HEART Community Group Newsletter #4
September 2022 
It’s been good to welcome autumn – together with some much-needed rain!  If you’re anything like us, your summer has been characterised by many, many hours watering our gardens with buckets from the water butts!  We send this to you at the end of a week where we lost our Queen, gained a new King and a new Prime Minister. The latter appointment looks like very bad news indeed for those of us who are concerned with the Climate and Ecological Crisis.

Spotlight on The Sopwell Singers

One of our core team, Chantal Burns, set up a community choir where she lives, in Sopwell Ward, St Albans.

We think it’s a great example of something that builds local community, that brings people together to connect and have fun.

There’s loads of research about how singing – especially with others – is incredibly good for our mental health and wellbeing, as well as building relationships.

If you’re interested in joining Sopwell Singers, the e-mail address is thesopwellsingers@gmail.com and if you want to set up a choir where you live, Chantal is happy to provide some guidance.

You can also find out more via Facebook and Instagram

You are cordially invited to participate in these upcoming events

Register for Eventbrite events via the links.

Saturday 17th September
Webinar and Conversation on Community Resilience, Adaptation and Deep Adaptation

Who is the webinar for?
Anybody who is deeply concerned about climate, overshoot and eco-system and resource depletion, and other interconnected predicaments – and is curious to learn more about what they and their local community could be doing NOW to prepare and adapt for what may be a very different way of life.
Some of you may be members of Extinction Rebellion, and/or local Transition Town organisations.  You may work in local government, or a community group.  You may be part of the global deep adaptation community.  And it doesn’t matter if you’re not a member of any organisation!  It’s enough if you are a citizen.  Probably not suitable for children 12 and under.

Saturday 1st October
An in-person session: Emotional Freedom & Resilience with Chantal BurnsWho is this for?
If you’ve been feeling frazzled, overwhelmed or just struggling with feelings about the climate crisis and / or other issues close to home. If you want to reconnect with your resilience, get some peace of mind and helpful new perspectives, and help others with the same, this is for you.

Tuesday 4 October
An online event: A Conversation with Gemma Hyde on 20-minute neighbourhoodsThe ’20-minute Neighbourhood’ concept means creating places where most of people’s daily needs can be met within a short walk or cycle.Gemma is Project and Policy Officer for Healthier Places at the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), where she works to support the TCPA’s work on reuniting health with planning.  Part of our interview series “Adapting for an Uncertain Future”.

22 – 25 October 
The Edge” – a 4-day Retreat  Are you somebody who has woken up to the climate and ecological emergency we are facing?
This is a 4-day retreat for people who wish to inquire, in good company, into the question “So, what now?”
As we wake up to the interconnected predicaments facing humanity, this retreat is a way to create a clearing in the dense forest of your life, and uncover your own unique answers to the questions:“What’s mine to do?” and “How can I make a difference?”There are no simple blueprints, no one right way, no universal action plans we can follow.
However, we do seem to experience ‘nudges’ from wisdom, that we can choose to trust and follow. I love to imagine that we are all weaving something together – but there are an infinite number of individual threads – and there are some that may be ours to pick up.
The immersive retreat is an opportunity to deepen your inquiry into what matters most now.E-mail Kimberley Hare to register your interest or book a chat to help you decide whether this is a good fit for you.

A chance to connect by Zoom with sustainability groups throughout Hertfordshire. The aim being to share good practice and input into HCC and local district/borough council climate change strategies and action plans. Please email us for more details.

Wednesday 9 November
Hertfordshire Climate Change and Sustainability Partnership (HCCSP) Event at Wyllyotts Theatre, Potters Bar.The event will provide an update on the work of the Partnership and their forward plan – with a specific focus on Behaviour Change and Climate Adaptation.There will be expert speakers and the event will include hosted breakout sessions, to provide an opportunity for discussion and reflection.
For more details, sign up to the HCCSP mailing list via their contact form.

Past events:

HEART hosted a large event on June 25 in St Albans called “Creating a Climate-Resilient Future” – with guests Rupert Read and Daisy Cooper MP.
Read a little report about this event on our website here and view the recordings here.

12 September
Kimberley facilitated a fantastic evening at a Sustainable St Alban’s ‘Our Planet, Our Future’ event on Local Community Resilience.

Recent Conversations – now on YouTube

We’ve been talking with some fascinating people over the past couple of months.  If you missed them live, you can catch up on our YouTube Channel – see links below.

Jamie Quince Starkey from Down to Earth Derby
Down to Earth Derby has always been about more than just showing people how to grow food; they get people outdoors, to reconnect them back with nature, with their community and themselves. “The Down to Earth Project is an idea born out of conflict; the conflict of living life in the modern-day and the realisation of the negative impact we have on this planet.”

Catherine Ingram
How can the wisdom of “facing reality as it is” be married well with the calling many of us feel to still do something to contribute?
A former journalist specializing in issues of consciousness and activism, Catherine is the author of two books of nonfiction, which are published in numerous languages: In the Footsteps of Gandhi: Conversations with Spiritual/Social Activists (Parallax Press, 1990) and Passionate Presence: Seven Qualities of Awakened Awareness (Penguin Putnam, 2003); and one novel, A Crack in Everything (Diamond Books, 2006).

In February 2019, Catherine published the long-form essay “Facing Extinction” as a free link, an essay she updates regularly as new data emerges about the crises we face.
Her TED Talk is also inspiring and insightful.

Briony Greenhill
This was an inspiring, fun and light-hearted conversation into “Living Well Now”. Briony Greenhill is a folk/soul/jazz improvisational artist and teacher.

Her values rest in earth-based spirituality, regenerative culture and natural health, and her teaching has therapeutic and healing aspects.

“One of the world’s leading proponents of collaborative vocal improvisation (CVI)” – The Guardian
“Like Marvin Gaye crossed with a funky earth Mother” – Mojo
Manda Scott
Manda Scott is co-founder of Accidental Gods, and Thrutopia and author.
We explore the importance of creating narratives about the future that are neither dystopic or utopic – but rather speak to how we can use the power of human intention and action to collectively ‘get through’ the dire challenges we face.

Something good to watch

We highly recommend this debate if you haven’t already seen it:

How to Save the Planet: Degrowth vs Green Growth?

As the climate crisis looms ever larger, a critical question has taken the stage: is economic growth incompatible with ecological sustainability? Green growth and degrowth proponents take staunchly different stances, but they do agree on one thing: overhauling the current economic growth model is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change and ecological degradation. How to do it, on the other hand, is up for debate.

At Oxford University’s School of Geography and Environment, Professor Samuel Fankhauser, a leading academic on green growth, and Professor Jason Hickel, a leading academic on degrowth, go head to head on one of the biggest questions of our time. This panel is moderated by Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics.

And then, watch this much shorter video  from Nate Hagens, where he comments sagely on BOTH the points of view expressed in the debate above, and what they’ve missed!

We’d love to hear from you about your views on the economic implications of the predicaments we face.

 That’s it for this newsletter – thanks for reading, and for being part of our community!
We hope to connect with you at one of our various upcoming events.Kimberley, Kate and Chantal
HEART Community Group