A new short film showcasing how a Friends and Neighbours community group based in Neath is working positively to mitigate climate change, had its premier to coincide with Earth Hour.
The film entitled ‘The Planting of a Seed – Sustaining a community in a time of climate and ecological emergency’ celebrates the work of F.A.N (Friends And Neighbours Centre) and was made with lottery funding by Welsh film maker Joseff Morgan and Dr Jennifer Rudd from Swansea University’s School of Management. The screening took place at the F.A.N. centre with an audience drawn from the local community, councillors and Senedd members and was followed by a Q&A with Dr Rudd.
The idea for the film was born out of conversations between Emma Knight, from F.A.N. and Dr Rudd, who gives climate science talks to the group. After funding was secured to hire film maker Joseff Morgan, the three worked together to develop and direct the film.
The film leads the audience into the life of the F.A.N centre, where activities are planned and executed with the health of the planet in mind. Teaching is large part of the community effort, ensuring that all generations are made aware of climate change, and how by doing small things, by helping the environment and helping each other, the community is making a big difference.
The community centre and its electric vehicle, which is used to collect and drop off of surplus food and community transport, are powered from the solar panels on the roof.
The centre is used as a ‘Warm Hub’ offering warmth and food and each meal is prepared using donations received from various organisations across South Wales, which would have otherwise gone to landfill. The community centre also serves a “climatarian menu” to highlight the global heating impact on food.
The group run regular litter picks to help improve their locality and have transformed a lane near the community centre, into a fruit and vegetables patch. This learning is now being passed on with the Mini F.A.N.s youth group starting their own raised beds by the playground next to the community centre.
Dr Rudd said: ‘Many people think that climate action is restrictive, expensive and can suck the fun out of life. The film about F.A.N. shows that climate action isn’t like that at all. Climate action is community, and this is such a brilliant example of what we really want our world to be like’.
Emma Knight, from F.A.N. said: “We're delighted that this film showcases the actions that communities can take to reduce their impact on the planet. We hope that it inspires other community groups across Wales and the wider world to take positive collective actions.”
More information about F.A.N. can be found on their Facebook page, including the public release date of the film in May.