ACE Monmouth recently held an open meeting to discuss the progress of the Energy Surgery and Air Quality Monitoring projects.

The Energy Surgery Project Update, presented by Chris Seabury, was a collaboration between South East West Energy (SEWE) and Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to provide energy-saving advice and support to the Monmouth community. The project will involve a monthly presentation to community groups, and the creation of an information flyer to be distributed at Warm Spaces, The Repair Cafe, Community Fridges, and other locations/events. Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) has offered to help circulate this flyer to its relevant groups. Chris Seabury will draft the flyer and slide deck content for the ACE marketing team to slot into its branded templates.

In the Air Quality Monitoring Project Update, Chris Seabury provided an update on the progress of the air quality monitoring initiative. He is working with Martin Sweeny and others to collect evidence from those who have undertaken this sort of project before, including Reading University to establish how and where best to undertake the monitoring. Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) has also offered to get discounts on bulk buying of the necessary equipment. However, Chris will be unavailable from March, and both the Energy Surgeries and Air Quality Monitoring initiative will need additional volunteer support to keep momentum going in his absence.

During the meeting, new members expressed their interest in the expansion of the Schools Group to include Monmouth Comprehensive (MCS) and Haberdashers senior schools. The members also suggested new ideas, such as developing a series of ACE Monmouth Climate Cafes for younger members of the society to talk informally about their feelings towards the climate crisis. These ideas were proposed by new members under the age of 25. Rebecca Cunningham agreed to introduce the new members to those running projects that interest them, Cherry Taylor will approach MCC’s Nature Isn’t Neat and Bee Friendly Monmouth to discuss the pesticide-free town project, and Chris Seabury will share MCC schools' Action Pack from a few years ago.

Additionally, the ACE Monmouth Seed Swap event is scheduled for this Saturday at Bridges, in collaboration with Adam Alexander from the Heritage Seed Library. The event is still short of a few volunteers to do the teas, set up, pack up, and oversee the seed tables for Adam. Homemade cakes are also welcome, and those who can bake and/or are available during 9.30-1.30, for all or some of this, are encouraged to let the team know. The event is expected to be a great opportunity to learn more about seed swapping, network, and share tips with gardening enthusiasts.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday March 16 and will be held via Zoom. Joining details can be found on the ACE Monmouth website. If you or the young people in your life are interested in supporting these projects, please let Rebecca know and she can hook people up accordingly.