Gwyrddio Penarth Greening aims to draw attention to the challenges of climate change and in doing so to explore practical ways of reducing carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.
We believe that we need to prepare for the challenges of a future which must be very different in terms of food, energy and vital services such as health care. The overarching aim is to build up resilience and self-reliance in the community, and to encourage and support sustainable development wherever practical and possible.
GPG is aware of the importance of the local economy and intends that all its activities should reflect this importance. Nothing can be achieved without the involvement and commitment of the community. It is vital to work with and for Penarth people, maximising local skills and resources and doing so with respect for existing knowledge, experience and institutions. For a full version of GPG’s aims and objectives, see the GPG constitution.
How does GPG intend to fulfil its aims?
GPG works to raise awareness of climate issues, and runs practical projects involving the community. GPG is also responsive to local issues such as recycling which it will support appropriately.
How is GPG organised?
GPG is a not for profit, voluntary organisation which is run by a Management Committee. Current members are:
- Tricia Griffiths
- Anthony Slaughter
- Tony Cooke (treasurer)
- Alan Armstrong
Members are elected at the AGM. Membership of GPG is free and open to anyone who has read, and accepts the constitution. Maximum membership of the committee is nine.
How did GPG come about?
GPG was formally set up when its constitution was signed on 20th April, 2009. Its founding members were representatives of various local organisations, including the Penarth Town Council, and individuals who all believed that the time was right to create a local body which could work actively to draw attention to the threats posed by climate change and peak oil.
There had been a small ecological group working on climate change issues within Cytun, the ecumenical church organisation in Penarth. This group had decided to disband in order to ensure that these pressing environmental challenges should be taken on by a wider community group which could reach out to the community more effectively. Cytun has remained supportive of all aspects of GPG’s projects and work generally.
Is GPG a registered charity?
No, at the moment GPG is not registered because our income has not exceeded £5,000 in any one year.
Where did the name Gwyrddio Penarth Greening come from?
The original members wanted to include ‘greening’ in the title and also wanted the Welsh language to be included. Greening in Welsh is ‘gwyrddio’. Most people now refer to us a GPG.
How is GPG different from the Transition Movement?
A quick glance at the transition town website will show that we have many things in common with the Transition Movement. We are equally committed to ‘transitioning’ from fossil fuel to renewable energy, to reducing personal and community use of carbon, and to creating a more sustainable and enjoyable community. However, when GPG was set up the group did not want at that stage to be tied into any formal ‘staged approach’ to taking our green agenda forward.
How do I join GPG?
You can come to any of our events and join in with a project without joining formally, but if you want to vote at AGMs, or take a more active part in ensuring that we are accountable, you will need to become a member. Having read and agreed with the constitution, you can download, fill in and send off our Membership application form. Membership is free of charge.
Does GPG work with other organisations?
Yes. GPG is keen to work with and alongside any organisations which support our aims. We were delighted to work with local primary schools in the production of the Penarth Bag, and we were welcomed to Belle Vue Park for our Apple Day.
Is GPG open to all?
Absolutely! GPG is determined that it is, and will remain, open to the whole community regardless of race, gender, disability, ability or religion. We cannot guarantee that people with particular disabilities will be able take part in all of our projects and events, but where safe and possible we will do our best to involve them.
How is GPG funded?
As far as possible GPG only seeks funds for projects where money is absolutely essential. So far, we have received grants from Penarth Town Council, the Co-operative Group, Tidy Towns and Environment Wales. We raise small amounts through voluntary collections at meetings, running raffles and small donations.
Are volunteers insured when involved with projects/events?
Yes, GPG is insured.
How does GPG decide on a new project or venture?
Ideas tend to come from the open meetings at which different topics are explored. If there is enough support, and the idea is obviously in keeping with our aims, then we will take things further and explore just how much interest there really is and put things in motion.
We also very much welcome ideas from the community. For example, several people raised concerns recently about street trees in Penarth and it looks as though there might be a new group emerging in relation to this.
What are GPG’s main challenges in relation to taking its agenda forward?
Our biggest need is for more people with a little time, a lot of enthusiasm and belief in what we are doing. In this current economic crisis it is also hard to get people to focus back on green issues – not unreasonably, people are worried about making ends meet, and the future generally.
Does GPG get involved in campaigning on particular issues?
GPG is not a campaigning organisation, but if a particular issue arises which is of great concern to the environment, we will try and establish a GPG view and take action appropriately to make that view known.
Is GPG concerned with the wider environment issues such as use of pesticide and pollution?
All these issues are of concern to GPG, but we have limited resources and have to choose what we can follow up properly. It sometimes happens that when working on a particular project, for instance, the local food festival, topics such as the value of organic food will arise and this may well lead on to discussion about pesticides and non-organic fertilisers.
Does GPG take up national climate change campaigns?
Where possible, we will pass on information to people on our email list and put out information via the web site and our GPG facebook page. If a major campaign is planned, we will try to ensure someone from Penarth attends.
Does GPG have any scientific experts among its members/supporters?
Our members are from a wide variety of backgrounds and have come to their own conclusions about climate change for many different reasons. None of us claims to be an expert in the science of climate change or global warming, but we believe that the weight of evidence points to changes on the horizon which will have far-reaching effects on us locally, nationally and worldwide. We think it is important to do something now while there is still some time.
If we are proved wrong, that will be good news for everyone. But, our efforts will not have been wasted as few can doubt that the breakneck speed at which many live, the dependence on food brought across the world, and pollution created by our current way of life are not sustainable. There is a better, slower, fairer, greener way of living…
Is GPG linked to any political view or party?
No. GPG is a not party political body, but we do want to know what politicians think and also hope to engage them in what we are trying to achieve.
If you have a question about GPG, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org