07 Oct Coops, Councils, Eco Schools, DTNI and Friends of the Earth!
September was another extremely busy month for the Cauldron Community project with some very exciting developments!
We held a meeting with Carmel Fyfe the manager of Eco Schools NI and she is keen on supporting the Cauldron Community and we are currently exploring the possibility of having a formal affiliation between Eco Schools NI/Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and the Cauldron Community Educational Eco Village project.
A very good meeting had also been held with Karen Phillips of Derry/Strabane County Council and Denis Kelly of Donegal County Council ref setting up a Cross Border Conference to discuss sustainable and eco development ideas for the countryside in Ireland, with a view to the Cauldron Community initiative as an exciting and progressive development in this area.
A key theme of the month however has been Cooperatives! We had a very productive and inspiring meeting with Tiziana O’Hara of Coop Alternatives and are aspiring towards the Cooperative model as best practice for the type of non-profit Social Enterprise we are undertaking.
We also attended a general Coop meeting in Belfast and the exciting launch of a new turbine by Drumlin Wind Energy Co-operative. This Co-operative has raised a staggering £3.7 million in two share offer initiatives building 6 wind turbines. Andrew McMurray of NRG Solutions who played a key role in this very successful project has now set his sights on setting up a Housing Co-operative and is exploring the possibility of doing this through the Cauldron Community Project.
In light of this Cauldron Community Coordinator John-Paul Patton had been kindly invited to give a short presentation on the Cauldron Community at a special event “Co-Housing Potential in NI.” The main speaker at this event is Stephen Hill, the UK’s leading expert on Cohousing and Chair of the UK Cohousing Network.
This event will take place in Belfast on Wed 28th Oct and will be discussing NI’s potential for Cohousing. It’s on from 7 – 9pm, Agape Centre, 238 Lisburn Rd, Belfast. (Suggested donation £5 to cover costs). All welcome.
The Cauldron Community has also been in dialogue with Charlie Fisher Programme Manager of Development Trusts NI, which looks at giving unused government land to community groups. There is currently a 700 acre site at Ballykelly in Derry, which used to be an old army base and as the new home for DARD (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development) it could make a great location for an innovative Eco Village!
The Site at Ballykelly
Finally the Cauldron Community also met with Niall Bakewell of Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland and FOE have also offered to support the setting up of our Eco Village.
The Cauldron Community is a team game and we are deeply honoured at the level of support we have been given so far from every level of society in Ireland. Let’s all work together to ensure the optimum success of this project-onwards!