A community and climate centre for Bristol

Ideas for the new community and climate centre in Bristol

Today’s Bristol Bites Back Better story is from Emma Geen from Power of Doing (POD), part of the national Climate Emergency Centre Network. We hear from Emma about work to create a new community and climate centre in Bristol. Get involved by sharing what you would like in the space and how you would like to use it.

The pandemic has been long and difficult. As well as the terrible loss of life, many people have struggled to access the food and energy they need, and this is only getting worse with the cost of living crisis. Loneliness has also been a big problem and many businesses and stores have been forced to shut down. In the face of these crises, taking action on climate change can feel like a sacrifice that people can’t afford. But what if acting on the climate could be a way to tackle loneliness, bring back life to our high streets, and support people to access more affordable food and energy? This is our vision for the community and climate centre we want to bring to the heart of Bristol.

We are a CIC called Power of Doing or POD and are part of the national Climate Emergency Centre network. We are working to rent an abandoned store and turn it into a self-funded space that is partly a community centre and partly a climate hub. This space will aim to bring communities from across Bristol together, provide an accessible and welcoming space for all, and support people and groups to take action on climate change in a way that is fun and tackles other problems in their lives.

We are working to offer four services through the centre:

1. A community café for all

2. Workshops to help Bristolians dream and work towards a thriving future

3. Resource sharing, swaps, and repairs

4. An event space for low cost hire.

Through these four offers, the centre will look at many areas in which people can take action as communities, groups, and in their personal lives, including transport, nature, energy, housing, jobs, waste, and, of course, food!

Food is pivotal for the centre. It will be how we welcome new people in, begin conversations, and make connections. Our café will offer affordable, tasty and sustainable vegan food and drink. We would love to hear your thoughts on what other food projects you would like to see in the space. Please let us know your dreams for the centre by filling in our short survey.

If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that we’re stronger as communities. Let’s work together to support Bristol through the difficult times ahead, eat good food, and spread joy while we’re at it.

We are building a network of partnerships and collaborations to support and improve our offer to the community. Join the network by emailing: bristolcecnetwork@gmail.com

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