Eco audit day in Ilford Saturday 4 Feb- save loads of money and conserve energy

An inspirational and practical day in Ilford – open to all


vine-churchThe Vine Church Centre is a vibrant community hub in central Ilford. As well as being a place of worship, it is home to a number of community projects ranging from play-groups to elders’ lunch clubs; yoga classes to model car racers.

Over the last year we have been looking at our responsibilities as stewards of God’s Earth and ways we can reduce the carbon footprint of the Church and community building through an eco audit

The project we are doing is linked to the City Bridge Trust’s Eco Audits programme to encourage the greening of community buildings in London. . While we are trying to make our own building more energy efficient, other community buildings in Ilford could think about this too.

Our eco tips to save money and love planet earth

2-green-light-bulbsWhat we are  learning here at Vine is just as useful for businesses as for our community buildings.Our tips are not relating just to saved money (although you can save loads) but to saved carbon and addressing the impact of your building on the environment. By taking part in your own eco audit you will:

  • Take Mother Earth into account when working out your balance sheet – it’s a challenge to look closely at your environmental impact but  incredibly interesting and also ethically important.
  • Save loads of money by doing an eco audit and heavily reducing your energy bills!
  • Take the time to get the interest and involvement of  your colleagues and users and involve them, as it takes quite a mind-set shift and it is going to take time and team work
  • Link up with others around you that are interested in the environment and get them involved
  • green smileyJoin our Eco Tips audit day on Saturday 4 Feb – hands on in the morning, lunch, and eco audit worshop in the afternoon (flyer here)  The event will be part  of the Climate Coalition’s Show The Love 2017 campaign in which we wish to show what would be lost by climate change.

A bit more about us and the event on Saturday 4th  Feb

We want to share with Redbridge community groups,  how we can care for the earth and save money by making our community buildings and homes more energy efficient.

The event will be held at Vine URC and will last the whole day. It is being organised by Vine URC, in cooperation with Ilford Transition Town, Vine User groups, the Volunteer Centre, and Redbridge Faith Forum.

You are welcome to come to the whole event or to drop in for a session

Morning Session: 9.30am to 1.00pm (flyer here)

  • Energy efficiency DIY volunteer work morning
  • We will do some simple practical projects for creating a more energy efficient building. All are welcome. No previous experience needed.

Lunch time session: 1.00pm to 2.00pm

  • Come and share a simple lunch with invited guests,  including Mike Gatpes MP
  • Sing environmental songs
  • A tour of the building and the changes we are making

Afternoon session: 2.00- 4.00pm (flyer here)

  • Eco tips workshop by Donnachadt McCarthy of  3  Acorns.  Lower your energy bills through energy saving tips.

Our final thoughts

If Donnachadh can do it, and Vine Church community building is doing it, then so can  you! Donnachadh’s annual energy bill for his Victorian  house in Peckham is £12!!!  This is  an opportunity  to care and love for Earth, learn new ways and stop wasting  senseless energy and money.

Donnachadh has worked for over 10 years as a professional eco-auditor advising charities and businesses on how to reduce their running costs by going green.He is the author of two books on the subject “Saving the Planet without Costing the Earth” and “Easy Eco-Auditing” and is a widely published eco-journalist.  He wrote the Home Ecologist column for the Independent and is a frequent eco-contributor on many national TV and Radio Programmes including Its BBC’s “Not Easy Being Green “and ITVs “How Green is Your Home”.

If you would like to come to all or part of the day contact Peter Musgrave on 07943 986988 or email

This was first published on Sophia Hubs blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pics from the successful Ilford Autumn food fest on the Commonwealth Estate 2016

img_0135 img_0136 img_0138 img_0139 img_0140 img_0141 img_0142 img_0144 img_0145









What a successful community event organised on a budget of £50!   The first urban food fest event as far as we know in Redbridge, as part of Urban Food Fortnight.

  • A partnership of three groups on the estate (local residents, Commowealth Gardeners, Cranbrook Baptist Church), Ilford Transition Town and Habiba Ahmed of Amey.
  • Organised in 2 months with just 5 meetings and a couple of visits to the Church cafe to look at equipment etc
  • 150 diverse community members attending
  • 8 food demos (cheese, yogurt, bread, pickling, fermenting)
  • Donations of vegetables from local shops for the soup
  • Fruit Tree audit launched and 10 trees identified as a start
  • Fresh apple and pear juice made throughout the event
  • Give and Take stall and recycling stall with tips on preventing food waste.

There’s no question about this now being an annual event!



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ilford pilot of a community food fest in Urban Food fortnight -17th September 2016

urban-food-fortnight-logoIlford Transition Town is excited to be working with residents on the Commonwealth Estate in Ilford to run an urban community Food Fest. This is thought to be the first one of its kind in Redbridge and its all about bringing in the harvest as there are fruit trees on the estate and plenty of herbs and veggie patches love-food-hate-waste-logodotted around.  It’s also about stopping food waste.

