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Progress on the WestRaven Community Cafe

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 26.07.2016

Time: 14:01

Dear readers, it has been a while since my last blog about the development of the WestRaven Community Cafe!

You will be pleased to know that we have been granted the change of use for the property at 24-28 Hampton Court, Peterborough. We have also decided on a contractor to undertake the work. On the 13 July 2016 a partnership board meeting was held to approve the set-up cost and the request for extra funds.

Once this has been approved, we can start work on the conversion. Once the work has been completed there will be a two-week period to set up the inside and for staff training. We will then be inviting local businesses to an event to promote the café and what we can offer to them in the way of hospitality and events. In addition to this, we will also be inviting local volunteers and volunteering services to get involved with the café.

We aim to have a ‘soft opening’ to make sure all systems are in place, and then later we will have a full opening event to promote the café to the local community. The café opening hours will be 8am-4.30pm Monday to Saturday, and 11.30am-3.30pm on Sunday. On Monday to Saturday we will be offering breakfast, grab and go, and a simple lunch menu which will change every two weeks. On a Sunday we will be offering a Sunday roast, which customers will need to book a table for. One day a week we will be offering a free three-course meal in partnership with Peterborough Foodcycle.

A community engagement officer will organise the events that will take place in the café during opening hours. The youth in localities team will run the Garage Youth Group for 14 to 18 year olds. Ideas for the future include everything from pop-up restaurants, alfresco foods, senior lunch clubs, street foods, intergenerational cooking and cultural foods from around the world. We will also operate a Loyalty Card scheme and for volunteers a discount in relation to the volunteer hours.

I have also been keeping busy piloting the Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food cooking classes with two local primary schools, running cooking classes at City College Peterborough for Greeniversity and for Cross Keys Homes, and we also provided a BBQ for Ravensthorpe School’s sports day and summer fair and at the local Sue Ryder event in Hampton Court, Westwood.

If you would like to know more information or would like to come and get involved with the café or other activities that WestRaven’s Big Local are doing then we would love to hear from you! Please email kevin.earl@pect.org.uk.

Current views of the soon-to-be cafe!




The world we want

Category: General

Date: 18.07.2016

Time: 17:58

Over the years, many young adults and teens like me have been involved with protesting and trying to change the current state of the world. Recent examples include the junior doctors’ strike and National No Bra Day to promote breast cancer awareness.

It is true that these are very important matters, but they are all for nothing if the planet that sustains us is gone. Ultimately if the earth is gone then so are we.

We couldn’t have got where we are today without scientific and economic developments like those during the industrial revolution, but these have also caused terrible effects for the planet, with rising CO2 levels and deforestation. You hear about these problems a lot, but what do they actually mean?

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes the infrared and thermal radiation given out by the sun to be trapped in our atmosphere. This is known as the greenhouse effect, and it causes the temperature of the oceans and seas to rise by a few degrees. Although it may not seem like this could have harmful effects, it really does – it causes the molecules of water to expand slightly. Imagine every water molecule in the world expanding. This is one reason why we have rising sea levels.

This will affect areas below sea level like Peterborough, with the worst ultimately causing our city to be submerged. Although this is happening slowly at the moment, it will happen at the current rates of pollution. And who will this affect the worst? The next generation.

So what can we do? We can take an interest in the state of our earth, the state of our city, town or village, look into new ways of making tomorrow better but greener and cleaner too. Look for sustainable sources of resources and food. Find ways to make technology help us, for example sign petitions for wind, wave, solar or any other sustainable energy sources. Help to plant trees or stop deforestation by signing more petitions, because trees clean up the CO2 that we don’t need.

All it takes is an email or a name to do some good, and if you don’t want to receive further emails, then unsubscribe – it’s as easy as that. So please, to all students, apprentices, home-schooled or activist kids, or to anyone who’s reading this: please do what you can. This is our Earth.

Kiran Double is currently volunteering at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT). To get involved, email volunteering@pect.org.uk to register your interest.



Hyperlocal Rainfall: July Progress Blog

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 12.07.2016

Time: 17:05

We have had a lot of fun over the past month working with some great people across Peterborough, who have been helping us test out the Hyperlocal Rainfall app. The main part of this testing is now coming to a close and it has provided us with some fantastic insight into what Peterborough residents want from this app, and how people will actually use it around the city!

The testers have come from a variety of backgrounds, including people who want ‘to get active’ , city workers wanting to know the ‘everyday weather on the commute’, or those simply wanting to see ‘how it could help planning journeys’ or ‘timing dog walks’.

We let the testers loose with the app, getting them to see how useful they found the app’s ability to link their journeys with specific weather predictions. For the testing, we asked the participants to use the app as if they had just downloaded it and along the way they gave us feedback on what they liked, didn’t like, and what they thought could be improved. We are happy to report that most of the feedback so far has been positive and the few improvements suggested are constructive and will only make our app stronger and easier to use.

Participants that have already completed their user testing have said they are happy to carry on using the app beyond the testing for their own personal use, because they have enjoyed using the app and have found it useful. Some of the great comments included:

‘I have really enjoyed using it. The routes are great, the routes are the best thing about the app’ - Participant 2

‘There were 2 days last week when I waited at home for an extra 10 minutes before I set off. Really helpful, otherwise I would have actually got drenched’ - Participant 7

To keep you all updated here is what the latest test version of the Hyperlocal Rainfall app is looking like:

Now we move onto wrapping up the remaining user tests and getting a few improvements made to the app from the testers’ helpful feedback. In addition to this we are excitedly getting ready for PECT’s Green Festival on Saturday 13 August where we are aiming to have the Hyperlocal Rainfall app ready to go for Android users! I hope to see you there!

Freya Herman is the Project Officer for Hyperlocal Rainfall.



Think global, act local

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 07.07.2016

Time: 12:11

The environment sector’s mantra ‘think global, act local’ came to mind when reading about the research of Erik van Sebille, an Oceanographer at Imperial College London. Van Sebille’s work has shown that, in the space of just two years, most of the plastic dumped in seas around the UK travels to the Arctic.

With the region’s fish and wildlife already in danger from the effects of climate change and the melting of the polar ice cap, the climate scientist reckons it “is probably the worst place for plastic to be at this moment”.  

Some try to downplay the UK’s role in the pollution of the world’s oceans, pointing out that other regions (notably Southeast Asia) dump a far greater volume of plastics into the seas. However, ocean currents around the UK mean that plastic can be swept north very quickly, making pollution in this area particularly significant. Van Sebille’s assessment is that the UK’s waste “has a very big impact on one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world”.

That actions close to home can have such a disastrous impact globally is undeniably shocking. However, ‘think global, act local’ works both ways- small, personal actions can have a positive impact on the rest of the world, as well as a negative one. Everyone can take simple steps to contribute towards protecting and improving the global environment.

Take a look at PECT’s tips on how to be greener at home, school and work for some great ways to get started. If recycling a single plastic bottle or tin can feels insignificant, remember that respectively, these steps would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb or a TV for 3 hours. All of these materials can hold great value.

As one of people credited with first using the phrase ‘think global, act local’, the American philosopher Buckminster Fuller, said: “Pollution is nothing but resources we’re not harvesting.”

Emma Taylor is the Healthy Homes Project Support Officer at Peterborough Environment City Trust.