Transition Streets... making it really local...

This is the website for Transition Streets - started in Totnes:

But I liked hearing how one Transition Street group got on... I've copied and pasted from the website below:


Jo explains how her group went from strength to strength

The TTT leaflet fell through my door one morning in mid March 2010.  It was inspiring and encouraging to read the vision statements of a more sustainable living and exciting to read of the reference to solar panels, also mentioned on the leaflets.

My enthusiasm seemed to be shared by a neighbour whom I met whilst we were both out walking our dogs on the same morning of getting the TTT leaflet.  Chatting about the leaflet precipitated a jointly fuelled rise in enthusiasm ending with me offering to call the TTT office for further information.  Within days Mary Popham (yes, that is PopHAMS, not PoppINS) appeared like magic on my doorstep bursting with more information about the project.  Like bees round a honeypot of hope and positivity our group quickly grew to a total of ten strong and, due to many of our group members also being of the dog walking community in Follaton, we called ourselves ‘Walk the Talk’.

As part of a Transition Streets group, TTT gave us each a Folder with information and advice on issues of energy; water; food; waste and transport.  Although the folder is well packed with pages of information it is done in the most user-friendly  way possible with big writing, lots of colour and LOADS of helpful local information and phone numbers.  We were asked to work through a chapter of this folder at each meeting.

The first meeting dissolved into childish giggles as we found ourselves blindly ignorant to many basic heating operations in our homes.  The water and space heating systems are largely all the same on the Follaton estate, but it was amazing, and hilarious to us, how so few actually knew how to turn the temperatures up and down on both water tanks and storage heaters.  Straight away we had found benefit and support in putting heads together and sharing.
We continued to meet every fortnight at different homes as we worked our way through the folder, sharing information, research biscuits and laughter.  On top of our normal meetings, we also arranged shared trips to some local events and spent one afternoon doing a garden tour, originally arranged as an advice giving exercise but seemed to serve as an enjoyable tour around each of our own personal outdoor spaces,  satisfying our natural human curiosity.

We have now come to the end of our folder; there are no more chapters to share.  Actually, we ended up having two final meetings as many couldn’t make the first final meeting!  There was a sense of sadness , perhaps even a tinge of anxiety (was that just me?) and ‘what shall we do next’? The TTT Transition Streets programme and folder had brought us together and given us a purpose and project to complete.  What happens when the purpose or project comes to an end in any situation?  It seems that perhaps, if there is no structure or end goal for us mortals to be reaching for (albeit just working our way through a folder) there is less momentum and ‘raison d’etre’.   Yet, as I see it, the TTT and Transition Street project has a huge vision which ultimately paves the way toward an equally enormous task:  To return to working together for the good of all instead of the singular selfish nuclear existence that we have all become used to.  In modern society we don’t have a built in need to pull together for the good of community because we are so busy entwined in our own little worlds of self; we have no networks of need, so it is therefore easy to drift apart, away from community.
I think I can speak for the majority of us, if not all in our group........ In fact this is not limited to our group this is I found to be a general feeling among members from other groups that I have chatted to:  That the outstanding benefit that we have all enjoyed about the Transition Streets project has been to feel community again; to know our neighbours; to feel part of a greater whole; to feel connected.  And this is, I feel, part of the much grander vision of our future that TTT is working towards and we have to relearn in our beings, to rejoice our connection to community and honour that part of us that yearns for the sense of tribal connection.

So, we have made some plans for future meetings and are also planning to link up with other groups.  Hopefully we can keep the momentum going and continue growing this sense of belonging and sharing that is so important to our futures.  I would like to quote Amanda (from our group) who, exclaiming her feeling about what she had learnt and started to strive towards, said  "I feel like we're coming to an end and I'm still at the beginning - We've still got the rest of our lives"

My goodness, where did I put my banner? Sorry if I got a bit carried away!

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