Once upon a Thriftmas (December 2022 event)

For those who celebrate it, Christmas can be a magical time of year, coming together to enjoy yearly traditions of food, music, decorations and presents. But this all comes at a cost, both to our purses and the planet and the work that goes into making Christmas special often falls disproportionately to women.

As we begin to understand the challenges posed by climate change and the gathering pace of the cost-of-living crisis, we wanted to get back to the true meaning of Christmas and show that it doesn’t have to be all about consumerism and pressure to create the perfect day.

And so, together with our brilliant partners from across Calderdale, we held the first Thriftmas event on Saturday 10th December at Forest Cottage. There was a wide variety of activities on offer as well as advice and free goodies that aimed to give a different perspective on Christmas whilst maintaining the traditions we all know and love.

 

Did you know that every year, we spend around £700 million on unwanted gifts and that of all gifts, only 1% will still be in use come June?

When it comes to gifts, it really is the thought that counts so we had NHP’s Tracy hosting a Swishing table where people could bring in something they no longer wanted or needed to swap for something they could use or gift. The table was empty at the end of the day.

Natalie from NHP was there to help people make their own bath salts and bath bombs with recycled packaging good enough to gift to emphasise that handmade gifts can be the most thoughtful, waste free and cost-effective gifts out there.

Dan from NHP showed people how to make unique planters from recycled bottles that also make lovely and unique handmade gifts.

Festive food is another area where we could do better to save money and be greener. With supermarkets employing tactics to get us to buy more than we need, its no wonder we collectively bin enough food to provide 42 million meals.

Rachel from NHP made a delicious turkey chilli from leftovers in the slow cooker with the recipe to take away and try at home. There was also a slow cooker to be won by one lucky attendee.

Every year, we send 165,000 tonnes of Christmas decorations to landfill including 68,488 miles of string lights so we wanted to find ways of decorating that would use natural and recycled materials that will also save money. Nicola from Staying Well hosted a table to make cardboard gingerbread decorations. Nicola from Todmorden Makery inspired people to make their own decorations from tech waste and Calderdale Green New Deal were promoting the use of natural and traditional decorating materials like leaves, twigs, and flowers.

Of the one billion Christmas cards sent each year, only 1/4 will be recycled creating 300,000 tonnes of waste. Sara Nursey from Elland Children’s Centre hosted a table where you could use paint and recycled materials to create handmade Christmas cards which are more likely to be kept and cherished than end up in landfill.

Paul Whiteley Photography was there to take beautiful and fun photos in the Christmas themed photo booth which will make lovely personalised and waste free gifts and e-cards.

Similarly, around 40,000 Christmas crackers are sent to landfill each as many are not recyclable with foil, glitter, and a useless piece of plastic. Sam and team from NewGround were on hand to show people how to make their own reusable crackers that are environmentally friendly and where you can choose your own gift that will be useful and reusable.

All One Collective’s Hillary was there to chat to people about how they’re managing with the cost-of-living crisis and how being a little greener can also help save money.

And of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the big man himself – Santa took his place by the beautiful original fireplace to give gifts to all the children who came.

It was a wonderful event, that put a different vibe on Christmas festivities, and we had great feedback from the people who came along. Thanks so much to everyone who was involved organising and hosting and to everyone who came along and participated.

We look forward to doing it all again next year!

Landscape Course qualification with Newground Greener Together

An opportunity to receive a Landscaping qualification through Greener Together Newground for residents of Calderdale aged 16-65.

This course is a City and Guild Level 1 Introduction into Facilities Service.
Classroom sessions – 1 day per week for 8 weeks
Work Experience days – 2 per week for 6 weeks

For more information get in touch :

w : www.newgroundtogether.co.uk
e : Hello@newgroundtogether.co.uk
t : 0300 330 5535

Download full course PDF Document

Outcomes of the Staying Warm with Staying Well Event

Staying Warm with Staying Well
Written by Zain Ghani – Staying Well Worker & Event Lead”

“Interesting Fact 1: Did you know an air fryer uses one tenth of the energy used by a gas cooker?

On Thursday 3rd November, the grand hall of Christ Church Pellon was home to the “Staying Warm with Staying Well” event, a community event to raise the awareness of support available from different services in Calderdale for people who may struggle to keep themselves and their homes warm this winter.

The event began at the 11:00 sharp with staff from NHP and volunteers from Christ Church Pellon and VSI arranging the room, getting the food and drinks ready and preparing to welcome the public and different services into this space.

