It’s been a busy month… so stay tuned!

Done and dusted

We’ve been up to a lot of things since we last told you a story!

The end of February was really cool. We fixed Bubba! – our mascot lamp. It was given to us by Matt Molteno, the same friend who sparked the beginning of the Collective. The problem was that even with a new light bulb, it wouldn’t light up. We took it to Bicester Green’s #restartparty at East Oxford Farmer‘s market, alongside other donated broken electrical items. Restart Parties are one-off events where people bring their broken electrical goods and skilled people show them how to fix them. The solution was so simple! … and it just shows the absurd fate of many of the items we posses … there was only a bad fuse in the plug. In three minutes, Bubba was as new. And we decided to keep him for the collective.

Stuart, Peter and Emma from Bicester Green, 'hosting the party'

On the 28th of Feb, we pitched our group idea at Project Soup. Out of the four bidders, we didn’t win… but a group who’s name I can’t recall now won. They deserved it in any case  – they provide healthcare assistance to refugees and asylum seekers who managed to enter the UK. We were just happy to raise awareness about us, and to get to know the guys at Project Soup – organised the admirable Makena Lohr. We stood alongside:

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We didn't take pictures at the event, but here's Bubba reflecting back on it...

Mmmm, March was well nice. On the 9th of March, I (Alex Mates) represented the Circular Collective at the Resource Event and Exhibition at London ExCeL centre, publicised under the #thinkcircular tag. I must say, one of the highlights of the visit was to sit at the steering wheel of the first hydrogen-cell car prototype made by these guys in Powys, Wales! Aside from that, I attended four workshops, many companies and consortium groups were discovered, many interesting chats were held, including with:

  • the representative of Resource Futures from Bristol – about us and the Oxfordshire Community Action groups – and received good feedback on our idea!
  • the representative for the CLEVER arm of the CORE Project
  • the representative for the RECODE_Network, Cranfield University – about redistributed models of production and consumption
  • representatives for Zero Waste Scotland

 

The following week, the team got together to prepare “Easter Recraft”, our very first upcycling and junk-modelling workshop. The preparation was fun, but the event even more satisfying. We made egg holders out of egg cartons and toilet rolls ^^, egg cozies, a what looks like a chicken, daffodills using scrap papier-mache, egg baskets using plastic bottles and textile patches, floral robots using old carton boxes and plastic straws, etc. Lots of fun for both kids and adults 🙂

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Thanks Robbie for the poster and The Bear & The Bean Cafe for the space!

We’re very grateful to all those who made this possible: Robbie Redfearn for the poster and lots of other help; Elena Jung for awesome organisational skills, gathering materials and lots of other help; Tulum Cruz for posting up posters and publicity on Daily Info; Gabriella Wale for planning and attendance; Anya and Emily Gurm-Villet for preparing examples and tidy-boxes, and helping with the kids; Lucas for attendance; Jack and Lucie for preparing examples with us, playing music in the background, and putting up with the storage of stuff!; John Skeffington and Paul Riggs for materials donations; Zoe and little Theo Shardlow-Geall, David Thomas and the young ones for attendance and fun. Last but not least, to the generous guys at The Bear & The Bean Cafe for the free space and great collaboration and support!

Who we’re incredibly grateful to though are councillors David Thomas  and Sam Hollick (Hollywell ward) for their generous funding from their Ward Members Budget – now the Circular Collective can afford to acquire more reused trailers for any of you who would like to have a go at collections and deliveries.

To Come

Our next evolutionary plans are firstly to purchase more trailers grace to the funding from councillors David Thomas and Sam Hollick; but also we’re thinking of three important steps that would strengthen our presence in the community:

  • create and distribute posters to charity shops around Oxford, asking whether they would be happy to contract us as a collection service for their customers, and for maximising our audience
  • preparing neighbourhood leaflets to increase awareness of our presence and services, that include the logos of our sponsors
  • visit successful like-minded local commercial businesses asking whether they would want to sponsor us in exchange for publicity .
  • … and …
  • we’d love to run more collections for your local projects and for refugee camps volunteer groups such as Join the Dots Humanitarian Hub, Collect4Calais, Care4Calais, etc.

In terms of upcoming events, please visit our events page here.

… thanks for reading so far! We’d be more than happy to hear about what you think of any of the above, in the comments section below 🙂

 

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