Conference

Friday 15th July 2022

Health and climate change – how are they connected? Does taking action to improve one, create opportunities to improve the other?

 

On Friday 15th July, people from Frome and across the region gathered at The Cheese & Grain for a day dedicated to community action on health and climate change. At this sold out event, attendees heard from partners of our unique project, which is helping people in the town to lead lives that are good for their health and the planet.

Staff from our partnership shared how their pioneering work is having a positive impact in the community, whilst guest speakers, who are at the forefront of the fight for climate justice in different ways, reminded us of the urgency of the crisis around the world and encouraged the room to consider the bigger picture. See here for detailed timetable and here for full digital delegate pack.

 

Sharing their insights, our guest speakers included:

We also heard directly from members of the Green & Healthy Futures team :

  • Dr Helen Kingston – Senior GP Partner, Frome Medical Practice
  • Jenny Hartnoll – Health Connections Mendip Lead, Frome Medical Practice
  • Charlotte Carson – Green Health Connector, Frome Medical Practice
  • Johannes Moeller – Managing Director, Edventure:Frome
  • Sue Palmer – Future Shed Lead, Edventure: Frome
  • Nikki Brain – Resilience Manager, Frome Town Council
  • Jo Morris – Resilience Officer, Frome Town Council
  • Emma Parker – Cycle Together Lead, Frome Town Council

Throughout the day, associated activities took place at Frome library, including the launch of Frome Seed Library where the public can donate and swap seeds, alongside a display by the Future Shed Clothing & Textiles Network which featured a dress made of plastic milk bottles. We also hosted a teen climate workshop to debate the hot topic of flying and were thrilled to see young people getting involved.

Following a tasty plant-based lunch, the team hosted breakout sessions around different health-climate themes, inviting the audience to explore the issues further, share ideas and tackle challenges together. From this came new connections and inspiration with people of all different backgrounds joining in. 

The day ended with ‘out and about’ sessions around the town and a reception at Frome Town Hall where people could meet up and reflect. The event was rich in knowledge-sharing and connection-building at all levels from curious local individuals to impassioned community groups and regional health and government organisations looking to make change in their own towns.

 

After the limitations of the last couple of years, we were delighted to welcome so many people from Frome and beyond to the event. Our Green Health Connector (probably the first role of it’s kind in the UK), Charlotte said “it was so lovely to have everyone in the room together” whilst Cycle Together lead Emma added “it was wonderful to make so many  connections and share our work with people from all across the South West”. 

 

Project Manager, Sue Palmer shared “we wanted the conference to bring people together from Frome and across the region and we were delighted that people came from as far afield as Cornwall. More locally we had people joining from towns in Somerset, including councillors and advocates and we felt a really healthy crossover of people being inspired to take action.”

 

Despite the global challenges we face as a result of climate change, the conference highlighted why taking action on a community level is such an important part of the solution and invited people to get involved. From free e-bike hire and energy advice to a meet up space for cooking up ideas together, the project offers lots of ways for people in Frome to make a difference. Take a look around our website for more information.

Access our Toolkits

We have the following toolkits available as downloadable A4 PDFs:

* Future Shed – Edventure Frome
* Storytelling – Edventure Frome
* Choosing Wisely – Frome Medical Practical
* Green Community Connectors - Frome Medical Practice
* Healthy Homes – Frome Town Council
* Cycle Together – Frome Town Council

Thank you to everyone who joined us at our Health & Climate Conference. We hope you came away feeling inspired with new connections and optimism for the future. We hope you also gained:

  • The story of our project and, if you live in Frome or its surrounds, information about how you can get involved going forward
  • Ideas for how you can build a green and healthy town or city
  • A recipe for creating productive cross-sector projects
  • Toolkits of Frome’s prototypes to tailor and scale in your community/town
  • New contacts and connections to a network of community-focused climate activists
  • Collective insights on making climate action stick 

Please get in touch if you have any comments or queries from the event.

 About the hosts

This event was hosted by the Green & Healthy Future for Frome programme.

A Green & Healthy Future for Frome wants to achieve a health and climate win-win. How? By exploring how we can help local people to live in ways which are good for their health and the planet. This community-led initiative is based on the fact that these issues are firmly linked – if we improve one, we’ll also improve the other, enabling everyone to share in a better future.

The programme is a partnership between Edventure: Frome, Frome Medical Practice, Frome Town Council and our local community. Our programme is made possible by the Climate Action Fund through The National Lottery Community Fund.

This event was funded through The National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund. Thanks to additional sponsorship from Cheese & Grain.

Jonathan Higman is the Chief Executive of NHS Somerset Integrated Care Board, the new organisation that is responsible for establishing the strategic priorities for the NHS in Somerset and working with organisations across the county to improve the health of our population.  

Dr Rita Issa is a climate-focussed GP, activist and research fellow at the UCL Institute for Global Health, studying the intersections of climate change, migration and health. She undertook her medical training at the pioneering social enterprise Bromley by Bow Centre and has co-founded a number of campaigns and advocacy groups.

Ian Preston is the Director of Household Energy Servies at the Centre for Sustainable Energy where he oversees award-winning advice projects. He has over 20 years of experience in sustainable energy and is a leading expert on retrofit, fuel poverty and energy justice.

Yvonne Bignall is a self-care coach and award-winning women’s health advocate. With over 37 years in the health & fitness industry, she is a catalyst of change, reconnecting women to their innate power through self-care.

Grace Maddrell is a 16-year-old writer and climate/social justice advocate from Frome. Since the age of 13, they have worked with a variety of groups and campaigns and are the editor of Tomorrow Is Too Late, a collection of essays by youth climate activists from around the world.

Access our Toolkits

We have the following toolkits available as downloadable A4 PDFs:

* Future Shed – Edventure Frome
* Storytelling – Edventure Frome
* Choosing Wisely – Frome Medical Practical
* Green Community Connectors - Frome Medical Practice
* Healthy Homes – Frome Town Council
* Cycle Together – Frome Town Council