Lockdown has been in place here in the UK since the middle of March and had a huge affect on our activities. We had to improvise quick, like everyone, and adapt to a rapidly changing context of how we live, where we live. 

Each of us in Transition Town Tooting followed our instincts and interests and together we developed diverse, outward facing projects to help our community, both near and far, using networks nurtured with love for over 10 years. 

This blog is the second of three, or maybe four, sharing the projects that grew out of lockdown and inviting you to come get involved. 

You never know, Transition Town Tooting maybe fertile ground for collaboration with you…

Episode 2 is all about building community!

In truth, all our projects build community through shared endeavour, whether attracting over 1000 people to a large event like the Tour de Tooting in 2016, or working with CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) in their Women’s Group, Family Days or youth groups. 

However the following 2 projects have adapted to lockdown and are running now, building community in strikingly different ways…. Tooting Virtual Green Drinks, a rapidly evolving online space to get together, and 30 Days Wild in Wandsworth – our part in a nation-wide project encouraging each of us to go outside and appreciate nature every day – can you take up the challenge?

Read on to find out more…

Tooting (now virtual) Green Drinks

Back in March, we had planned a Tooting Green Drinks like no other. Collaborating with Andrew Simms and the Rapid Transition Alliance, we were looking forward to welcoming in storytellers, songwriters and poets for Transition Stories and Song, upstairs at The Selkirk Pub as part of our monthly relaxed invitation to socialise locally around a theme related to sustainability. It was going to be a riot, with over 40 people expected. We had planned the event for March 18th, in the week of greatest change, highest uncertainty and emptiest supermarket shelves here in the UK as the Coronavirus pandemic well and truly hit.


Green Drinks, pre-lockdown, at The Selkirk Pub

We had to pause to reflect on the context in which we were working, and the community which we serve.  Transition Stories and Song was postponed. We swiftly set an online space for Green Drinks and distributed an invitation widely to offer a space for reflection and connection, for listening and being listened to. The open session was deeply moving and gave those who came a sense of social solidarity whilst we physically distance. There were many who felt isolated, in very different ways – the young professional who lived on his own, the self isolating with suspected symptoms.

We felt Green Drinks simply had to go weekly.

Some of the topics explored in Green Drinks

Since March 18th, Green Drinks has been on quite a ride – we’ve continued to make space to listen and be heard, had a gorgeously intimate Transition Stories and Song with Rapid Transition Alliance, the online format enabling artists from Stockholm, and right across the UK to perform. More recently, we’ve had informative and activating talks about Tooting Healthy Streets and Permaculture. Tomorrow, Jacqui Machin is giving a talk on the role of big business for a sustainable future as we #buildbackbetter. Click here for details.

We’d love for you to join our Facebook Group to attend, feel connected and help yourself and others to nurture a sense of activation as we start to look to the future. Just click this link.

30 Days Wild in Wandsworth

Part of a Nationwide project entitled #30DaysWild and run by the Wildlife Trusts and back for its sixth year,  #30DaysWild is a fun, feel good challenge, bringing people closer to nature where they live taking small actions that can collectively have a big impact. It runs right through June.  There’s a really cool video, made by Wildlife Trusts here.
You can join our growing Facebook group for 30 Days Wild in Wandsworth here.
The interest for us is that the project encourages people outside, engaging with nature to enable balance, improve wellbeing and share, to feel connected to a wider community, cavorting with nature perhaps fo the first time…
Bugs, bees and trees!
Next Episode is all about public space, we’ll share projects about Fishponds Playing Fields, Sharing Seeds for street trees and more on Tooting Healthy Streets, watch this space.