Span That World: The DF Web
One of our affiliates, WDM, is taking a group of people to Brussels in February to protest against TTIP.
This trip, on 3rd and 4th February 2015, is just £150 including Eurostar and accomodation. Subsidies are available if you need them. Just contact 020 7820 4900 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or email email@example.com for more info.
- A walking tour of the corporate and lobbying villains of Brussels with the Corporate Europe Observatory
- A meeting hosted by Green MEPs and including civil society campaigners from across the EU
- A chance to lobby your MEPs
- A protest at the European Commission featuring FoEE’s huge inflatable Trojan Horse.
- A performance, inside the EU Parliament of Commonwealth Theatre’s fantastic “Deal vs People”.
What is TTIP?
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed free trade agreement between the EU and the US. But unlike other trade agreements, TTIP’s big focus isn’t tariffs or quotas. It’s all about getting rid of regulations and standards that make it more difficult for multinational companies to sell their products.
TTIP is highly controversial and opposed by many different groups. Those who are against it argue TTIP will mean more corporate power and reduced democratic control. This is because TTIP includes clauses that will:
- Grant new powers for corporations sue governments;
- Lead to more privatisation of public services like the NHS and education;
- Weaken workers’ rights and put millions of jobs at risk;
- Reduce environmental protection and food safety regulation;
- Undermine buy local schemes;
- Be a new blueprint for future trade deals around the world.
Between the 27th December 2014 till the 3rd January 2015, IFM are hosting their annual Winterschool Seminar at the Educational Centre, Kurt Löwenstein in Werftpfuhl, Berlin. This seminar is open to all of you DFs, as members of IFM through Woodcraft Folk.
These seminars create an inspiring safe space for discussions and activities, with this one focusing on the theme of Migration and Flight. It will analyse migration and refuge within Europe, social exclusion, racism and poverty and their relationship to the theme. At the event, different working groups and political forums will explore certain areas through creative activities led to get you thinking more broadly about migration and flight in our society. How could socialist alternatives to the current systems improve things and how can we work together to support refugees and migrants for the better? If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please keep reading, apply for a place, and get along to participate in this exciting seminar available to any aged 18 – 27 member of Woodcraft and other members of IFM organisations.
Besides sharing work and political debate, there will also be multiple opportunities to have fun together, including a trip to Berlin and a huge, international welcome to 2015 at the centre.
Registrations are open until the 7th December, and can be done at https://kurtloewenstein.wufoo.com/forms/seminar-registration-forms/ . There is a participation fee of around €30 – 75 (dependant on the country you’re from) with possible help towards transport costs from IFM and DFs. For more information on the costs of the event, don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll do everything I can to help get you there. We want all events to be accessible as possible, and if the main barrier for participation is the cost, there are many options to help towards them and get you to this event.
Blue skies, Emily Connor
- International Opportunities & Sustainability – DF Committee
What if every DF emailed their head teacher about installing solar panels in their school? What if they got all their friends with links with other schools to do the same? You don’t even have to write the email yourself I’ve done it for you! Although a little personal tailoring wouldn’t go amiss.
Dear (head teacher/other person of relevance),
As a student/parent/member of staff at (your school) I would like to tell you about the Friends of the Earth project, Run on Sun. Friends of the Earth offer support for schools looking to install solar panels. As we run out of time to avoid the most severe dangers of climate change, the switch to green energy becomes more urgent, where better to start than a school? The solar panels will have a direct positive influence on the future of the generation you care for and can be used as an educational resource. This is on top of saving the school a huge amount of money in the long term. To find out more and get help from Friends of the Earth sign up here.
A fitting sign off for whatever your relationship with the receiver is,
Your lovely name (optional kiss)
Crawberry Hill community protection camp is an anti- fracking camp set up outside the site where energy company Rathlin plan to start fracking for shale gas. The community is getting organised to resist Rathlin’s plans.
February 14th-18th Beat and The Pulse (a woodcrafter’s catering business) with help from the rest of us will be providing food for the camp, but you are VERY WELCOME to stay longer, just let me know. We will also plan some entertainment for the camp over those days. Open to all ages, this will not only be a important thing to do for the anti-fracking and wider climate movement but it will also be a fantastic family event so bring the whole family with you.
Bring with you all your workshop running, cooking, moral raising and idea having skills along with some very warm clothes and all your mates. Lets support these people in whatever way we can. No worries if you can’t come and camp, there’s still plenty you can do to raise money for them! email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or suggestions.
