Sunday, November 16, 2014

Transition Town Redbridge Gets Down to Business

“Health, Happiness and Apple Pie”: An Introduction to TT Redbridge, the inaugural ‘mini-summit’ of the Transition Redbridge group was successfully hosted on 25th October with a series of talks and lively debates at the temporary business hub, the ‘Enterprise Exchange’ at the Exchange in Ilford.

Rakesh Rootsman and Mehul Damani skilfully facilitated the event which included sub-groups discussing food growing and local workshops (based around skillsharing).

The event provided the opportunity to discuss Transition Ilford Wholefood Buyers Coop which was launched shortly after...

Transition Ilford Wholefood Buyers Co-op

The Transition Ilford (sibling of Transition Redbridge) Wholefood Buyers Co-op was launched to great fanfare on 31st October with a wide range of organic, socially responsible, healthy and most importantly, tasty food available for all who sign up to it. For those not yet aware of the concept, the products are bought from responsible, local wholesalers in bulk and hence, at discount rates to be sold via the group. The list below shows the wide range of products available.

40% Buckwheat Noodles | Pearl Barley | Jumbo Oatflakes | Cha Soba (Green Tea) Noodles | Millet | Oatbran | Brown Rice Udon Noodles | 100% Buckwheat Noodles | Wholewheat fusilli | Long Life Tofu - ambient | Linseed | Loose tea | Braised Tofu - canned | Peanuts | Red Split Lentils | Tempeh | Strong wholemeal flour | Soya alternative to milk | Brown Rice Short Grain | Brown Basmati Rice | Sultanas - s/f oil dressed

If you would like to find out more about this exciting venture, please contact Rakesh
Rootsman on

click here

Feeding Local People in Crisis

St. Peter’s church Aldborough Hatch has supported the Redbridge Foodbank for some years but the need has never been greater. Over 30,000 people in Redbridge (that’s 10%) are living on the edge of poverty. When you have no financial safety net, a sudden crisis, such as bereavement, benefit delay, home repossession, redundancy or illness can leave you unable to feed yourself or your family. Redbridge foodbank works to support people who find themselves on the edge of disaster.

The following foods may be delivered to St. Peter’s Church at service times on Sundays or on Wednesdays between 10.30am and 12noon or contact Shirley Rudge (TEL: 020 8590 5882): Milk (UHT or powdered), sugar, fruit juice (cartons), soup, pasta sauces, sponge puddings (tinned), cereals, rice puddings (tinned), tea bags/instant coffee, instant mashed potato, rice/pasta, tinned meat/fish, tinned fruit, jam/preserves, baby food/ nappies, biscuits, snack bars, treats – chocolates. sweets, toiletries (men and women), tin openers.

Making a Difference
I sit so downhearted on that old wooden chair
My hair is unwashed and my youngest in care
The flat feels so cold and a draught chills my feet
As I gaze at the bills I know I can’t meet.
How did I get here, does anyone care?
So many have plenty, it’s all so unfair
Child care’s so expensive and wages are low
So what shall I do? I really don’t know!
My eldest is hungry, there’s little to eat
And help from the Social expenses won’t meet.
My eyes fill with tears, but then I think ‘Soap!’
For a friend’s little gift had given me hope.
She’s been to the Foodbank where people were kind
And whatever your background a welcome you’ll find.
The food that’s donated will help you get through
And if you need some advice that’s available too.
Now . . . I’ve talked to my doctor who quickly agreed
That a voucher for Foodbank would help with my need
So while life is still hard, I know others do care
And give thanks to them all for the love that they share.
Vic Danzelman

This article first appeared in the St Peter’s Church Broadsheet December 2014.

Engage! Make It So

ERS welcomes report on voter engagement – (my emphasis)

Responding to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s report Voter engagement in the UK, published today (14th November 2014), Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“Voter disengagement is the central political challenge of our time, and the Committee should be applauded for its excellent work in this area. We wholeheartedly support the report’s recommendations on reforming voter registration to make it easier for people to vote, as well as widening the franchise so 16 and 17 year olds can take part in our democracy."

“It’s also gratifying to see so many respondents to the inquiry point out how utterly broken our electoral system is. We’re now in a four, five or even six-party era, so we can expect some horribly unfair results in the general election next year. We believe it is high time we got rid of the outdated First Past the Post, and replaced it with a fairer system where every voice is heard and every vote counts.”

The Committee has called on the Government to explore the idea of making election day a public holiday. Responding to this idea, Katie Ghose said:

“Voting is a fundamental part of our role as a citizen, so it’s right to celebrate the day we go to the polls and choose who represents us. It’s important that we innovate around how we do elections so we can successfully close the gap between people and politics. We’ll support any measure which creates a sense of occasion on election day.”

The Committee has also recommended making voting compulsory for some elections. Responding to this idea, Katie Ghose said:

Making it compulsory for people to vote hides the symptoms of voter disengagement, but does nothing to address the causes. Many people are deeply distrustful of representative politics, but they won’t come back into the process in any meaningful way if they are forced to take part."

“We believe there are many other more positive things we should be doing to close the gap between people and politics, some of which have been recommended in this report.”

See also Eastminster.