Nov 24

AFSL Event – Creating Sustainable Communities

A local Manchester charity, Action for Sustainable Living or afsl (pronounced afsul), held a Creating Sustainable Communities event yesterday at Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.

The event was presented by local celebrity Dave Haslam of Hacienda etc. fame and was a great insight into their work, achievements and future plans, as well as being a good opportunity to taste freshly made apple juice (and I mean fresh, it was pressed before my very eyes!)

Presentations – Eco teams from Manchester schools were presented with prizes such as books in recognition of their eco actions such as cutting electricity usage (by 37% in a week if I remember correctly!!).

Projects – Local project managers presented on their projects. There was a project to collect leaves in Whalley Range to help condition and restore top-soil in the local area which can become eroded and degraded without attention, the Moss Cider Project where apples are scrumped locally, pressed and turned into Cider. Both passionately presented.

The founder of afsl gave a few words on their model for work ie. paying staff to support volunteers and how this worked better than the old model which enlisting volunteers to support staff. He also emphasised the need for continuous and sustaned action to build momentum. Funding bodies please take note.

There was a chance to speak to fellow attendees. I made my way to the apple juice and also spoke with a girl who knits with cables and wires! ?

To close there was a round table discussion where everyone was encouraged to input ideas about sustainability in Manchester and raise questions for a pannel of experts including the founder of afsl, a lib dem councillor for Chorlton Paul Ankers and another expert.

This bit was great as it was very inclusive and various issues were raised. Interesting ones for me: Challanges for action in poorer areas (too much else to worry about/ can we tie in ‘green’ issues to other concerns eg. health), energy price increases in the next 10 years, sustainable transport, creation of knowledge centre for local project workers.

It is great to see what afsl are doing, may they keep up the good work and get the funding they need to do so!



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