Energy crisis, cost of living crisis, climate crisis. In the face of calamity, hope springs from the actions of local community groups and individuals who are using this year’s Great Big Green Week to raise awareness, provide routes to practical action and an antidote to anxiety.
Apple pressing at last year’s Great Big Green Week event, photo credit: Mia Annesen-Wood
Great Big Green Week is a national campaign run by The Climate Coalition which encourages nine days of action (this year from 10th-18th June) to raise awareness of climate change and demonstrate how community led action can make a difference.
This is the fourth year that Oxfordshire has thrown itself into the campaign and the response from communities right across the County has been inspiring. This year over 70 events have been registered on the dedicated Green Week Oxon website.
Events include tours of solar farms to clothes swaps and repair cafes. Film screenings to theatre shows, arts and crafts activities, talks, seminars, guided walks and open days. The programme of events is varied and there is certainly something for everyone across generations and cultures.
The week launches with events around the County on Saturday 10th June including Greener Henley’s Green Fair, Westmill Solar Park are having an open day, Rose Hill are putting on a repair cafe and public picnic, a sustainable travel day in Wallingford, litter pick in Risinghurst, community swap shop in Cowley, and bat recording in Nethercote. The varied programme continues into Sunday and throughout the following week and weekend.
The dedicated website https://greenweekoxon.co.uk/ has been created to host the event listings and there are events happening every day until Sunday 18th June so check it out and get involved.
Community Action Groups (CAG) Oxfordshire raised money via The Big Give Green match Campaign to provide funding for groups delivering events connecting people to nature and Oxfordshire County Council topped up the funding to enable more grants to be made via their Climate Action Oxfordshire programme. A total of 25 grants have been distributed to support the varied events and activities happening.
Katherine Chession, Director of Community Action Groups Oxfordshire says
Community Action Groups across Oxfordshire have really got creative this year with a truly diverse programme of events for Great Big Green Week. We’re seeing them use this as an opportunity to inform and engage new audiences on all aspects of community led action including sustainable travel, cooking with plant based foods, connecting with nature, and more. We are grateful to Oxfordshire County Council for providing additional funding for these events around Oxfordshire.
Cllr Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:
“Great Big Green Week is a wonderful opportunity for communities to get even more involved in environmental projects and so demonstrate the importance we know they place on tackling climate change. As a council we are excited to help fund some of these events and would encourage people to enjoy taking part in their local events.”