In the face of the climate crisis- how lots of small acts are creating a more sustainable county
We are so pleased to release our Annual Report on CAG Network members activities between Dec 2020 and Nov 2021. Despite Lockdowns and ongoing restrictions, our network grew and put on more events than ever and diverted millions of kilo's of food, plastic, wood and other waste from disposal. Read on to find out more and download the report and please love and share!
Read our press release below and download th full report here.
With COP 26 taking place in Glasgow last November, huge rises in energy prices and noticeable changes to our weather – hello snow in April! – it's safe to say that awareness of climate change is growing. And yet, as we enter Mental Health Awareness week, we know many feel powerless in the face of the huge volume of work to do to make an impact. However, there is a hive of activity taking place in our Oxfordshire communities that collectively is making a big difference to both the climate crisis and our personal mental health and wellbeing as the latest annual report from CAG Oxfordshire shows.
You may or may not have heard of the Community Actions Groups Oxfordshire Network, often known simply as ‘CAGs’ , but if you live in Oxfordshire, the chances are you may have actually experienced the benefits of the network. Perhaps you enjoyed basking in the sun on the reclaimed wooden benches made by Oxford Wood Recycling in Broad Meadows last summer, or learned how to fix and repair an old item for free at one of the many repair cafes popping up? Have you refilled your shampoo or laundry detergent at a refill station, brought local and fresh food at one of Oxford’s many farmers markets or enjoyed the delights of green spaces like Hogacre Common Eco Park or the Bridget Street Community Garden in Banbury?
Over the past year and despite the lockdowns, groups in the CAG network hosted over 7,000 events and activities promoting sustainability, attracting 43,500 attendees and clocking in 65,000 volunteer hours from members of the community. These activities resulted in 1.5 million KG of non-food waste and 82,500 KG of food diverted from disposal. Additionally, over 500 bikes and over 500 laptops/tablets were repaired by groups and an estimated one million containers were refilled.
CAG Oxfordshire is also proud to continue to support important projects including Replenish, supporting the residents of Oxfordshire to grow and cook nutritious food with zero waste, and Owned by Oxford supporting community wealth building within Oxford to build a community-led economy.
Katherine Chesson, Director of CAG Oxfordshire says:
We applaud the 100 CAG members for their continued efforts to better their local communities. We believe our collective vision, as a network, has never been more relevant. Invaluable support from Oxfordshire County Council, both as a funder and a champion, enables us to continue to provide organisational development and capacity support for Oxfordshire’s community action groups.
These are all important steps in making Oxfordshire a greener, fairer and more sustainable county to live in. It is inspiring to see how lots of dedicated individuals, who form the heart of our community groups, working together on the local level can make a big impact across the county. But, as always, there is more to be done, and many ways we can improve, increase our impact and work together to make Oxfordshire an even better place for people and the environment.
Councillor Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:
We have been championing these CAGs for 20 years and it is inspiring to see that there are now 100 groups active in Oxfordshire. The CAG network proves that there is grassroots support for meaningful change in the way we live our lives to combat the urgent threat of climate change.
As well as their direct actions, CAG Oxfordshire forms a network of active, involved people who I think will be ideally placed to spearhead our evolving community resilience strategy, as we build our capability to withstand the increasingly malign impacts of climate change.”