More than 30 community groups and council representatives joined Ashden and community organisation Think & Do for the Sharing Spaces London launch event.
Sharing Spaces are places where local communities join together to have fun sharing information and practical tips about living in a low-cost, low-impact way. This project is funded by the Kusuma Trust and aims to support Londoners to get involved in climate action in underused spaces.
At the action-packed event on 1 November, an underused tenant’s hall in Camden was transformed into a Sharing Space for the day. Guests were invited to take part in activities ranging from learning how to set up an Energy Savers Club – helping residents save carbon, and cash – to henna art. There was kids ‘sock monster’ puppet making, and darning. Guests created climate collages whilst others played ping pong – all sharing the same space! Clothes were swapped as local windfall apples were turned into freshly pressed juice in a cast iron press.
Delicious veggie Bengali snacks were served by a new Sharing Space social enterprise: Sharing Space Eats. As local resident and Think & Do Activator Halima Khan explained: “This project sees residents trained in food hygiene, gaining certificates and then earning money by providing catering for local business events. We have already provided catering for 80 events. Sharing Space Eats is a great outcome from our Camden Sharing Space.”
Animated conversations could be heard around the room as guests considered where a Sharing Space could take place in their London neighbourhood, what sorts of activities could take place, and who they might get involved.
Eight grants of £5,760 are now available for London community groups to set up Sharing Spaces. They could be created in a tenants and residents’ association hall, library, school, place of worship, or any other underused space. Interested groups can fill out an expression of interest form here.
The grant will cover the cost of paying community members to set up and run Sharing Space sessions, as well creating workshops and communication materials to reach the local community, and sharing learning with others doing similar work. An extra £1,000 is available to support project outcome ideas.
Georgia Gould, Chair of London Councils and Leader of Camden Council, says: “Sharing Spaces optimise everything citizen participation should represent. The scale of the Climate Crisis requires work like this to be happening across society and so I’d absolute love to see the energy we’ve seen from Camden’s Sharing Spaces spreading across London, allowing us as a city to shape the collective future that we want to see.”
Do you know a London community group that could use £5,760 of funding from Ashden to set up a sharing space? Let them know they can apply online here.