17 May 2023, Edge Hill University

Christopher Dent, Edge Hill University

The first Lancashire Community Action Forum took place on 17 May 2023 at Edge Hill University, bringing together over 160 people from almost 90 organisations across the county. The main aim of the event was to capture Lancashire’s ‘community voice’ on climate action on a scale never before achieved.

More specifically, the Forum event sought to:

  • Understand the goals, problems and challenges of Lancashire’s community organisations working in some way on climate action efforts.
  • Share good practice among event participants and explore new ideas on developing collaboration and mutual support.
  • Explore how participating community organisations can establish new forms of collaboration and can mutually support each other.
  • Provide expertise from also participating specialists working on different aspects of climate action and community engagement.
  • Feedback ‘community voice’ outputs from this climate action focused event to Lancashire’s councils and political leaders as they implement the Lancashire 2050 Plan.
  • Consider follow-up activities after the event, such as creating a network of participating community organisations and the climate action linkages between them.

After an opening plenary session introducing the day event, participants engaged in three Activity Sessions of just over an hour in length on average. There were five groups of participants for each Activity Session (roughly 30 each group), every group being led by a Moderator and small team of supporting Facilitators. This included a Student Facilitator that helped upload participants’ contributions using online Miro page board technology for each group.

In every Activity Session, participants sat around tables working in small groups to respond to three task questions. The Miro page board content generated by each of the five groups across the three Activity Sessions were then analysed and formed the basis of the Forum report. This was presented to the Climate Officers Group of Lancashire councils in early August 2023.

The Forum event also featured a thought-provoking and highly entertaining eco-drama show entitled ‘While You Wait’ performed by the Tenderfoot Theatre Company at the start of the day, and at lunchtime a moving and reflective eco-dance performance entitled ‘Khule Dil (Open Hearted)’ by Edge Hill University dance students, choreographed by Jessica Bennett.

This first Lancashire Community Action Forum provided the main foundation stone of LancsCAN itself. A second Forum event is planned to be hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) sometime in mid-2024. A third will hopefully take place in 2025, possibly at Lancaster University or some other location.

Watch a video of the Forum event on 17 May 2023 which was specially made by Climate Challenge UK, a LancsCAN member.