Just like the list of explaining climate science resources, this pack of climate activities is ever unfinished because I know you will continue to come up with brilliant ways of getting groups of any age engaged, informed and empowered. When you do stumble across other activities or make them up yourselves email email@example.com so we can keep adding to this.
Run activities from this pack in your district or with any other groups you might find yourself involved with. If you know someone who might find this useful email them it today. The more people we can reach the better.
District Fellow’s is the 16 to 20-age range of Woodcraft Folk. Woodcraft Folk is the UK member organisation of IFM-SEI which is an awesome socialist educational organisation who organise events, programmes and more worldwide for all members of it’s member organisations.
I agree, it gets a bit confusing sometimes with all the layers and different organisations and names for events but I’m here to make it simple…Basically, as a DF you get the chance to attend oodles of fantastic, inspiring, educational events all over the world and I’m here to get you there.
Ever heard the words Wwoofing? Queer Easter? EVS? Ever wondered what they are? To be honest, those words SHOULD get your ears burning, because they are some of the most exciting events you’ll come across in your life as a DF. Three times a year, IFM hold seminars in a huge venue in Berlin where individuals from IFMs other member organisations group together for a week. At these events, you get a refreshing mixture of discussions and activities in your working group, (which you get a choice in selecting but are all based on the theme of the seminar) as well as socialising time filled with more discussions, films, dancing, quizzes and everything else fun. These events are mind-blowing and awe-inspiring because you experience a week of totally open-minded discussion, amazingly well thought through activities, parties with equality, respect and consent everywhere you look and the only bad thing could be the farewell with all the friends you make! They’re different to Woodcraft events, different to DF events and offer something we don’t often get a chance to do… develop ideas, friendships, opinions, confidence with a whole heap of international like-minded friends!
‘The highlight of my week at Kurt Lowenstein house was the new-formed friendships, the almost instant friendships that feel like they will last forever. It was brilliant to meet such fantastic people from all over the globe. Everyday we discussed and learnt new things with each other, ate in a buzz of conversation with new faces and broken english.’ – Hannah Clarke after Winter School.
Queer Easter – 29th March till 5th April 2014.
Keep your eyes peeled for more information about this, the awesome theme and how to get yourself a place.
Send me, Emily Connor, a message or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Our international opportunities don’t just stop at seminars in Berlin however… The fantastic EVS programme is a fully funded one year project where any DF can spend 12 months volunteering for one of IFMs member organisations ANYWHERE in the world! During this project, you get all the support you need, from all organisations involved, training sessions tailored to your project and country and communication platforms between other volunteers to share activity ideas and general problems or experiences that arise. This opportunity is so worthwhile; you’ll develop personal skills, experience a whole new country, language and culture, work with children in our partner organisations and not only get the chance to learn these things yourself, but be able to share your experiences with the organisation you’re in to help them develop the work they’re doing. You learn things on so many different levels and are given enough support to be able to tackle any problems that come your way.
This opportunity comes about around once a year and I will be sure to advertise about this when it comes up. For now, I want you all to think about these opportunities… Are they something you’d be interested in? Are there things you want to know more about? I’m here to answer your questions. I’ve been to an IFM seminar in Berlin and have done EVS in Indonesia, so can answer most of your questions and tell you in much more detail what these things entail if you need to know.
Don’t hesitate to ask me anything by emailing me at email@example.com and keep your eyes peeled for more posts about international opportunities in the near future.
Blue Skies, Emily Connor (International Opportunities on DF Committee)
White Eurocentric Beauty standards
Written by Jess Poyner
I first rejected the word ‘afro’ to describe my hair aged around nine or ten after a group of white teenage boys on my estate hissed and yelled the word at me as if it was an insult. From that day until a couple of years ago I always insisted that my hair was ‘curly’, grew it out and used curl definition gel to keep it in perfect ringlets framing my face.
It’s shameful how pervasive white, Eurocentric standards of beauty are in all types of media; I remember very few images of black women with their hair in a natural style such as an afro or in locs while growing up. Until very recently the dominant images in my life have been of white western styles, with the only famous people wearing locs being white people such as Newton Faulkner.
I have had to make a conscious decision to alter the bias in the media I consume and now follow many black fashion blogs on Tumblr which is inspiring me to be more and more creative with my natural hair and to properly appreciate its versatility. There’s a huge increase in black women embracing the natural hair movement which defies the idea that unstraightened black hair is unprofessional looking, ugly and unclean. Racial stigmitisation against natural hairstyles is definitely still prevalent in society; take for instance the massive backlash against Beyonce’s choice to keep her toddler’s hair natural, over 5,000 people signed a petition demanding that does something to stop it “developing matted dreads and lint balls”. Hair choice is of course a personal choice and should be that way, but due to bullying by society, people with afro hair are denied choice, and must succumb to impossible white beauty standards.
