Golowan Festival: 5 ways we reduced its plastic impact

💚 Together we made *real* progress on reducing single-use plastic at Golowan Festival’s Mazey Weekend. There was a marked difference in plastic pollution this year. 🥤

A MASSIVE thanks to everyone who refilled, reduced and responsibly got rid of rubbish. Here’s five ways we reduced the much-loved Penzance festival’s plastic impact…

1. Amazing Plastic Free Penzance volunteers did regular rubbish picks, stopping anything getting in the sea.

2. Venues across town offered refill cups… leading to visibly less rubbish in these patches.

3. Many traders followed the Plastic Free Events charter and didn’t provide single use plastic.

4. There were no balloon sellers. Given the gusty wind, that will have made a massive difference to plastic pollution.

5. There were no goldfish in plastic bags at the fair. Phew. Poor things. These ‘prizes’ are bad for plastic pollution, and the poor animals.

Can you help us make an even bigger difference? Your donations help fuel our community projects, making a real difference in our town. If you’re able to donate, please chip in.

Thank you all – not least the Golowan Festival organisers and volunteers who are so supportive and work hard alongside us to help reduce impact. Onwards. Let’s do even better in 2023! 

IWD: Celebrating Penzance’s female changemakers

This International Women’s Day we’re celebrating a few of the amazing women and female-led organisations making positive change happen here in Penzance, Cornwall.

Fresh produce like carrots and potatoes in boxes

Whole Again Communities (WAC):
Community led = community fed. Whole Again Communities (WAC) supports people to cook affordable and healthy meals at home from scratch, as well as using cooking to improve people’s wellbeing and sense of belonging.

One of its projects is a weekly repair cafe which not only brings the community together around food, it also helps volunteers improve their practical and personal skills – which can eventually help them find work.

“We work with people to cook to improve their health, wellbeing and confidence,” Lizzie Sullivan CEO says. “Volunteers are involved at every stage – choosing recipes, cooking, taking online orders and managing the collection system.”

Mousehole community garden shows children getting involved with gardening

Solomon Browne Memorial Hall:
Solomon Browne Memorial Hall is a central point for the community to come together to take part in events, classes and workshops in the historic fishing village of Mousehole.

One of the Memorial Hall’s exciting projects is creating a new community garden, in partnership with Mousehole School.

Tamsin Harvey from the Hall said: “We have plans to create a forest school playgroup here, run workshops and outdoor learning sessions, and to enable members of the community to use the garden improving health and wellbeing. The school are also using this garden to enhance the children’s learning and life skills.”

Community garden shown with plants growing

Growing Links:
This brilliant forward-thinking organisation uses locally-grown food to make healthy, eco-friendly food available to all, while reducing food waste. It keeps hundreds of homeless and vulnerable people and low-income families fed each day through initiatives like Food Store and the Street Food Project.

Growing Links’ director Lynne Coakley Dyer told Cornwall Live about how the volunteer-led Street Food Project kept vulnerable people fed during the pandemic, when Cornwall saw a surge in food poverty.

The organisation also runs a community garden and allotment, training and workshops, and a veg bag scheme (selling local, organic and seasonal food).

Councillors Jan Power (l)
and Thalia Marrington (r).

Female local councillors:
Sustainable Penzance works with decision makers and stakeholders to get people and planet top of the agenda. We need decision makers like local politicians to stand up and enable a new way forward. In Penzance, female councillors are helping to create this greener future for Penzance. 

Councillor Thalia Marrington (Liberal Democrats) represents Mousehole, Newlyn and St Buryan. She’s working to help enable sustainable transport solutions in the area. Thalia is in Parliament today for International Women’s Day as part of 50:50 Parliament, a movement empowering women to stand for election, those new voices to be heard and a new way forward.

Last month, the Green Party’s Jan Power was elected as Councillor for Penzance East Ward. We look forward to working with Jan and other councillors to create a more sustainable Penzance.

Woman leans against a rock with a field behind her

The Hypatia Trust:
Taking its name from Hypatia, an ancient Alexandria scholar – the world’s leading mathematician and astronomer of her time, The Hypatia Trust is a Penzance-based charity ensuring women’s achievements are not overlooked. It researches, publishes and exhibits women’s accomplishments, ensuring they are not lost in, or even suppressed by, written history. The image shows the Trust’s Woman of the Month, astronomer, writer and researcher Carolyn Kennett. She told the Hypatia Trust about her passion for Cornwall’s nature and fascination with the night sky.

The Gardeners House is one of the Hypatia Trust’s projects looking to preserve the botanical history of the town and reconnect people to nature. 

Artist impression of the renovated community hub: stylish building with lots of windows

The Gardeners’ House:
In the heart of Penzance lies Morrab Gardens. Hiding in these beautiful public gardens is a derelict stable building. Recognising this building’s potential, the Gardener’s House charity was formed to renovate this building and transform it into a green hub for the community and all those working towards a more sustainable future for Penzance. At its centre will be an internationally important botanical archive from the Hypatia Trust and Morrab Library. 

Miki Ashton, from the project, says: “It would be really good to have that one place in town that is a hub for people to meet, connect and learn from each other.” We can’t wait for this new community hub.

Woman holding packaging at a pack swap event

Plastic Free Penzance volunteers:
Last but no means least, we wanted to give a shout out to the amazing female volunteers who give their time to our projects reducing plastic pollution in Penzance, helping us create the UK’s first plastic-free town.

