News & Views

Hollingdean Rethink Challenge: the facilitator’s view

Rethink Admin02.2015 The C-side Challenge

By Jane Glenzinska, BPEC

The course ran over 6 x two-hour sessions in an upstairs room at the Hop and Vine on Ditchling Road on Monday evenings.  Eight local residents were recruited to participate in the Hollingdean Rethink group, which ran from October to December 2014 and included a final, reunion session on the 19 January 2015.  

All the participants rated their experience of attending the group as “valuable” or “very valuable”
There was a strong sense of community cohesion within the group, which was aided by the meetings, and the attendance of the Hollingdean community development worker (a participant) who was able to provide useful local information.

All the participants rated their experience of attending the group as “valuable” or “very valuable” on their feedback forms, where they listed the actions they had taken to reduce their carbon footprints during the course, as well as actions they intended to take over the next 12 months.

Seven out of eight of the participants had home visits from BSW to provide domestic energy advice specific to their own homes, and were very satisfied with the information and suggestions provided.

At the final reunion meeting, the participants moved their focus from the changes that they had made in their own lives to the changes they would like to make in their own community. There was great enthusiasm around ideas for community composting and the possibility of screening sustainability themed films at a local venue in order to stimulate interest and involvement from more members of the local community.

Five of the eight participants have since expressed an interest in attending training to become Carbon Conversations facilitators, as they would like to provide others with the opportunity to participate in these groups. This training will take place in March 2015.

Overall, a great success!

Tags: , , , ,

Brighton Station Rethink Challenge: the facilitator’s view

Rethink Admin02.2015 The C-side Challenge

By Jack Dangerfield, BPEC

The course took place over a period of five weeks (25 October-29 November 2014) and was organised into 3 x four-hour sessions. In total, there were eight participants (seven female, one male) registered on the course, four of whom were students at the University of Brighton.

All seemed keen to make changes in their own lives to reduce their carbon footprint.
The course went extremely well. While some participants didn’t attend all three sessions, those that did seemed engaged and knowledgeable about the issues being discussed.  Two or three of the group members already knew each other, which made it easier to get a discussion going.  Some of the activities continued for longer than anticipated because people had much to contribute.

Organising the course over three sessions instead of the usual six worked well and allowed for more time between activities, which helped to build a more relaxed “conversational” atmosphere. Participants gave very positive feedback about the course and all seemed keen to make changes in their own lives to reduce their carbon footprint.

Four of them are now hoping to become facilitators themselves and run future courses with BPEC. The group is planning to meet-up shortly to discuss progress and future plans.

It’s been very encouraging to see how The Rethink Challenge has inspired people to make lasting changes to their lives and to take further action to improve they way they live and work.

Tags: , ,

Bikes v Cars

Alice Doyle05.2015 Clean Air, Community, Education, Events, The C-side Challenge

Ready for our theme on low carbon transport over June, we went to see a screening of Bike V Cars – an award-winning documentary – hosted by the Brighton Bike Hub in the Circus Street Market.

The screening was part of the Big Bike Revival fortnight (23 May – 7 June) and showed how the humble bicycle, is an amazing tool for change. The director Fredrik Gertten, looks into and investigates the daily global drama in traffic around the world.

From bike activists in Sao Paulo and Los Angeles, fighting for safe bike lanes, to the City of Copenhagen, where forty percent commute by bike daily, Bikes vs Cars looks at both the struggle for bicyclists in a society dominated by cars, and the revolutionary changes that could take place if more cities moved away from car-centric models to ones of better pedestrinisation, safe cycle lanes and better use of open and green spaces. Today there are one billion cars in the world, by 2020 at current trends, that number will double, which means more oil, more metal and more pollution.

For us city dwellers, do we really need a car that is probably only used for 1-2 hours a day? The annual cost for an average car owner is between £1,556 for a small car with low annual mileage, to £4,471 for a large car with high annual mileage. Lifestyle wise it can be hard to come away from car ownership, especially for people with small families or long commutes. But for those who just need a car for basic running about, schemes such as City Car Club, means you can easily hire vehicles for city travel and save yourself the hassle of a finding a parking space.

And the rest of the time you could be out and about on your bike.

You can watch the trailer, or see more information about the film or have a look at the Facebook page.

Tags: , , ,

The latest on... Carbon Conversations

Alice Doyle05.2015 Community, Events, The C-side Challenge

What has been the latest news on the Carbon Conversations I hear you say?

April and May have been very busy months as we sent our first batch of carbon conversation trainees out into the community to start their own carbon conversations. Why not read about Jack’s story? We will have more updates on their progress in the coming weeks. We are also looking for new recruits for our September workshops. What would your carbon conversation look like? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (07979 321 998) for more info!

We are also launching a C-Side challenge, so watch out for us as we rove around town asking people what really matters to them. Is it pollution on the Lewes Road, the high cost of housing or climate change? Everyone has an opinion: big, small, global or local, on what matters to them. And we want to find out what that is…

Another new feature is we will be running a series of “Conversation Cafes” with FREE TEA AND CAKE, on different themes every two months. Next month we will have Duncan Blinkhorn of the Bike Hub and the Bike Train fame talking on how cars are little metal boxes and the benefits of getting outdoors and on your bike. This will be on the July 18th, upstairs at the Marwood, 6-7.30pm.

We will also be at the Eco Technology Show, The Level Festival, and the Naked Bike Ride. So please come by to say HI!

Conversation Cafe – Sustainable Transport

Alice Doyle06.2015 Business, Community, Education, Events, The C-side Challenge

As part of this month’s theme on sustainable transport Brighton Peace and Environment Centre is running our first Conversation Cafe on the 18th June at the Marwood Cafe (of kick arse coffee and life changing cake fame). The aim is to engage people around the theme of low carbon transport, and also to recruit to our two Autumn Carbon Conversation workshops as part of our C-Side Challenge.

The event will be led by Duncan Blinkhorn of the Bike Hub and the Bike Train. The structure for the event will run 6.00-7.30. Duncan will give a 20 minute talk and then in small groups discussion will be led on:

  • Personal barriers to the use of low carbon transport such as walking, buses and cycling.
  • What choices exist in the city for the use of sustainable transport.
  • Information on bike schemes and personal travel planning.

The event will be held at the Marwood Cafe and there will be free tea and cake for all that participate. As well as further information on services in Brighton and Hove such as bike mending workshops and other resources to help you access more sustainable forms of transport.

A quick guide to the event is:

Open-mindedness: Listen to and respect all points of view.
 Suspend judgment as best you can.
 Seek to understand rather than persuade.
 Question assumptions, look for new insights.
 Speak from your heart and personal experience.
Brevity: Go for honesty and depth but don’t go on and on.

For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call 07979321 998.

Please note there is no disabled access for this event.

The Marwood,
52 Ship Street
Brighton, BN1 1AF


Opening times

The office is normally open to the public at the following times:

Tues 12:30 - 3:30

Wed 12:30 - 5:30

Outside of these hours please leave a message on 01273-766610 or email and we will contact you as soon as possible. 

DSCF0021 0

Social media

Web Facebook Metro iconsmWeb Twitter alt 2 Metro iconsmWeb Pinterest Metro iconsm