THE organisers of a nine-day series of climate-themed events in Helensburgh have thanked everyone involved in making it happen – and have promised that the work to make the area more environmentally-aware doesn’t stop here.

Members of the Plastic Free Helensburgh group put together 25 events in the town between September 18 and 26 as part of the country-wide ‘Climate Fringe Week’ – an initiative designed to raise awareness of the growing climate crisis, and to show people what they can do to reduce their own carbon footprint, ahead of the COP26 conference in Glasgow, which runs from October 31 to November 12.

According to the organisers, the Helensburgh events attracted more than 600 participants – and has already resulted in links being formed between community groups in the town who are keen to do their bit and in people starting up their own new projects.

Elizabeth Lambert from Plastic Free Helensburgh said: “Overall the week seemed to achieve its aim, both at the events and on social media, of getting people talking and thinking about what they could be doing.

“We have been particularly encouraged to hear of links being made between groups and people starting their own projects.

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“Helensburgh Cycles lending ebikes to Jean’s Bothy, Jeans Revisited making recycled fabric bags for Helensburgh Oxfam, Grey Matters starting an upcycling craft group, the local nurseries Stepping Stones and Drumfork starting a collection for plastic toy recycling, are just some of the new initiatives starting in Helensburgh.”

Events held during the week covered topics such as cutting food waste, more sustainable parenting, reducing ‘single use’ plastic and the practicalities of buying electric vehicles.

The week also included ‘craftism’ events, passing on traditional skills such as knitting and crochet and how those can be used to raise awareness.

Grey Matters, the group for the area’s over-60s, knitted bright yellow canaries which were placed in shop windows around the town as part of a scavenger hunt to raise awareness of air pollution, while Sew Silly Lily taught people how to crochet with plastic bags.

The week’s events come after 30 local businesses and 20 community groups signed up to Plastic Free Helensburgh’s pledge to reduce their reliance on single use plastics and do more to care for the environment in the space of the last six months.

Elizabeth added: “We would like to express our thanks to all these businesses and groups for the support they gave us, especially Morrisons and the Toy Shop for supporting various events throughout the week.”