Cherwell Collective: Waste Innovation Station

Cherwell Collective, CIC helps our community cut carbon footprints through education and outreach.

Cherwell Collective is an umbrella not-for-profit supporting several local community groups that come together to reduce waste and empower the vulnerable. Our partnership activities had a footfall of over 50,000 last year.

Climatarian Kitchen, the in-house catering for Exeter Hall, uses only surplus and food we grow within one mile with our partners, Harvest @ Home, to create meals for these events. We host three smaller lunches each week at Exeter Hall, creating around 450 dishes every week for the community. Please watch this video to understand our incredible impact locally. We have served over 21,000 meals to those in need in the last year.

Our Kitchen team was a finalist for the recent Ox in a Box Best Community Food Group in Oxfordshire.

Our Winter Warmer programme increased these efforts and we sent an additional 1,500 meals to the most vulnerable in the community (those who could not make their own meals). These meals were made possible by local harvesting efforts which brought an additional six tonnes of food from local farms and orchards into our system which we processed and stored in order to feed those in need this winter via Cherwell Larder. You can give directly to Cherwell Larder GOFundMe separately as well.

We hold Big Lunches in Exeter Hall, Kidlington which are open to all in the community with no set fee, asking only for donations. Big Lunches include music, activities for families, and decorations. We borrow games, linens, crockery, and activities from Oxford Party Library, situated in Exeter Hall Barn. Local musicians play for the events, and Waste Innovation Station (WISH) makes decorations from items destined for landfill and plans events, bringing partners, businesses and people together. Learn more about some of our Coronation work by watching this video.

In the last few years we have hosted these Big Lunches for two Remembrance Sundays, the Queen’s Jubilee, HM’s funeral, the Big Lunch at Christmas, and will be holding our next for the Coronation on 7th May. On these occasions over 1000 people have dined together during moments of international importance in Exeter Hall, Kidlington.

We have been asked by the community and Kidlington Parish Councillors to make these events annual occurrences where the community can come together to celebrate sustainably.

Cherwell Collective has historically secured funds to provide these events at as low a cost as possible for the community through our grants and fundraising. Any and all you can donate will help us keep doing more of this for years to come.

Waste Innovation Station
Our newest project is Waste Innovation Station, a massive partnership trying to change attitudes and habits across Oxfordshire. An interactive Climate Change Museum, the first of its kind, a permanent space dedicated to understanding and doing something about our carbon footprint.

What is WISH?
An Oxfordshire wide partnership dedicated to reducing waste and creating a circular economy. 60% of the world’s carbon footprint comes from production lines, so our aim is to keep items in use as long as possible through distribution, repair, reuse, and recycling. We build infrastructure and focus on outreach to let people know what they can DO every day to fight climate change. Watch our WISH video

Our work has been celebrated for breaking barriers and inclusivity in accessing essential services, and for its positive impact in lowering the carbon community of the village. The new space will be available for all members of the community and includes provision of shared workshop/office space for the community to innovate with reusing waste and keeping items in circulation. By improving the building with an eye toward green development, we will set an example of a state of the art sustainable building, retrofitted with the newest innovations to allow people to see, touch, and talk about what’s possible now to live a greener future.

WISH Museum
With our seed funds we aim to create the first unit in the world dedicating permanent space for real people to learn about the production lines that account for global emissions and small steps we each can take to make a big difference together. This space will include an exhibit on food waste offering food surplus with no questions asked to the community.

Why now?
Our museum will not be about what science can do to save us or about melting polar caps. It’s about what is in OUR hands to change, to save ourselves and help the vulnerable. We break down myths in easy, fun, and accessible ways so that our community can come together and DO what it takes to make a difference instead of worrying that a sustainable lifestyle is too difficult to accomplish.

We have the space, but we need to make it more accessible and start installing exhibits and workspace equipment so people can use our museum as intended: to innovate with waste and find new ways to make sure no item is single use. We need to widen entrance doors, install loos suitable for wheelchairs/buggies, and install better lighting and ventilation in workshop areas. Local businesses have generously donated most of the equipment needed, so these funds will be used to make the space itself better suited to creation.

What will we offer
WISH exhibits will walk you through domains of industry like food and fashion to show you how a carbon footprint builds up, and where we as individuals can break that back down.

WISH kits and tutorials offer real hands-on experience and demonstration of repurposing waste to prevent purchasing of new items (cutting production lines). Workshops and shared space allow the community to share skills and knowledge of how to extend an item’s life.

Partnering with:
Begbroke Science Park to bring you local scientific innovations of the month
Oxford University of Museum of Natural History and Botanic Gardens to design exhibits
Village Refill Shop for refills of the month
Curiosity Box activities for children made using surplus

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Fundraising team (2)

Emily Connally
Raised £1,523 from 20 donations
Lesley Hart
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