I went through a few phases of straightening my hair when going to the hairdressers, and feeling uncomfortable when my hair was brushed out and looked ‘frizzy’ (a ridiculously long and expensive process, lasting only a few days). Then when I was 16 I went for a radical change and cut it super short that changed it’s texture to looser and more kinky curls. I’m now far more confident to brush it out, and I style it using Aussie curl definition gel which conditions and fluffs it up and has a bit of hold in it that keeps my hair in place. Reclaim the word ‘afro’ to describe my hair has been an important part in defining my identity as a black woman.
As you get on with the new school year, the new university, the new job or the new freedom of a year whiled away with few commitments, cast your mind back to some old memories. Old memories which have stayed with you, experiences which have changed the way you think about the world and the way you live your life. Maybe they happened at District Camp this summer, maybe at an Elfin group night in the far distant past. Whatever they are, wherever they are from, they’ve helped to shape you as you’ve grown older.
Now, throw your minds eye into the mists of the future, the great unknown just waiting to be discovered. New opportunities, new challenges, new friends and new places. Maybe you know exactly what you want to do this year, maybe you haven’t the foggiest idea. Either way, I’m sure you want Woodcraft Folk, and the District Fellows Movement to be a part of it!
In just a couple of weeks time, a group of DFs will congregate on a house in Bristol. Who are these people I hear you ask? What is this weekend? These DFs are the DF Committee and the other roles that are elected at Althing each year to facilitate the fabulous work of our Movement. This weekend – Old/New – is when the old guard and the new get together to hand over, discuss the the roles and the things they’d like to do over the next year.
One of our main jobs as your elected representatives is to help you achieve all the fabulous things you want to do. Maybe you have an idea for a great project, maybe you want to set up a new group in your District, or perhaps you think that what we really need is a network of carrier pigeons to keep us all in touch – but you’re not really sure how to make it all happen.
Well, if you get on down to www.spanthatworld.com you’ll be able to find out all about what DFs is getting up to or planning, and how you can get in touch with DF Committee.
So, what can you do now? Well, before Old/New, we’d really like to know what you think about DFs and where you’d like to see us go in the future.What do you enjoy about being a District Fellow?
Group nights, national events, campaigns, helping with younger ages and making beautiful new resources, the list of things DFs get up to is long and varied; what have you enjoyed?What do you think is important about District Fellows?
What makes being a DF different, what is it that means you just keep coming back?What would you like to see in the next year of the District Fellows Movement’s journey?
Maybe it’s something we do already that you’d like to see more of, maybe it’s something new and exciting that we’ve not done before. Whatever it is, at whatever scale, it’s your ideas, your passion and your energy that makes it happen and keeps us going!Feeling inspired yet? If you are, and you’d like to make your voice heard, email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to hear from you all soon!
DF Committee 2014-2015
This is a (not conclusive!) list of good online resources for info about climate change. When you’re all read up and informed and just thinking about how much you need to go out into the world and educate others and stat a dialog about this why not check out our climate change activities resource pack?
Royal Society summary (text)
Met Office Climate Guide (text)
Fracking explained with good graphics (interactive text)
Latest climate news (text)
Even more climate news (text)
A carbon rationing system (text)
How solar panels work (text)
One Million Climate Jobs (text)
This list is not finished!!! Partly because I’m about to go out and partly because I don’t have all the useful explaining climate change resources but I’m thinking that together we do right? email me at email@example.com or message me on facebook (my name is Josie Tothill) if you have links to anything that could be useful for DFs around the country.
What have Venturer Committee been up to this year? A lot, that’s what! Read on…
We have secured funding and are in the process of opening a bank account. This means it will be a lot easier for us to apply for more funding, manage our expenses and be more organised.
Venturer committee has produced a short information pack for leaders of venturer groups based on venturers’ views about how groups should be run best. Of course venturer leaders have a great deal of experience and some of the information in the pack will be familiar to them, but we hope they will still pick up some new tips and ideas- after all, no one knows more about what venturers want than venturers! The guide has been written and is currently being adorned and made beautiful and will be published on the woodcraft website within a few months.
