Our journey so far
With greater awareness of the ecological damage caused by humanity, we provide a focus for local learning and practical actions to address this.
Our aim is to foster a Community of eco-cooperation, in which we support one another in making realistic changes towards more sustainable living.
We need you to get involved too!
Forming our group
Following Sally’s trip to Indonesia where the shocking reality of plastic waste in the seas was so evident, our Group was started in the Spring of 2018 by local residents Sally and Rob as Plastic Free Colwich & the Haywoods.
The aim was to promote a radical reduction of single-use plastics in local households and businesses.
We began by carrying out audits of single use plastic and its disposal in around 20 local businesses and organisations which revealed an overall eagerness to reduce plastic use with many businesses having already made great strides.
The profile of the issues was massively raised by the BBC’s TV programme Blue Planet and what our group was doing was picked up by Radio Stoke which interviewed Sally and Rob.
Listen here to the report on the group’s activities broadcast by Radio Stoke.
In 2022 SinCH was kindly nominated for the BBC Radio Stoke Make a Difference award and having been shortlisted for the Environmental Award Rob, Sally and Lucy attended the awards on the 24th September on our behalf. We were pleased to be Highly Commended for the work we are doing. You can see the videos of the shortlisted groups here.
Positive Action Points
To increase the community’s awareness of the issues, we organised:
- Showing of the film ‘A Plastic Ocean’ (see right) in October 2018 which included an interactive discussion to encourage alternatives to single use plastics.
- At the Colwich Parish Assembly in May 2019 Dr Sharon George of Keele University, illustrated the damage plastics cause and Teresa Walters of Sisters against Plastic (Lichfield) inspired us with ways to reduce our single plastic use.
- A flyer was distributed to every household in the parish to provide up to date information about plastic alternatives and recycling.
- From this we set up a regular monthly Plastic-Free Shopping Scheme in collaboration with Roots Larder, a ‘not for profit’ social enterprise based in Stafford. This enables local people to purchase plastic-free household items and foodstuffs without single use plastic wrapping. This event is part of our Coffee Morning social at the Lamb & Flag pub where people can meet up for a chat and discuss plastic-use reduction and other ecological issues.
- Our Green Drinks Evening is a friendly monthly gathering which is open to all. Over a sociable drink we normally have a presentation on an ecological theme followed by discussion. This leads us to identify practical actions and encourage each other to create a more environmentally friendly and sustainable community. It’s a real tonic to be able to put talk of climate chaos and other ecological damage into perspective with some positive news and achievable actions.
SinCH and New Projects
As possibilities of other projects emerged a larger organising group was formed in 2020 which became our 6 person Steering Group. Since then we have changed our name to Sustainability in Colwich & the Haywoods (SinCH) to reflect the wider scope of our eco projects.
We have since set up new projects: Green Fingers and an Eco Directory of local businesses.
In 2021 we produced another leaflet on Sustainability which was delivered across the Parish.
In October 2021 we held our very first AGM at the Ingestre Orangery which was a very successful and well attended evening which took stock of what we have been doing so far and has provided some pointers about our future direction.
In April 2022 we launched our website, kindly supported by development funding obtained from County Councillor Francis’s Local Community Fund.
The Parish Council has asked SinCH to advise them on Sustainability issues and to help implement their Green Infrastructure Plan.
We will continue to develop our current work and raise our profile in the community by having stalls at a number of local events.
There is a lot more than can be done but we need more people to come forward and get involved to make these happen so please contact us if you want to be more involved. We need your skills and insight!