KEF is participating in the Council's Covid Recovery Taskforce - Communities, to represent environmental concerns in the taskforce. More details will emerge, but in the meantime please make sure your green group is a member of this website so that your organisation can contribute and be consulted as and when relevant. Interested individuals are invited to use our Facebook page to raise Covid-related environmental issues and questions. Ideas (practical where possible!) from environmentally minded groups and individuals on how Kingston can recover from this crisis and "build back better" welcome, via the Facebook page. Later you might be asked for more help, depending on how things go. Taks Force groups meet monthly and we will update this item occasionally with news and progress The Task Force meets monthly, is very diverse and concerned with recovery issues across the board: such as poverty and homelessness, as well as those taken on by the sub-groups below. Many matters that were concerning before are even more worrying now, such as poverty and unemployment and mental health. It is also clear, just by looking around, that we need more public green spaces, not fewer as developments encroach on those we have, and that and the Council's Climate Emergency Declaration are issues we can raise.
KEF in the Volunteering Task Force subgroup
February - March 2021
Green volunteering opportunities? As an outcome of KEF’s participation in the Council’s Communities Covid Recovery Task Force volunteering subgroup, we are helping to map volunteering activities in Kingston, with help from Paul of TTK. Our contribution is likely to be an up-to-date list of indoor and outdoor green volunteering opportunities. Outdoor activities are likely to be among the first things to go back to something approaching normal, so, if your group runs a community garden or a conservation activity, even if it isn’t yet back to its usual levels of activity, please send Marilyn a line or two about your plot, where it is, how to volunteer or find out more... Some Indoor volunteering (such as office-based tasks or home visits to give advice) will take a bit more time to return to normal, so our lists and maps will be on-line resources (some on this website) that can be updated as and when needed. Please keep in touch with KEF and update us when you can.
This subgroup. led by KVA, is planning a Volunteering Summit in April or May - if a representative from your group would like to be invited, please contact Marilyn
Some useful takeaways emerged from the latest meeting of the volunteering subgroup of Kingston's Covid Recovery Task Force, especially if your environmental group is looking for volunteers or offering volunteer opportunities. The TF is keen to ensure that the upsurge in volunteering during the pandemic continues and does not become strangled in the red tape that often accompanies formal volunteering. Although this may not be the ideal time to be recruiting, you might like to save the info for later. Groups can register a request for volunteers with Volunteering Kingston. If your group offers a service, group, activity or club it could be promoted on Connected Kingston or https://www.connectedkingston.uk/get-involved. Volunteering Kingston also has a #NeverMoreNeeded page on its website for collecting encouraging volunteering stories. And if you are looking for a volunteering opportunity visit Volunteering Kingston.
Transition Town Kingston will be helping a working-group to map out volunteering opportunities in Kingston, as Paul from TTK began work on mapping green groups and green volunteering some time ago
KEF in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Task Force subgroup
Green is good – for mental health and wellbeing, and KEF representatives in the wellbeing subgroup of the Council’s Communities Covid Recovery Task Force are stressing the importance for public health of green spaces, trees and access to nature. We have also provided a few lines on Kingston’s Climate Emergency Declaration and its relevance to mental health and wellbeing for inclusion in the Council's Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. Marilyn and Alison from KEF member-group Transition Town Kngston are participating in this sub-group.
December/February 2021 meetings
One event from this group: South London Listens, Kingston, between 18th and 24th February, daytime or evening sessions, on-line. Healthwatch Kingston are hosting conversations to support a new mental health listening campaign. We want to hear from a diverse range of Kingston residents so please come along. The sessions are confidential and very simple, and attendees will be asked to share answers to two questions: What is putting pressure on the wellbeing of you and the people you care about? What has or could have made this experience better for you / those you care about? Find out more and book a session.
Also the possibility of training for groups from Mind Kingston, on how to welcome and manage vulnerable volunteers...As so many people are feeling lonely, depressed, anxious... this could be useful to green groups amongst others.