Repair, refill, recycle, reuse, restore, revive and reunite: These crucial ‘R’ words for building a sustainable world all came alive on Saturday 25th September in the Bishopric area in Horsham as Sussex Green Living launched its latest initiative – the Sussex Green Hub.
The Hub was officially opened by the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Neil Hart, who said, “I very much welcome the Sussex Green Hub. There is no more important challenge we all face than the climate crisis and the Sussex Green Hub shows us the way, in raising awareness and providing practical actions we can, and must, all take to address that challenge. This is a truly collaborative initiative bringing together volunteer groups, local churches and businesses. I congratulate all involved.”
The High Sheriff was joined by Councillor Sarah Payne of West Sussex County Council, and Horsham District Council Chairman and Councillor David Skipp, who commented, “I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the volunteers and the message of improving and protecting our environment by making changes in our lifestyle as outlined in the new community environmental initiative. If we don’t act now what legacy will we leave for our children and grandchildren?”
Councillors Martin Boffey, Mike Croker, Kate Rowbottom, Ruth Fletcher, Bob Platt and Jonathan Chowen of Horsham District Council were also welcomed as were many local businesses, volunteers and well over 100 visitors.
The much-loved Horsham Repair Café volunteers were able to repair 24 household items and plenty of people refilled cleaning product bottles and toiletries. The Sussex Green Living Horsham “Wombles” explained and demonstrated what can be recycled and how, and advice on sustainability was freely given. Also providing great ideas and inspiration were Transition Horsham, Horsham Eco Churches, and Horsham Community Fridge, while a popular volunteer-run café at the URC served heart-warming cuppas and cakes to chat over. Across the way, St John’s Catholic Church shared information about how the environment and farmers can be helped through buying Fairtrade products.
During the pandemic the climate crisis has taken a back seat but it has unfortunately not gone away. As Sussex Green Living’s CEO Carrie Cort said, “Climate change hasn’t stopped, so we haven’t stopped sharing solutions. I envisage the Sussex Green Hub as a friendly place where we ‘carbon watchers’ can consolidate a caring community each month to find real suggestions to put into practice.
“We’re extremely grateful to John Lewis and Waitrose Horsham for making this all possible by providing generous funding as well as a Christmas hamper to be offered as a prize to one of the participants in our online small green steps survey.
“We’d love to develop the Hub to include a sewing group and maybe films and talks throughout the winter. The United Reformed Church is the perfect place, providing a large, airy town centre location very close to the bus station for sustainable travel.
“With the 26th global climate change Conference of Parties (COP26) taking place in Glasgow in November, we really hope that raised media exposure of the urgent need to decarbonise our world will draw local people in to our monthly ‘carbon watchers’ offerings.”
To close, HD Councillor Philip Circus, Cabinet Member for the Environment, Waste, Recycling and Cleansing said, “It was very encouraging to be part of the launch of this new community environmental initiative and to see how much volunteer commitment there is to the environmental agenda”, while Horsham District Councillor Mike Croker commented, “I really liked the new venue and think that the combination of groups will prove influential”.
The next meeting on Saturday 30th October 10am – 4pm will include Sussex Green Living’s mobile Inspiration Eco Station which has been created from a retrofitted milk float. It will focus on ways to reduce the contents of council rubbish bins so reducing the need for more incinerators and landfill.
Coming soon a date in November when our Inspiration Eco Station will visit John Lewis Horsham.
The Sussex Green Hub is held the last Saturday each month at the United Reformed Church Hall, 45 Springfield Road, Horsham RH12 2RG. This is near Wilko and the Lynd cross Pub and opposite St Johns the Baptist Church.
For now, masks are required in the Hub.