The Big Society & the co-operative contribution to Sustainable Communities

The Big Society & the co-operative contribution to Sustainable Communities

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FREE EVENT - Understanding the scale of the challenge to create and maintain sustainable co-operative communities.

About this event

The Robert Owen Academy was unique and highly innovative in both it’s community co-operative ownership, it’s curriculum offer and it’s mission to regenerate rural communities. Once the Government announced its closure it was the members’ initiative to hold an annual lecture to encourage innovative approaches to the creation and maintenance of sustainable communities.

Our people understood the scale of the challenge to create and maintain sustainable communities because sustainability must be at the core of all future community planning. Their vision which they seek to develop is that by 2050 most, if not all, rural communities will have:

● Access to clean air and water

● Sound economic opportunities

● A safe and healthy place to raise their young people

● Adequate, affordable and environmentally sound places of shelter

● Universal opportunities for high quality life long learning

● A strong sense of community and a commitment to mutual support & responsibility

● A meaningful democratic say in the decisions - macro & micro - that affect their lives

The Covid 19 pandemic has highlighted many community challenges and shortcomings as well as encouraging some radical solutions. To this must be added the impact of Brexit as well as the current standards of living crisis against a back drop of war in Europe.

We cordially invite you to join us at this seminal lecture to hear from speakers who will propose a range of possible solutions as well as raising new issues. this will contribute to our mission to seek new approaches to developing and maintaining sustainable communities in a challenging environment.

Speakers

Amelia Washbourne

Amelia Washbourne has been a resident of the South Wye area of Hereford for over 35 years working in the NHS with a background in local government, health and social care and early years education. A mother and grandmother with deep roots in the community with a long standing interest in improving the level of service delivery and quality of life for residents. Amelia is a community activist and a director of the Robert Owen Society and is currently working on the visionary Fresh Start South Wye projects an area that has high levels of deprivation with the resultant impact on health, crime, achievement and ambition. Change and improvement with fundamental community regeneration is required and a group has come together to work to restore the community through a macro public/private initiative which would be strategically managed through a community wide South Wye co-operative business organisation.

Jesse Norman

The Rt Hon Jesse Norman is the Member of Parliament for Hereford and South Herefordshire. Jesse was educated at Oxford University, and has a Masters and PhD from University College London. He ran an educational project giving away medical and other textbooks in Eastern Europe; worked for Barclays on eastern Europe and other emerging markets; taught and carried out research in philosophy at UCL, and later at Birkbeck College. A lifelong volunteer, Jesse has raised over half a million pounds for charity; has been a school governor of an inner city comprehensive and worked with the Roundhouse arts centre and urban regeneration project, helping many disadvantaged young people. He has been a board member of the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, and patron of other local charities.

Baroness Sue Hayman

Baroness Sue Hayman is a Labour politician and life peer serving as a Shadow Spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She was the Labour Member of Parliament for Workington from 2015-2019 and served as the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2017 to 2019. She is currently a member of the Co-operative Party, Rural Co-operative Commission that has been launched to bring together the best ideas for how the co-operative movement can contribute to our rural life.

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