Over 50 local people crammed into the Baptist Church Hall on Thursday 18th June for the PEDAL AGM and Creating our Future Now! event. Many left proudly wearing their new hot off the press PEDAL t‑shirts (available from the PEDAL stall at Portobello Organic Market – get yours quick before they sell out!) and abuzz with the infectious energy that filled the hall.
PEDAL has had a busy and challenging year. Looking back to our March 2010 AGM we were introducing our newly appointed CCF project workers, launching the food and energy projects and frantically looking for another office. And now, only 15 months later we have said good bye to all the workers, moved into and out of the Baileyfield office and have just launched the joint community wind turbine project with Greener Leith on the energyshare website. Not much time for standing still!
The AGM provided a forum for reflecting back on our work during the past year. We have continued to develop projects to make Portobello more sustainable, and in the process (according to some obscure mathematical formula the Government uses) we are estimated to have helped Portobello to save 175 tonnes of CO2. We also considered some of the key questions and challenges facing PEDAL over the months and years ahead including:
- the unsustainability of grant funding and the need for income generating community enterprise
- the tension between being target led and being a community led organisation
- the need to be both visionary and realistic
- the need to engage with all sectors of the local community
PEDAL was the first Transition Town in Scotland and watching the film In Transition enabled us both to witness the work that we and others had inspired elsewhere, and to place PEDAL within the wider context of an inspiring and expanding movement for sustainable change.
Watch this space for a new Edinburgh local currency! Andy Maybury from A Greener Hawick told us about their experience with the Hawick pound and how they went about launching it.
The evening then finished with a speedy and inspiring update on PEDAL’s many and varied current projects. PEDAL doesn’t have any paid staff at the moment so it’s up to all to all of us to make our visions happen. If you are interested in helping move the projects in any of the following areas forward please do contact the relevant people:
- Portobello Organic Market – Tom Black firstname.lastname@example.org
- Local currency – Justin Kenrick email@example.com
- Community food growing spaces – Eva Schonveld firstname.lastname@example.org
- Community Orchard – Diana Cairns email@example.com
- Community Wind Turbine – Tom Black firstname.lastname@example.org
- Community Bakery – Katie Alexander email@example.com
- Car Free Day – Eva Schonveld and Justin Kenrick firstname.lastname@example.org
And finally a call for anyone interested in being PEDAL’s social media guru? This would involve helping us get our message out through facebook, twitter etc Please contact Chris Booth if this grabs you.