We Can't do everything but is important and urgent that everyone does something.
PACE Manningtree (Practical Actions for Climate and the Environment) is a local community group whose volunteers carry out positive practical initiatives to reduce and reverse the impacts of climate change and improve the local environment for the benefit of wildlife and people in the wider Manningtree area. PACE engages in research, investigation and fundraising to search out the best practical actions and to inform and inspire local people to make changes to their own lifestyles which will support our environment. PACE Manningtree does not have an affiliation to any political party.
How did PACE Manningtree start?
Sarah Smith of Mistley posted on Facebook in April 2019 “I am a local Mum of 2 and I am feeling very worried about Climate Change. I wonder if other local people are feeling this and whether you would like to meet to discuss what can be done locally. I am not a radical, just a very concerned community member wanting hope for future generations”. 52 local people responded. As a result of that Facebook exchange about 20 local residents met in The Red Lion pub and this first get-together was followed by many more where we shared our concerns about climate change and biodiversity loss.
The Story so Far...
During 2019 we explored the science, tried to answer each other’s questions and discussed a wide range of topical articles in the press and on social media. Some went to conferences, others went to XR protests, yet others took a deep dive into various scientific books and papers. The group kept coming back together. We were, and still are, a diverse group from many different walks of life: biologist, chemist, several teachers of different subjects, advertising specialist, marketing executive, shop keeper, NHS staff, council employee, accountant, planning consultant – some retired, some Mums and Dads, some youngsters, some vegetarians, some meat eaters. Early on, from all this talk and beer in the pub, it was very clear that the group wanted to search out positive practical things that we could do which would inspire other local people to think about the issues and hopefully do.
The name PACE evolved from that determination for positive practical action and the ‘stick-man’ logo came from the doodle of our youngest member.
In early 2020 we were ready to go public and organised the PACE Launch Party in The Red Lion. The place was packed – lots of displays, music from the Top-deck All Stars and Ben Brown, baked potatoes with vegetarian casserole and crusty bread, a sustainable fashion show and more – a really inspiring event.
Then Lockdown hit.
We were confined to meetings on Zoom and organised various online events such as ‘Zoom in on Fashion’ looking at more sustainable clothing; ‘Zoom into the Garden Jungle’ with Prof Dave Goulson author of Silent Earth and guru on all things insect; a ‘Hustings on Zoom’ where each of the election candidates gave their views on environment issues.
In 2021 we were allowed out for some permitted events such as Tree Planting in Lawford, PACE Community Allotments in Mistley, Wildlife Garden Open Day etc.
In late 2021 PACE held several review meetings where we looked at the wide range of project proposals and selected those which we thought would go well in the Manningtree area based on the following criteria:
Would the project reach and engage many in the local community?
Would the project inspire people and make them feel positive that “we can do this”?
Would the project build connections with other local groups and businesses?
Would the project lead to a reduction in Carbon emissions?
Did we have a good leader who would lead the project?
On this basis we selected the Projects for 2022 and these are currently running and explained on this Website under Projects. Our largest project so far has been the Manningtree Earth Festival.
What’s up next?
PACE continues to grow as more local people become concerned about Climate Change – people want to do something, but they are not sure what to do for the best. All our circumstances are different in terms of time, energy, health, money, family and work commitments – so it is important that each one of us chooses what we can do, then gets on with it.
PACE greatly appreciates the donations and grants that have been given for particular projects as well as the volunteer power that is put into these projects. In 2022 PACE received grants from Essex County Council Climate Action Fund, Tendring District Council, Manningtree and District Business Chamber, Manningtree Town Council, Lawford Parish Council, Dedham Vale Area or Outstanding Natural Beauty Sustainable Fund and was Highly Commended in the ‘BBC Make a Difference Awards’. As PACE resources grow it is important that we continue to use these effectively.
PACE has a Bank Account with Metro Bank. In December 2022 PACE Manningtree applied for charitable status and this was awarded on 29 September 2023, so PACE is a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) Registered Charity Number 1204980.