Oxfordshire County Council continues to support meaningful climate action via support to groups and organisations around the County who are implementing local solutions and working together to make change happen in their communities and beyond. Community Action Groups Oxfordshire (CAG Oxfordshire) facilitates a growing network of over 100 groups around the County. Oxfordshire County Council has nearly doubled their funding, committing nearly £550k over three years to reflect the growing network, increased activity and the increase in costs to deliver the service.
The continued and enhanced support of the County recognises that residents know best how their communities can come together on issues including waste, transport, food, energy, biodiversity and social justice. Groups in the network include Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon, who have planted over 800 trees in the community since 2015; Sustainable Wantage, who have saved over 100 tonnes of electrical waste via their regular repair Cafe’s; and Broken Spoke Bike Coop in Oxford, who are creating opportunities for women and trans and non-binary people to train to become bike mechanics. These are just a few highlights from these groups and the many others around the network!
The support and recognition received from Oxfordshire County Council is crucial in ensuring these groups and socially driven organisations are able to establish themselves, thrive and grow within their communities, reaching more people and generating greater and lasting impact. The team at CAG Oxfordshire provides day to day support to these groups through 1:1 meetings, facilitating peer to peer mentoring, skill sharing, and networking, and promoting and marketing via their popular newsletters and social media channels.
CAG Oxfordshire is also grateful for the ongoing support to the Replenish project, offering the residents of Oxfordshire advice to grow and cook nutritious food with zero waste. Last year, the project delivered nearly 80 public events and engagements including popular workshops on home composting and cooking without waste.
With increased funding, the CAG Oxfordshire network has big plans for the future including building the Circular Economy by encouraging sharing and repairing over buying
new through three pilot ‘Library of Things’ launching around the County in Wantage, Abingdon, and Bicester with the guidance from the existing Library of Things at SHARE Oxford.
There is also momentum building on our community wealth building work, continuing
the Owned by Oxford partnership which ensures money and wealth generated by communities, stay in communities. One such example is the emerging Barton Retrofit Project. Lastly, there will also be a focus on connecting communities with nature recognising the ecological and wellbeing benefits these activities provide. These priorities are in addition to the ongoing network support CAG delivers every day.
Katherine Chesson, Director of CAG Oxfordshire says:
CAG Oxfordshire is incredibly grateful to OCC for their increased and ongoing commitment to the thousands of volunteers who are making a difference on issues of social change that affect us all. We simply could not do what we do without, not only the financial support, but the key champions within OCC that acknowledge and understand the importance of community-led change. As we embark on this three year partnership, we aim to raise awareness and engage more Oxfordshire residents in positive local action through investment in our members and in projects that allow us to meet our mission.
Councillor Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:
“CAGs are a vital springboard for the climate action we need at grassroots level. The county’s residents are incredibly innovative – by funding and supporting CAG Oxfordshire, the council is helping communities achieve their own climate ambitions. Every CAG is a piece of the jigsaw we need to put together when it comes to tackling climate change. They prove that the appetite is out there for meaningful change in the way we live our lives to combat this urgent threat. As a council, we want to make it as easy as possible for people to do the things that they know will make a difference and community action groups play a really important role in this.”
If you are inspired by this and would like to get involved you can volunteer, find a community group near you in our members page