Raising awareness

GPG’s main aim is to raise awareness locally about the challenges that may lie ahead in the face of climate change and peak oil, and to help people prepare for a different future, less dependent on fossil fuels.

GPG does not make scientific claims about the nature or extent of climate change, but in the face of over 90% of scientific opinion stating that the climate is changing, and for the worse, we believe it is important for the community to be thinking about these, and related issues now. Our aim is not to scare but to prepare, and in doing so help Penarth become to more resilient and self-sufficient.

When thinking about climate change it is inevitable that we begin to think about carbon emissions, greenhouse gases and how we can reduce our carbon footprint, both personally and as a community.

Very early on, GPG decided that the best way to get messages across about these issues was through practical projects which not only highlight the problems, but also give people an opportunity to do something themselves – however small.

Jam stall at Penarth Apple Day 2011
Apple Day in Bellevue Park was a chance to learn more and make the most of our native fruit.

We are now also running a number of annual events such as the local food festival, which also help reinforce messages about locally produced food, respect for scarce resources and the dangers of relying on a globalised system of food production.

GPG hopes that by encouraging people to reconnect with the environment and gain more understanding about the issues surrounding climate change, gradually we can move towards a more self-sufficient, satisfying and sustainable future here in Penarth.

Projects

GPG’s projects engage people in working together and, at the same time, act as tools for learning about, and being involved in the environment. They also bring new ideas to the community that support the local economy and create new and enjoyable ways of people working together. Current projects include Shop in Penarth (SiP), Community gardens, and orchard, and a plotshare scheme, and a Penarth shopping bag.

Public events

Events are a great way of raising awareness – and of having a lot of fun! The Picnic in the Park (June), Local Food Festival (July) and Apple Day (October) look set to be established as annual events.

Picnickers at Wordsworth Park  - June 2011
Picnic in Wordsworth Park was part of the national 'Big Lunch' event.

You could get fully involved and take a lead role in organising one of these projects or events, or just help out on occasion.  GPG welcomes everyone, regardless of experience, ability or disability and time availability. Our priority is to get people together to learn, explore, and where possible to tap into existing knowledge and skills.  If you want to find out more or get involved, contact us.

Regular open meetings

Bi-monthly meetings are held at the Windsor Arms, Windsor Road Penarth, usuallyat 6pm on the second Thursday of the month, but check our upcoming events for details. The meetings are a good way of keeping people up to date with progress on the projects, and also provide an opportunity for people to suggest things we should be doing in the future. Each meeting focuses on a particular topic – here are a few of the things we’ve looked at over the past few years:

  • Peak Oil
  • Recycling
  • Sustainable transport
  • Water and the built environment
  • Solar Heating
  • Energy Saving generally
  • Importance of locally sourced food
  • Local transport
  • Town trees
  • Open evenings to raise issues of current concern
  • Film ‘Power to the Community’

Discussions at these meetings often lead to new ideas and projects. GPG is not a campaigning body, but from time to time it is inevitable that issues which affect the environment locally will arise, on which we need to form an opinion as a group and, where it is agreed necessary, make our opinion known in appropriate quarters. Ideas for subjects to be discussed at these meetings are very welcome.

Talks to other community groups

GPG has several members who are happy to give talks about the organisation as a whole or on a particular project or projects. We have spoken to several local organisations including the WI, the Rotary Club, Church Groups, the Penarth Society and the Horticultural Society.

Joining community events

Whenever resources allow, GPG tries to have a presence at key local events such as the switching on of the Penarth Christmas lights in December. In real terms this usually means setting up a table with leaflets, a banner, whatever publicity material we have to hand, and just being available to talk about what we do. (Though it might involve dressing up as a recycling bag if you’re really lucky!)