No. 6 – 5th February 2013

Eco-Hamlets UK Newsletter No. 6 – 5th February 2013

Seedy Saturday, Carmarthen – 9th February

Sat 9th Feb 2013
Seedy Saturday, Carmarthen
St Peter’s Hall, Carmarthen
Eco-Hamlets UK will be having a stall at the annual seed swap. The main purpose is to recruit a few people to set up a social enterprise to move things forward. It’s a UK wide organisation, but a few people based in West Wales would be a great help get it started.If you’re in West Wales and would like to know more, and hopefully get involved, please come along. We can talk about the West Wales Eco-Hamlet project, and the concept of an Eco-Hamlet too.
Times: 10:00 to 15:00
Web Site: www.carmarthenshirehalls.org.uk/hall.php?hall_id=28

Social Enterprise News

As mentioned previously, one of the favoured options for Eco-Hamlets UK is to turn it into a social enterprise. So many people have been inspired by the concept, but it’s never quite got to the stage where it really takes off, so now it’s time to get serious.

Some mindmaps have been created listing the many different functions it would need to perform, and the inputs needed to achieve them. The main features have been summarised in a short written document. It’s quite scary how much work needs to be done by each group trying to create an Eco-Hamlet, eco-village, or any other type of sustainable community, and having an organisation that can help could make a big difference.

What’s needed now is a few people to join together to get things started. I’ve got ideas, but think it’s best to find out who’s interested, and see where it ends up. As I’m based in West Wales, I think it makes sense to find a few local people, so we can work together at the start, but as a UK wide organisation, we will need people from all over Britain eventually. If you’re in West Wales, come along to Seedy Saturday and find out what it’s all about, otherwise get in touch by e-mail.

If you have any relevant knowledge or experience, please make yourself known too.

West Wales Eco-Hamlet News

My plan to buy a site to create a small Eco-Hamlet as a pilot project hasn’t gone according to plan, as many of you will know, and it has delayed development of the Eco-Hamlets UK organisation too. It’s been a good lesson in the need for an organisation to provide support to projects and their members though!

The original plan was very simple, but circumstances have meant that I have been considering a variety of options, and my ideal plan is now somewhat larger! If it’s possible to achieve it, the West Wales Eco-Hamlet would incorporate a small variety of different types of housing, and I think would really demonstrate the potential of the concept. I’m currently contacting a number of architects and planning advisers to get advice on the various options, and hope to be clearer about what will be possible soon.

Administration

Trying to keep track of the many hundreds of people who have shown an interest in Eco-Hamlets UK has been quite difficult. I’ve been struggling to keep up, and apologise if I haven’t replied to messages you’ve sent. If you’ve received this newsletter by e-mail, you are on the system, and haven’t been forgotten.

I started off by setting up a simple system to keep track of a small number of people. This soon got overwhelmed and the work got behind while I set up something better, and that’s how it’s gone on. I’ve spent quiet a lot of time setting up a much improved system since the last Newsletter, and should now be able to keep track of people and enquires much more easily, but still have a backlog to deal with. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation, as I need other people involved to share the work, but can’t do this until we have the ability to share out the work! That time is a lot closer now, and it’s a good time to set up a social enterprise to take the pressure off me.

Eco-Hamlets Web Site

It would be great if there was more actvity on the web site. Regular updates help to raise awareness of it, and provide an excuse to promote it on Facebook and Twitter. If anyone would like to provide regular updates to the News page, or contribute to the Blog, please get in touch. It would also be great to have some more entries on the Groups and Projects pages.

To contribute to future Newsletters, comment on anything in this one, or just to get in touch, please reply to this e-mail.