  • Saturday 17th September 12-3
  • Fold cafe, Cranbrook Baptist Church, Wellesley Road, Ilford, IG1 4JT

This is a good excuse to have a community get together, celebrate the harvest, especially what’s grown here, and to share recipes and food preserving tips. Corine, Habiba, Hayley, Jon, Olcay, Ros, Ruth, Shilpa, Suhas  (organising committee)

Please pass on the word. It’s bring and share: your fresh herbs, your harvest, surplus veg, food tasters, recipes, conversation  🙂

apples-growingThe commonwealth gardeners will be creating a fruit tree map to make it easier next year to harvest all the fruit and stop any going to waste. Shilpa Patel


Posted in event | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Pass on the word – Ilford has a funky green pop up market on 2nd Saturdays

Delighted to be promoting the Ilford Green Pop Up market.

A partnership between Sophia Hubs, Ilford Recycles (a Salvation Army project) and Ilford Transition Town.

10th August 10-2pm range of recycled, upcycyled, crafts and plant stalls plus hands-on advice on local herbs for your health.  Salvation Army, Clements Road, Ilford.

Afroccessories plant stall Transition cafe July Upcycled bike chains








This is an opportunity to support green businesses (free stalls!) and Ilford Transition Town’s plan to run community cafes.  Please Like the Ilford Green Pop up Market Facebook page and follow on Twitter @ilfordpopup.

For more information contact Sophia Hubs on 07707 460309


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Buzzing Restart party held at Ilford green pop up market and great plans afoot

Restart partyRecycles Ilford, Ilford Transition Town, Sophia Hubs, Redbridge recycling team and the ReStart project were delighted with the buzzing pilot Restart party on Saturday 9th June.

Ilford green pop up market logo low resIt took place at the Ilford green pop up market in the Salvation Army, home to social enterprise Recycles Ilford and a new start-up craft business using bike parts as craft items. The Ilford green pop up market and community cafe has been running for 4 months now and was the ideal event to host the Restart party.

The video below featuring Begona, Ugo, Rakesh, Sam and Suhas says it all!  Please share 🙂

The plan is to run these regularly around the borough. Barkingside 21 are keen,  Redbridge  Central library and Ilford green pop up market.

We are running some training for groups that are interested in hosting a party to find out what is entailed.  This time Restart brought along volunteers from other boroughs but the plan is to find our own volunteers and run these events ourselves.  The training is on Saturday 23 July 11-2.  If you are interested please contact / 07882 134 506.  Debbie Lee, Redbridge recycling team

For info on the Ilford green pop up market, contact Begona Belmonte Sophia Hubs/Ilford Transition Town:


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green open homes 2016 guest blog – great idea if Redbridge joins next year

Guest blog from Shilpa Patel of Ilford Transition Town…

Here’s a great idea for Redbridge in 2017 – to  run a green open homes event.

On Sunday 19th June I set off to find out about energy and money-saving ideas that are happening in Waltham Forest.  This was the third Waltham Forest Green Open Homes, run by Hornbeam (a community and environmental hub).

So what was Waltham Forest Green Open Homes?  It was an opportunity for people to visit homes in the borough that have been made greener, warmer and cheaper to run.  It looked like something to check out so I went with hubby and kids for a visit.

There was a list of homes on the Hornbeam website that you could drop in at different times over the whole weekend.

Tom's boilerThe first house was Tom and Sallie’s home.  Tom showed us how he had double glazed the doors and windows of the kitchen himself with plastic Perspex.  He has fitted an extract fan that uses a ‘heat recovery ventilation system’ so that warm air of the kitchen is not sucked out and lost but used to warm the fresh air drawn in.   Tom then took us upstairs to how us his solar thermal heating, condensing boiler (pictured below).  The boiler provides all their hot water but can be topped up with a conventional boiler on not so sunny days. It looked very complex but Tom assured us that it was simple to use.

Next we went to Rebecca and Luke’s house.  They have a home-made summer solar shower that used rain water collected from the roof.  It was a warm day and the water from the shower had heated up nicely.  Rebecca said that from April to October the eco shower worked well.  There was also a composting toilet that used sawdust instead of water.

All our hosts had a wealth of information and great stories to tell about what motivated them to make these changes, and what they learned in the process.

I would definitely like to see Green Open home established in Redbridge.🙂

Ed: anyone want to help to get one going please get in touch by commenting on the blog below.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

ReStart Party at next Ilford Green Pop up Market on 9 July – get your electricals mended

Hi Folks!  Ilford green pop up market logo low resIlford Transition Town is glad to announce its next Ilford Green Pop Market ….

In July we are joined by the Restart Party which is a great project if you want/need to repair anything electric, electronic and learn a new skill at the same time.

A slow laptop? Faulty kettle? Radio misbehaving?

Bring all your items to Recycles Ilford at the Salvation Army, 15 Clements Road, IG1 1BH on Saturday 9 July from 11 to 2pm and get it mended.

In the theme of resilience and Transition a more resilient community will require us to be adept in a wide range of skills – skills that until recently were everyday but are now greatly undervalued (food growing, repairing things, natural building, maintaining renewable energy systems).

How best to address this collective loss of practical skills? Not only repairing your existing devices but learning how to do it. 🙂

2016-06-16-PHOTO-00000032 2016-06-16-PHOTO-00000031




We’ve also got green and craft stalls and our community cafe selling healthy, home cooked veggie food.

ReStart party flyer Ilford July 2016

Begona Belmonte

Ilford Transition town member and Sophia Hubs green business volunteer

Posted in event | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment