Rickmansworth neighbours celebrate sustainability success with completion of Transition Streets programme

NewsUpdated: 24 June 2024Community and living
Townfield residents, who have taken part of the Transition Streets, standing behind the Townfield street sign

A group of neighbours has taken part in an award-winning scheme that helps residents connect, save money and reduce their carbon footprints.

The group from Townfield, Rickmansworth, have successfully completed the Transition Streets programme - a community-led initiative aimed at promoting sustainable living – and now more Three Rivers residents are being invited to form groups of 6-8 households to participate in the free Transition Streets programme.

Three Rivers District Council and its partner, Grand Union Community Energy, secured funding from Innovate UK to pilot the Transition Streets programme in Three Rivers. The pilot programme brought together seven households, uniting them on their journey to reduce their environmental impact and build a more connected and resilient community.

The Townfield group started their Transition Streets programme in December 2023, beginning with an initial meeting facilitated by Sarah Burgess, the Development Officer from Grand Union Community Energy, to outline their goals and connect with one another.

Over the next six months, the group participated in a series of free home-based workshops designed to educate, empower, and inspire them to make impactful changes in their daily lives covering key topics to save money and cut carbon emissions, including: energy, food, travel, water, resource use, and biodiversity.

The group have made a variety of sustainability improvements to their homes, gardens, and habits as a result of their engagement with the Transition Streets programme - from installing smart thermostats, loft insulation, and insulating window films, to sharing water butts and excess food, and creating a list of household items that they can borrow from one another.

With the completion of their Transition Streets programme, the Townfield group now plans to stay connected and keep up their green efforts by continuing to meet regularly and exploring whether they can establish a community garden on their street.

Sarah from Grand Union Community Energy, who supports the delivery of Transition Streets in Three Rivers, commented: “It has been such a pleasure witnessing the Townfield group work through the Transition Streets programme. They’ve approached everything with an open mind and seeing them come together as neighbours and friends to support, ask questions, and offer advice to each other has been inspirational. I can’t wait to see what ideas they come up with next! We’re excited to help a new group of residents discover the benefits of Transition Streets very soon.”

Beyond the obvious sustainability benefits, the Transition Streets programme has helped to strengthen the connections of the neighbours in Townfield.

Bridget, a Townfield resident and participant in the Transition Streets programme said: “Back in December, we didn’t really know any of our neighbours. We were new on the street. Transition Streets really gave us an opportunity to meet our neighbours and our broader neighbourhood and also share ideas and our experiences of our houses, and that’s been really valuable.”

Another Townfield resident, Stephanie, also praised the friendly community focus of Transition Streets: “I’ve definitely made some friends through doing this group. It’s just an incredibly helpful group… and we can do all sorts of exciting things together in the future.”

Joanna Hewitson, Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy Officer, at Three Rivers District Council commented: “Transition Streets is an award-winning programme that helps people reduce their bills and live more sustainably by taking practical action together, in an enjoyable and sociable way. The Townfield group have wonderfully demonstrated that small, local actions can lead to meaningful, positive changes not only for our environment, but also for our wellbeing and our communities.

I encourage any resident interested in living more sustainably, reducing cost of living pressures, or simply wanting to get to know their neighbours better, to give Transition Streets a go. It’s fun and free!”

For more information about the Transition Streets programme or to start your own group, please visit: https://guce.org.uk/get-involved/ or email: guceltd@gmail.com

PHOTO CAPTION: Townfield residents - who participated in the Transition Streets programme - gathered behind the Townfield street sign (Credit: Sue Lacey Photography).