Two elfin groups in Cambridge and Brighton have been twinned through two members of the committee. Badger elfins in Cambridge district and Galleon elfins in Central Brighton and Hove district were twinned by Sean Irving and James Holmes, who both volunteer at their local elfin groups. So far the groups have exchanged drawings, photos, and friendship bracelets and the link between the groups looks set to grow in the future. Venturer committee decided to support the twinning project set up by TREE by linking groups committee members are connected to, and hopefully more new links will be formed in the future.
Venturer committee would like to thank all the regions and the DFs for giving us funding now that TREE is over. We are now able to continue our work as venturer committee and are incredibly grateful.
Venturer Secret Friends
Venturer Secret Friends is a new initiative set up by Venturer Committee, based upon the current Secret Friends for DFs and Kinsfolk. It will be a way for venturers around the country to forge links and friendships with other venturers across Woodcraft.
The system works whereby participants fill in their address and email on a form and each participant gets given a ‘secret friend,’ a participant who does not know of your connection and so you can send them items/emails/glitter/poems/fun-words without them knowing who the person sending is. It would be advisable to set up an email address especially for this e.g. “firstname.lastname@example.org” so you do not mistakenly send your name to your secret friend.
The form will have a notes section at the bottom for you to detail any important things for whoever receives your name for example
● Vegetarian(Can’t really see chunks of meat being sent through the post but oh well)
● Don’t like glitter
Every 2-3 months the friendships will be moved out of the realm of secrecy, letting everyone know who exactly it is who has caused an influx of glitter and crumbs inside the hoover. Participants will be given a notice as to this so if they wish can send out a message revealing themselves. After the revelations unfold, the form shall be reopened and new participants will be added to become friends for the next round.
Winter Wonderland North Booking is Open now!
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Winter Wonderland happens 27th-30th December every year. Don’t worry though, we won’t be camping! This event is the big celebration of DFs, we welcome a new year of DFs on DF new year (30th Dec).
This event will be full to the brim of dancing, singing, shouting ‘TUNE’, walking, discussing, deb
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Now that September is well and truly upon us we have all been buried under a pile of work, part time work, school work, house work, work work.
BUT there are also a multitude of things to look forward to in the next couple of months:
picking a halloween costume, carving pumpkins, watching the fireworks, writing to santa, going to South East Thing, pumpkin spice latte, jumpers, snow, Christmas, Other wintery celebrations of family and life
See, loads to look forward to. Hang on. I’m sure there was something else for that list. something about woodies? And winter? oh yeah, Winter Wonderland! Now that’s what we’re really excited about!
So let’s get to the nitty gritty. This year there are going to be two winter wonderlands, one in the north and one in the south. South is being run by:
- Faye Deakin (admin)
- Sophie Holden (admin & night programme)
- Esther Price ( day programme)
- Minne Alred (KE)
- Zoe Fidler (KP)
- Charlotte Williams (KP)
Dates – 27th-30th December 2014
Price – £65 including Fairer Fare. Pay when you arrive or post a Cheque to:
Faye Deakin, 9 Godesdone Road, Cambridge CB1 8HR
Who – DFs (16-20 members of the Woodcraft Folk)
Winter Wonderland South is being held in a really beautiful building about an hour from Cambridge.
Nearest Train Station - Huntington
Programme is still in the works but there will of course be a cheesy disco and a mini thing as well as other fantastic entertainment for the night and activities for the day. If you would like to run something please don’t hesitate to contact Esther or Sophie.
As always Winter Wonderland will take place from the 27th-30th December. Booking is open now so get ready to have an amazing three days and we’ll see you soon!
As there has been problems with lots of people dropping out in previous years, so there is a refunds policy for this years events CLICK HERE to find it.
If you cancel without a valid reason
- More than a month (before 27th Nov)- Full refund
- Less than a month (after 27th Nov) – £15 cancellation charge
- Booked but do not attend/cancel on 26th Dec – £30 cancellation charge
On the 21st of September 2014 a UN summit on climate change is taking place in New York, ahead of the climate change conference in Paris next year. Lets show them that we care. Across the world The People’s Climate March is taking to the streets, so let’s join them! Dressed as monsters from the depths of the ocean DFs will express their delight in the fact that if human governments continue to do as little as they are to protect the planet, then we will rule supreme as the lands are flooded and other sea creatures die out.
Grab your DFs and get to an action! Maybe you could make costumes at a group night? Bring along other age groups in your district? Gently persuade non woodies to don some scales and come with. Most importantly BE THERE!
Click here to find out where the nearest action to you is. While you’re out and about, talk to people about the campaign and why it matters to you. Take lots of photos and videos if you can, and email me about what you’re up to at email@example.com