Throughout the day, the public, staff, and clients had the opportunity to visit different stalls and hear how they can keep themselves and their homes warm this winter. Lunch was served by the amazing Kath from Christ Church Pellon who made four different homemade soups: Nana’s Soup, Lentil Soup, Cauliflower Cheese and Leek and Potato. In addition to this, there was homemade sweet treats from Cherry Bakewell to Parkin and teas and coffees available. Allowing people to reminisce classic traditional British bakes and memories with their own grandparents cooking. We can say there were conversations amongst everyone on which soup was the best! That answer is still unknown, but we can say everyone thoroughly enjoyed it!

We had 3 talks from 3 different services: Anna Dawson-Jones from the Greener Together Project at Newground, Sarah Buczynski from the Housing Energy Action Team at Calderdale Council, and Emily Madigan from the North Halifax Primary Care Network all took to the mic and gave a talk on what their service is and what support they have available.

   

The event came to a close with a quick team effort in returning the hall back to normal and the departure of all services present (with some sneakily taking more of Nana’s Soup and Cherry Bakewell’s home! As you can see, we don’t like food going to waste). Although numbers at the event could have been higher, the opportunity to network, build on new and existing relationships and find out more on what the locals want in the area was very beneficial for all who attending. I would like to thank:

Craig WatsonNic Webster and Georgia Oikonomidou from NHP for your support on the day with setting the room, taking pictures, and supporting with registering new arrivals and encouraging the public to engage and leave feedback

If you are hosting an event or would like to work in partnership with us, please get in touch with us at StayingWellProject@calderdale.gov.uk.

Interesting Fact 2: Did you know contractors that perform internal insulation through Calderdale Council’s HEAT support will redecorate that same wall for you with your requested paint or paper at no extra cost?


The Staying Warm with Staying Well event took place on November 3rd at Christ Church in Pellon. Members of the public had the opportunity to meet with the Staying Well Team, VSI, Vita Minds, Healthy Minds, Newground Greener Together, Calderdale Council, North Halifax PCN and Citizens Advice for helpful information around what’s available to keep energy bills down while keeping themselves and their homes warm.

Greener Together Workforce Development Programme

What is a Green Warrior and how do you become one?

• What does the Green Economy mean to you and your customers?
• Do you want practical ideas on how to include green skills in your customer sessions, as well as practical ideas on how you can become Greener yourself?

We will be running seven unique sessions for community workers, youth leaders and anyone involved in delivering community sessions for residents of Calderdale. These will run in conjunction with Todmorden Green Skills College.

Sessions will include:

• Demystifying the jargon
• Ideas on how to increase Green Skills knowledge for you and your customers
• Practical ideas on how to run Green Skills activities.

The October, Thursday sessions are at Pellon Hub, Halifax and Friday sessions are at Halifax Opportunities Trust. November sessions venue to be confirmed.

Get in touch to book:
Tel: 0300 330 5535
Email: hello@newgroundtogether.co.uk
newgroundtogether.co.uk

Download Information Leaflet

Greener Together Workforce Development Programme

What is a Green Warrior and how do you become one?

• What does the Green Economy mean to you and your customers?
• Do you want practical ideas on how to include green skills in your customer sessions, as well as practical ideas on how you can become Greener yourself?

We will be running seven unique sessions for community workers, youth leaders and anyone involved in delivering community sessions for residents of Calderdale. These will run in conjunction with Todmorden Green Skills College.

Sessions will include:

• Demystifying the jargon
• Ideas on how to increase Green Skills knowledge for you and your customers
• Practical ideas on how to run Green Skills activities.

The October, Thursday sessions are at Pellon Hub, Halifax and Friday sessions are at Halifax Opportunities Trust. November sessions venue to be confirmed.

Get in touch to book:
Tel: 0300 330 5535
Email: hello@newgroundtogether.co.uk
newgroundtogether.co.uk

Download Information Leaflet

Step into fitness with this 6 week Summer Walking Challenge

Click above to download full information

 

Newground Together invite you to join their Summer Walking Challenge starting 18 July 2022.

The activities are open to anyone in Calderdale over 18 years and out of work. We would like to involve as many people as possible in the opportunities.

Whether you walk a little or a lot every step counts. All abilities welcome.

Join our team of walkers for support and encouragement every week this summer.

First walk is on 22nd July at 11am. Meet at Bull House Green House, Halifax HX1 2EB

  • Booking required for the Friday walks, so we can ensure enough picnic food for all.
  • You don’t have to attend every week, just let us know when you are free.
  • Free for people out of work, aged over 18 and living in Calderdale.
  • Support will be provided from our Employment and Skills team.
  • We can reimburse bus fares for those wanting to attend the Friday walks.
  • If people need help to access the challenge due to lack of suitable footwear or clothing – we can help.
  • Follow our progress updates on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Plus one lucky walker will win a £25 ‘Love to Shop’ voucher!

Get in touch now to book onto the 6 week challenge and collect your challenge pack from Bull Green
House from the 11th July.
Call: 0300 330 5535
Email: hello@newground.co.uk

More events

There are other events you may be interested in, take a look at the July / August timetable or visit our website : Newground Together

More July / August Events Timetable and info

From RE:Mixy Party in the Park June 2022

When you hear the words ‘climate change’, what comes to mind? As more and more of us are waking up to the urgency of climate breakdown and ecological collapse, we perhaps find ourselves feeling powerless and unsure of where we, as communities, fit into the solutions. For others it may not yet be on their radar, but what is for sure is that we need to be able to have these conversations and more importantly, work together towards the solutions in our local area.

North Halifax Partnership have been working with the new Climate College in Todmorden and All 1 Collective and Lab to think about ways we can involve local people and communities in climate conversations and action.

Following the success of Waste Not, Want Not event in Lee Mount for Halloween 2021, we were keen to host a similar event in Mixenden. Working in collaboration with local partners in Mixenden, together we held the Re:Mixy event on the site of Mixenden Urban Park on Saturday 18th June 2022.

Local public green spaces are key to our communities meeting the challenges of climate change – whether that’s through connecting with nature or having space to grow food – we were keen to hold the event in Mixenden Urban Park to promote it as a place where activity can happen and get people thinking about how this space could be used better to suit people’s needs. Mixenden Urban Park, a large green space tucked away in the Mixenden Valley, may be remembered by local people as a multiuse sports site, with its own bowling pavilion and green, tennis courts and basketball court, but latterly has been a little neglected. Although the bowling pavilion has long since gone, the site can still be enjoyed for its beautiful walks, natural environment and nature and the Hebble Brook flowing through. Although in need of some repair, the tennis and basketball courts are still in useable condition, and being fairly unusual facilities in North Halifax, are crying out to be used once again.

With huge thanks to the team and volunteers at Newground’s Greener Together Programme, who carried out a clean-up and groundworks to the park in preparation for the event, this is now possible. We were also incredibly grateful to Jodie from Community Support Services for helping plan the event but also in allowing use of the Addy kitchen and facilities.

The event was a great success with around 250 people attending throughout the day. It was also lovely to see people travelling to Mixenden for the event and hints at the possibilities of making MUP a destination to visit in Calderdale.

People were able to enjoy a free meal made from food that was otherwise destined for landfill, give their views on what they’d like to see happening at the park, take part in arts and crafts activities, meet local organisation, go on a bug hunt or a story telling adventure, try their hands at different sports and have their faces painted before leaving with a sunflower growing kit and a choice of plastic free products such as wooden toothbrushes, cellulose sponges or solid shampoo to see if this was a change they could make in their households. The feedback showed that everyone enjoyed the day and would like to see more events like this happening in Mixenden, with some ideas for how we could make it better next time. It was fantastic to hear people’s ideas – a community growing and cooking project coming out strongly – but also local organisations committing to make better use of this brilliant space for sports and recreation.

Here’s what our partners had to say about the event, their activity and the future of MUP:

All 1 Collective and Lab talked to the local community about what they would like to see in MUP and what would help them to use the space more often. Families were very keen to see more activities for kids held there ranging from football, arts and crafts, outdoor gym sessions and nature walks. Many would also like to see a play area for smaller kids and for the existing zip line to be fixed. There was also an agreement from many that the paths into the space aren’t currently accessible for wheelchairs and buggies and that building paths for wheels would enable lots more people to enjoy the park. Some local residents would like to see MUP as a focus of community action and think that this would really help with local people feeling more ownership of the park. Ideas for community action ranged from litter picks, wildflower planting, building paths and picnic benches. It was brilliant to hear so many ideas and enthusiasm for returning MUP to a space which people from Mixenden can make use of and enjoy.

Laura, a previous student from the Climate Challenge Course at Tod College and Paula, teaching assistant and outreach talked to people about the exciting free, yearlong course at the College which is focused on developing practical skills for the green economy. The course has 4 modules: sustainable building, food and land, understanding the climate challenge and Energy. If you would like to find out about this course starting in September 2022, please contact: climatechallenge@tlchub.org.uk or call 01706 318 133.

“It was great to see so many people enjoying the outdoors and using the Mixenden Urban Park. This is a special spot in the heart of a fantastic community and it would be great to see this used more often. We will definitely consider how we can use the space for the young people who attend our Mixenden Youth Club” – Sam Harrison – Youth Work Coordinator, Newground

If you would like to get involved to influence the future of MUP, have an idea that you’d like to share or an activity you’d like to start, please get in touch with Natalie at Natalie.ratner@nhpltd.org.uk or call 07881952542 for advice, support and funding.