Plastic Free Penzance (which hosts events like workshops and beach cleans) and its projects like Packswap Penzance and Refill Penzance could not happen without brilliant people like you supporting them. Feeling inspired? Volunteer and get involved.

Danielle (Dani) Boobyer.

5 things to look forward to in Penzance in 2022

It’s safe to say we’re in challenging times. Who’d have believed two years ago we were about to spend the next couple of years in and out of lockdowns, with schools, travel and businesses closed?

While we’re not out of the pandemic yet, we’re now entering the ‘new normal’: uncertainty remains, but Penzance continues to show resilience.

As the town bounces back, here’s some things to look forward to in Penzance this year:

Town Deal Fund

PZ Town Deal - photo of Penzance town with cars passing

Last year, it was confirmed Penzance and Newlyn would be awarded £21.5m from the Town Deal Fund to support regeneration of the local area. This year, work begins on several projects, including a more sustainable transport network and bringing key buildings back into use in the community.

Sustainable Penzance is a community representative on the board, so we’ll be seeing the business cases as they come in and how they’ll help create a thriving town that puts people and planet first. You can get the latest updates via our blog.

Healthy Streets PZ

People walking across zebra crossings on Penzance's high street

Healthy Streets PZ is already well underway. Work on making the Western Prom, followed by Alexander Road, more pedestrian-friendly starts in the next couple of months. Traffic flow and parking will also be improved in Alexander Road.

As part of Town Deal, several streetscape projects are in the pipeline as well as a cycle lane network connecting homes, schools and businesses. Work to encourage alternative modes of transport into the town is due to start and much more. Get the lowdown.

Golowan Festival

Reall large handmade lion model among crowds of people on Penzance's streets
Image: John Stedman

Our favourite festival of the year returns to Penzance’s streets this summer after a two-year hiatus. Golowan is no doubt one of Penzance’s most anticipated events, enjoyed by thousands and culminating in the biggest day of celebration – Mazey Day.

While the event took place on a much smaller scale in 2021, it’s hoped this year the festival will be back to hosting a full schedule of traditional events.

We’re excited to be working in partnership with the team again, reducing its impact through plastic-free and other environmental initiatives. We’ll need help, so look out for volunteer opportunities as we get closer to the time.

Community Collaborations

As Sustainable Penzance grows, we’re excited to host more workshops in 2022. We’ll continue to join people together through Plastic Free Penzance and we’ll also focus on bringing together organisations and individuals working on environment projects across the town, so we can be even stronger.

Three people and a child stand outside the Granary shop in penzance surrounded by free produce not wrapped in plastic

The Gardener’s House project is gathering pace, which will provide a green hub for the town amongst other fantastic community opportunities. And we will be looking for inspirational project leads to support our growth. Keep your eyes peeled and help us build towards a more sustainable future for Penzance.

Community Events

Young male wearing shortrs and a tee shirt uses a litter picker and white bag to collect plastic pollution walking along a beach next to rocks

Starting as we mean to carry on, our first event of the year is already open. The O C E A N | Exhibition for Change at the Mor Swimmy Wild Swim Hub is raising funds for plastic-free initiatives in town. It includes an Ocean Film Night on 21st January, screening one of our favourites ‘North of the Sun’. Book your spot.

Beach & street cleans start back up in February as we kickstart our contribution to Surfers Against Sewage’s Million Mile Clean. Our community cleans are more than just a plastic pick up, this year we will continue to collect evidence on the biggest polluters to support research and lobby industry and government through SAS campaigns.

Look out for us at other community events too – as we spread the message that we can create a better future for our town.

Sign up for our email newsletter to get good news stories from Penzance direct to your email box and for opportunities to get involved.

Penzance: 6 local good news stories from 2021

This year, the Penzance community came together and made amazing things happen for people and planet – from joining the refill revolution to raising awareness of rising sea levels.

Here’s a reminder of six amazing things we achieved together in 2021. (Want more stories like this? Sign up to our email newsletter.)

6 good news stories from Penzance in 2021. Aerial photo of Penzance showing jubilee pool and surrounding area.
Image: Love Penzance

Refill Penzance launched

We launched a community refill scheme in Penzance, Cornwall to help locals and visitors avoid single use plastic and support local high street businesses.

Reduced plastic at Tour of Britain

Tackling plastic waste is a tough job – especially when it comes to big events. But as the people of Penzance welcomed the Tour of Britain to town, we were pleased there were signs that things are changing.

We sent toolkits to every home in Penzance

We’re creating a wave of positive change everyone can be part of, and it starts at home. That’s why we sent a copy of our individual tool kit to every home in Penzance. It’s packed with ideas for saving energy (and pounds) and making positive change.

£21.5m Town Deal success

The town was awarded £21.5m through the Town’s Deal Fund. Sustainable Penzance sit as a community representative on the board for this vital funding pot for the future of the town – and people and planet are already featuring much higher up the pecking order than they ever have done before in decision making.

Hundreds join Global Day of Action in Penzance

Hundreds of people lined the Jubilee Pool to watch ‘Out of Sink’ raise awareness of rising sea levels and the need for global leaders to take urgent action on the climate crisis as the Global Day of Action came to Penzance, Cornwall.

Building a community hub

New and incredible projects are happening all the time in Penzance, supporting and evolving our vibrant community for generations to come – and The Gardeners’ House Project is no exception.

We’re working to bring together our community to protect the environment and create a more sustainable way of living, working and doing business. Join us and help create a thriving town which puts people and planet first!

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