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Thinking Tools for Green Action

Energy efficiency and Green activities drop in sessions

Energy efficiency workshops with community groups

Environmental Philosophy short six hour course and Socrates Café style workshops

Recycling money in the community

Workplace training

Community Green Sparks

Green Branch Nature Trail

Teaching for the WEA


Thinking Tools for Green Action 


An introduction to four thinking tools commonly used by Permaculture Designers to enable ethical and effective thinking leading to actions that will contribute to care of the planet and people. This course is also designed to help participants get to know each other, therefore it can strengthen a group.

How long does it take?

2 sessions of three hours, ideally with 2 weeks between sessions, so participants hgreen thinking tools whitley bayave time to take action in between.

Who is it for?

New and established green groups, community groups, political organisations and work places. Following the first session participants will decide on a ‘Green Action’ they want to undertake either within the home, the wider environment or the workplace. We also develop an action that the group can take forward together.

“I found the tools very useful and have already started to apply them to my life in simple ways”

” The course was excellent with a great tutor. Encouraging and realistic!”

Our group would like to do this course. What do we do next?

Get in touch with us. We can help you organise a course and pay for a venue, if there are enough people who would like to attend. The course is free for those on benefits, including working tax credit, otherwise the cost is £15 per person. Alternatively your organisation can buy the course. We have reduced rates for community groups.

Energy efficiency and Green activities drop in sessions.

The Green Branch have a display and objects to engage people in talking about energy efficiency in the home, as well as to find out what other green activities they may be interested in.

This was developed for a drop in session at Women’s Health in South Tyneside. The trainer had lively discussions with 40 women, individually and in groups, over a three hour period when they visited the centre for teas and lunches.  As a result WHIST are selling subsidised radiator panels and arranging ‘learning to cycle’ sessions.

We can bring this resource to your community group or workplace.

Why run this activity?

These activities can help people save money in their homes, and to have warmer, more comfortable living conditions. It can encourage people to take up healthy living practices, and find out about activities in their area where they can meet new people. It can also inspire both community organisers and participants to get involved in environmental initiatives.

What we would need from you

In order for this to be successful your organisation needs to commit to moving forward environmental activities that individuals show an interest in.  We will research what opportunities are available in your local area in order to provide realistic suggestions.


As we don’t have any funding at the moment to support this we would need to charge a fee. This would include; three hours of discussion at the drop in, and set up and take down time. Plus liaison with your group co-ordinator over the sort of follow up your organisation can support people with and researching environmental initiatives in your area. We try to keep costs as low as possible as we know community organisations don’t have money to spare! Please get in touch to find out more.

This would include; visiting your community centre, or agreed location and setting up our resources, delivering a three hour discussion/drop in session, supporting your group co-ordinators by planning appropriate follow up activities, and researching and harnessing the environmental initiatives in your area.

Energy efficiency workshops with community groups.

Working with Green Community Buildings, Community Action Northumberland and Northumbria Water we organise ‘walk rounds’ of village halls seeking out energy and water inefficiencies – ‘How green is your community centre?’ (does it need a make over!)

We work alongside well-respected energy efficiency auditers who can do a detailed assessment of your building. To find out more please get in touch.

Environmental Philosophy short six hour course and Socrates Café type workshop

We have worked with tutor Chris Ford to develop this course, which we are now piloting. We are also looking for funding to run Socrates Café style sessions, where participants decide the question to discuss. In these sessions the questions will come from participants life experiences and have an environmental focus.  If you would like to host this course or the Socrates café style workshop do get in touch.

Environmental Penv philhilosophy – WEA Green Branch short course (two sessions of three hours)

 What underlies our attitudes towards the environment?

Why do some see the natural world as there for us to exploit while others risk our lives to protect woodlands and forests?

Exploring these questions helps us to understand what underpins many debates and disagreements around environmental issues.

The sessions include looking at categories of environmentalism and the two creation myths in Genesis: in one version ‘man’ is given ‘dominion’ over nature: in the other he is a ‘steward’.

No previous knowledge of philosophy or the environment is needed. All welcome

Course Tutor – Chris Ford – Chris has a career of freelance work with the region’s voluntary and community sectors spanning almost 30 years. with a strand on environmental issues running from 1989 (Friends of the Earth) to the present day (Sustainable Sunderland). He has diverse experience of facilitation, training and teaching in adult, community and HE settings, including at Newcastle, Teeside, Northumbria and Birmingham Universities.

Recycling money in the community  (Do you know what your money is doing?)

Workshop participants at the WEA Spring Conference


In this workshop which actually makes economics fun (!) we practically show how it makes a difference where we spend our money and how this contributes to more prosperous communities. It is based on Local Multiplier 3, and the Leaky Bucket, both developed by the New Economics Foundation.  The workshop is relevant to individuals and organisations.


Workplace training

As well as the above courses we can do shorter, bespoke workshops in the workplace. Get in touch to find out more.

Community Green Sparks

Do you want to spark interest in green topics in your group? We can help, using ‘taster’ sessions, green quizzes, green speed-dating and other enjoyable methods.  Get in touch to discuss the possibilities. We also have resources that your group can use- see our resources page.

Green Branch Nature Trail

nature trailpic

Research has shown that being outside in natural places is good for childrens’ wellbeing, making them happier, helping with issues such as hyperactivity and improving learning. It is also good for adults!

However, many parents don’t spend time with their children in nature. This may be because they don’t have the knowledge or confidence.

This nature trail has 4 simple activities for adults to do with children; listening to the sounds around them, bark rubbing, tree leaf identification and observing nature. All things that they can then do with their children in other places.

It was designed to be done in Leazes Park at Newcastle Community Green Festival. However, it can very simply be adapted for other parks or school gardens. (The tree leaf id guide may need to be changed depending on what trees there are in your park). The resources are on our Family Learning and Nature page. If you want any advice or support on how to run it at an event please get in touch.

Got an idea?

If you have an idea for a course or workshop, and would like to teach for the WEA, contact Joy Nancarrow.  E: