It is with very mixed emotions that I announce that I will be leaving the Ecocentre in October to take up a new role leading a Birmingham Third Sector Organisation. I have been involved with the Ecocentre since 2008 when I was recruited to turn the vision into a reality. I have had an amazing journey over the past six years. I have had the privilege to work with amazing people, make some fantastic friends and be involved with projects that are really making a positive difference to the environment and to our community.
When I started six years ago I had never before worked with a Quaker organisations and I have learnt so much about patience, communication, respect and living by example. For these reasons and many others I have found it truly inspiring to work with Friends.
Good Grub – The Great Northfield Bake Off
We may not all be star bakers but Northfield residents will now be given the chance to improve their culinary skills thanks to three local organisations.
We've had incredibly fun-filled weeks with all our family outdoor activities this summer that attracted a record number of visitors.
It was good to see plenty of familiar faces returning to take part in more sessions to learn about the wildlife and trees at Masefield Community Garden but also learning how to build a fire safely, making amazing dens. Above all everybody enjoyed the magical atmosphere of the site... Imagination and creativity were let free and wild!
We were also lucky to welcome a group of energy loaded young people from the neighbouring Masefield Community Centre.
Northfield Ecocentre have undertaken the Urban Harvest Project for the last two years. Each year, groups of volunteers, led by a Coordinator have harvested fruit from residents’ gardens and public spaces; fruit that would normally go to waste due to residents being unable to pick the fruit themselves or because they have an abundance of produce.
Up until now only plastic bottles, tin cans, glass bottles, paper and card could be collected for recycling at the kerbside, but with immediate effect, households can now add plastic pots, tubs, food trays and aluminium foil to their green recycling boxes or in the body of their recycling wheelie bin.
Whilst the range of items that can be recycled is expanding, there are still many plastic items that cannot be accepted due to processing limitations these include all types of black plastic, all types of plastic bags, wrappers, polystyrene, Tetra Paks and films. Also, all other non-packaging plastic items such as toys, washing-up bowls and buckets.
Northfield Ecocentre was recently visited by Friends from Stourbridge and Dudley Quaker Meetings. The Ecocentre is owned by Central England Quakers but not everyone has had a chance to visit before. This is a reflection of the first time visit by Marjorie from the Stourbridge meeting newsletter. Thank you for such a lovely write up.
And what is an Eco-centre? What does it do?
Never having visited such a place before, unlike many of the visiting group (20 adults and 6 children) who ca
me to Northfield on that drizzling grey Saturday morning, I wasn’t clear what to expect. Persons wearing green (recycled) haloes and reconstituted sackcloth perhaps? Solemn lobbyists with posters of Jonathan Porritt on their office walls?
No such thing. The Eco-centre, a former bookshop, now seven years old, is tucked away in a surprising small green enclave, adjacent to Northfield Meeting House and Victoria Park. Much more surprising is the range of activities and local involvement which engages its staff. These include several forms of Outreach from “gardening for the beginner” to lending bicycles to the tentative commuter; offering help and advice to the willing and unwilling on all things ecological, resourceful and resource-based; engaging children from an early age in the business of growing and greening, caring and harvesting. Community gardens and orchards are among their many concerns, led by Georgia and her 7 part-time staff, as well as volunteers.
It's that time of year again - another school year over and six weeks of holidays waiting to be filled with exciting memories.
At the Ecocentre, we have been working hard to offer families some quality activities to enjoy together in the great outdoors right on our doorstep. Explore nature together whether you are going on a journey using all five senses, on a forest school adventure or meeting our friend Stickman.
Here are the unmissable dates you should immediately put in your diary:
Wed 23rd July, 10am-12pm at Masefield Community Garden: The Wild Bunch Forest School
Wed 23rd July, 2-4pm at Northfield Ecocentre: Ecokids - Sensory Journey
Fri 25th July, 2-4pm at Northfield Ecocentre: Ecokids - Sensory Journey
Sat 26th July, 2-4pm at Masefield Community Garden: The Wild Bunch Forest School
Wed 30th July, 10am-12pm at Masefield Community Garden: The Wild Bunch Forest School
Wed 6th Aug, 10am-12pm at Masefield Community Garden: The Wild Bunch Forest School
Wed 13th Aug, 10am-12pm at Masefield Community Garden: The Wild Bunch Forest School
Wed 13th Aug, 2-4pm at Northfield Ecocentre: Ecokids - Meet our Friend Stickman
Fri 15th Aug, 2-4pm at Northfield Ecocentre: Ecokids - Meet our Friend Stickman
Wed 27th Aug, 10am-12pm at Masefield Community Garden: The Wild Bunch Forest School
Sat 30th Aug, 2-4pm at Masefield Community Garden: The Wild Bunch Forest School
If you're inspired by the Tour de France, why not have a look at our family cycling activities on the Cycle South Brum website.
Read our Annual Report for 2013
Find out what we achieved, our energy use and how your support made a difference. Thank you.
I am now entering my third month at the Ecocentre, and things couldn't be running any smoother! I have settled in fantastically, all the staff have made me feel so comfortable and welcome. I have been doing a lot to do with Cycle South Brum for example going on led rides, hiring bikes out to people, and I will be teaching cycling tuition in the near future with Phil. I have also taken on a role with the gardening project, supporting Jackie with the weekly gardening group at the Ecocentre, as well as helping to maintain Masefield Community Garden, where i will be also helping out. I look forward to the rest of my time here, I know it will be thoroughly enjoyable and i am keen to move forward :)