A week ago yesterday, Brigitte and I attended a social event for CAG Oxfordshire. CAGs, or Community Action Groups, are local volunteer groups “[organising] events and initiatives to raise awareness and take action on climate change issues” – Sustainable Witney is officially one of them, and they’re all networked through the tireless efforts of Simon Kenton and Peter Lefort.
Although we’d neither of us turn down free wine and some of Simon’s home-made dips, Brigitte and I agreed that the main reason to turn up was to talk to other likeminded people in CAGs from the length and breadth of the county (in the case of the Westmill Wind Farm Co-operative, nearly in Wiltshire!) That way we could more easily work out how we might all help each other with our events, and also share knowledge and resources.
If CAG Oxfordshire is all about the network, then this event was all about the networking! That meant that ultimately it was inspiring and useful in roughly equal measures. On the one hand it reminded me of all the work that Sustainable Witney is trying and succeeding to do; at the same time, it got us to share both the effort and the fruits of our labour with other organizations.
And so while we were talking to Westmill Co-Op about our plans for Bike Week 2012, we also formulated some plans to maybe lead a ride out there on the Saturday and link up with lots of other local groups at an open day; while we were finding out about Groundwork Thames Valley’s spinoff Oxfordshire Green Schools, we also discussed pooling our resources to promote a possible future ReFashion event in Witney; and when I went to say hello to a master composter to see what they were up to, he incidentally mentioned that I needn’t put the effort in to turn my whole compost heap. My own lumbar regions will be grateful for that last, chance meeting, for some time to come.
CAG Oxfordshire helps Sustainable Witney to do great things, and we’ve got a lot of them in the pipeline. So watch this space.