Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Highlights of 2011 part 2

This picture shows a couple of members of The Opera Group, with whom we collaborated on a project to take art out onto the streets and engage with people ahead of their performance at the CBSO concert hall of Seven Angels.
One of the great perks of volunteering for Birmingham Friends of the Earth is the opportunity to get a free ticket to a festival in return for working shifts on our property lockups. The money raised from this is the main reason we can afford to employ a member of staff working on campaigning for all the environmental changes we seek in Birmingham.
It may not be the most glamorous or fun part of campaigning, but responding to consultations is really essential to developing our reputation as a serious organisation whose views carry weight. As well as the core strategy, we have responded to various transport consultations, including on HS2 and aviation and the National Planning Policy Framework. Copies of these can be seen on our website.
The award that we got was largely for the work done by our Faith and Climate Change project, whose funding was unfortunately cut before we received this. There is work under way to develop an even bigger project building on the foundations created to do something across the whole region now.
We won photo of the year for this shot from last year's Santa Parade:
Richard made a totally original acceptance speech that I would love to see taken up by one of the winners at the Oscars next year!
Rossiter's and LOAF did us proud with the food and our volunteers cooked up a storm on the Barbecue for this annual fundraiser that also acts as an awareness-raising event for the benefits of organic food.
Over the summer, we took some time to pause on the active energy campaigning and have a look around the city at what is already happening in the city. We drew up 15 case studies and this information is now proving very useful as we battle cuts to renewable energy subsidies and support for our new campaigns.
In September, for In Town Without My Car Day, we did something practical this year. 5 "Bike Trains" converged on the centre of Birmingham with commuters heading to work. The atmosphere was great and we hope to have inspired a few people to repeat this in 2012. We'd like it to become a regular event to get people building up their confidence for cycling in Birmingham.
Of course, what made it the perfect start to the day was that after burning off all those calories cycling in to work, people were then given a free breakfast to give them the energy to get through to lunch courtesy of three lovely local independent coffee shops.

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