The group continues to make headway a little at a time. Every Wednesday, as you know, we host 'Bike To Work Wednesday' - soon to become 'Hike & Bike Wednesday' to make it more inclusive - and most of these Wednesday meet-ups become mini planning sessions. There are more projects on the horizon based on the ideas put forth during these times, and they are quite exciting ones, for example we are planning an Autumn/Winter Quiz, with questions about landmarks in the town, to see how much people know about the place they live. There will be photographic clues and a route to walk around the town wherein one can check off things one has seen, like a treasure hunt. We are working on the route(s) and clues as we speak.
We have applied for a bank account for our organisation, because after all, we need to keep donated monies separate, and also because any grants we apply for tend to require a bank account. We have registered our projects at NatWest Community Force which could potentially bring us a £6,000 award, which we could then spend on the Community Garden project and other ideas.
The Community Garden project is in full swing, we've planted a bunch of donated plants and are soon to receive seeds and plant pots and tools from interested donors.
On October 1st we are to be in Highbury Hall (location of the Community Garden) for an event we are calling T3Tea, which will be a chance for us to talk about our various projects, sell some tea and cakes and homemade chutney (made from waste apples) and host some local vendors. Currently we have three comfirmed vendors, including local winery Gusbourne Estates, and local crafters The Funky Hen and Pretty Goods. We also have some titillating 'maybes' which I should hold back from divulging at this time.
We've also been hitting the bricks with our letters to local businesses which basically introduce us, say who we are, what we do, what our projects are to date and what they can do to support us (volunteer, donate, etc...). We received 4 prizes for a raffle (for T3Tea) from Sandpipers in Sayers Lane, so big thanks to them for being first out of the starting gate. Between Carolyn and myself, we have given letters to the bulk of the businesses in the High street but we still have a way to go, with easily 30 more businesses to hit (not including the solicitors offices or dental practices).
We also did our first public speaking engagement on Thursday night when we were invited by the Tenterden Rotary Club on the Tuesday to come along and talk about Transition. So Carolyn, Justin and myself hashed out a little 2-page script, hastily cobbled from numerous sources, went along and after being fed lovely (local) food from FoodFairies Ltd, stood up and took it in turns to say a piece. Afterwards the floor was opened to questions and judging from the many questions we fielded, the Rotarians seemed very interested, especially in participating in Tenterden CleanUp Day which is only 6 weeks away!
On that subject, we have sent all paperwork in to CleanKent, who are supplying hi-vis tabards, pickers, sacks, rigger gloves etc. Jo Vos the Town Warden has put us in contact with the Neighbourhood Watch coordinator and we have left him a voicemail or two. All we need now is a ton of volunteers.
Anyway, that's about it for now. Off to Sissinghurst Castle tomorrow for the Smallholding Fair - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Sarah Raven will be there, so it should be fun.