electricity generated from solar panels!

The panels have been funded by the people of Reading and renewable energy supporters nationwide. Over 120 people invested over £230k in the project. This is the first scheme of its kind in Reading.

Reading Community Energy Society was created by local volunteers, known as the Berkshire Energy Pioneers, the local council and Energy4All who have over 12 years experience in the community green energy sector.

The Society has been set up so that after a fair return of 5% has been paid to investors, the profits, estimated to be £260,000 over the 20 year life of the project, will go back to the community as part of a community fund.

Tony Hoskins Chair, of Reading Community Energy Society explains “The main objectives of the project is to help reduce energy bills of the community buildings involved, improve the sustainability of our community, reduce climate change emissions and improve energy security. We are looking forward to working with the building owners and users and local community to ensure the project delivers these benefits”

Reading’s water supply in a changing world, Thursday 19th January, 7.30pm at Room 3, RISC

This is a repeat of the Reading Climate Forum talk from 4th November.

Chris Beales, a local hydrologist, and Michael Bright, a water industry consultant, will talk about how Reading gets its water, water efficiency, and the related challenges we expect to face from our changing climate.

Permaculture Design Course, starting Saturday/Sunday 21/22 January 2017 at RISC

Permaculture Design Course (PDC) to be run at the Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC), over 6 alternate weekends beginning on Saturday/Sunday January 21st/22nd. There are also optional extra field-trips available, visiting projects in mid-Wales.
http://www.permaculturedesigncourse.co.uk/?event=6-part-pdc-risc-reading

Permaculture is a positive, powerful and solutions-based approach to design, offering perhaps our most powerful tool to accelerate our collective evolution to a sustainable existence. Directly modelled on nature, permaculture takes you beyond sustainability to abundance.

Focus is also given to how we can apply permaculture principles to designing within the urban environment that most of us live in, e.g. living in a large town such as Reading.

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