Its that time of year again when Kindling connects with the struggle for international human rights by supporting Peace Brigades International: Guatemala. Twice a year Kindling makes a small contribution to this amazing organisation by hosting PBI Guatemala's training and selection process.
Kindling is looking for our first hundred supporters to help us turn our vision into a reality with a small monthly donation. Any money raised will help support this establishment stage of Kindling, a period that isn't hugely exciting to grant-funders - but is crucial to getting the project off the ground.
Development of the FeedingManchester website is progressing well with a draft of the initial logo and website design sent out for comment.
Matt has been busy over the last few months building the database and website, whilst designers 'Circle Interactive' are developing a brand which reflects the ethos of FeedingManchester.
The screen-grab opposite is the initial design and we've received many helpful suggestions and comments. Feed back and comments so far include:
Manchester Carbon Coop has a bright year ahead with the end of 2010 seeing the project's momentum grow and a number of opportunities begin to materialise for the coming year.
Community Renewables Finance School.
Before Christmas the Carbon Co-op and Carbon Leapfrog ran a series of masterclass sessions, called the Community Renewables Finance School. These were practical how-to guides for people interested in low carbon projects that will transform their communities and environment.
Kindling has just heard that is was one of only six food projects from across England to secure support and a grant from the Local Food System programme.
The funder: Making Local Food Work were looking for: communities – both rural and urban - to develop resilient, co-operative activities to improve the longevity and reach of local food in their area.
Forgotten Fields has just completed the second of its 2011 food heritage calendars. Five hundred calendars are being distributed to residents of Ashton-under-Lyne, highlighting the amazing heritage of Ashton Moss in feeding the City.
The new calendar is a 'work of art', created with the help of pupils from Aldwyn Primary School, and we've had great feedback from the community about the project itself.
Two such comments (see below) are typical of the value local residents place on the opportunity to explore an area's food heritage:
A partnership of regional fruit & vegetable growers and some of Manchester's greenest retailers have recently secured a £20,000 grant to work more closely together. Kindling has helped secure funds from Making Local Food Work to establish a possible co-operative to co-ordinate what organic crops are grown; share expertise and equipment; increase marketing, co-ordinate distribution and find new outlets for the sustainable fresh produce.
The Kindling Trust , free lance journalist Simon Birch and Lancashire Wildlife Trust met up in mid-November at Chat Moss, in Irlam to look at the ongoing challenge that faces the area, namely large scale peat extraction, competing with wildlife habitat restoration and the need to reduce our carbon emissions.
We had a fascinating few hours, discussing the future options for the Moss and touring the area; seeing the devastation peat extraction causes; the continuing decline of farming; and the hard work of conservationists in protecting pockets of the Moss.
Kindling's Chris and Debbie Clarke from Abundance Manchester have just returned from a leadership course in historic Stirling run by BTCV Scotland. The course, over three days, covered leadership techniques; well being and health & safety of volunteers; motivation and assertiveness, as well as more practical things like risk assessment and manual handling skills.
We've had a fantastic response to the short film: What is Sustainable Food? - which explains the various elements we need to consider in building a sustainable food system.
Over ten minutes, the film runs through eight principles: