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The Great PECT Bake Off!

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 27.08.2015

Time: 10:11

Kari-ann from Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) describes her time in the PECT Bake Off challenge.

I’m not competitive. Ok, maybe I am, just a little. So, when I entered into the Great PECT Bake Off, I was determined to do my best and bake a masterpiece! I got bread week, which, I’ve been reliably informed, is actually an ‘easy’ week to get. It was also a pretty good week for me because I’m a cyclist – I wouldn’t have liked to have tried carrying a dozen crème brulees in my backpack on the way to work!

My only experience of baking, other than the traumatic experience of having someone describe my Victoria Sponge as having been sat on, is some rather ropey attempts at paleo baking earlier this year. I’d been intrigued by some of the paleo bread and cakes a colleague had brought in so decided to experiment – I wasn’t very successful. I soon learnt that measuring is important, and that you can’t really substitute ingredients!

So, for the PECT Bake Off competition - which required the use of local and sustainably-sourced ingredients - I decided to do things ‘properly’. I got the ingredients ready first thing on Saturday morning and was all set to get baking when I realised I had no scales. Scuppered at the first hurdle!  Luckily, mum was at hand to save the day and a quick call later, I had some scales and a measuring jug delivered to my door.

I made two soda breads – one with cheese and caramelised onion, the other with honey and home-grown rosemary – the first time I’d ever had the opportunity to cook with it! They both turned out well, although the cheese loaf looked a little ugly so I entered the honey bread into the competition.

I had made the assumption people would judge partly by looks so entered the more aesthetically pleasing honey loaf! Big mistake! They all preferred the savoury loaf so I lost out to a deserving winner, who baked a tasty parmesan and tomato loaf. But hey, I now know how easy it is to bake a loaf, and have all the ingredients to continue baking, which I fully intend to do. 

It's quite addictive once you try, and realise how quick and easy it can be. Shame I didn’t get through to the final though, my show stopper was going to be out of this world!



Flourishing with Greeniversity Peterborough!

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 14.08.2015

Time: 16:01

I’m Peter Reynolds and I’ve been a volunteer administrator with the Greeniversity project at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) for almost two years. Before Greeniversity I was in charge of the Reference and Information Services at Peterborough Central Library until 2002 and then an information officer at RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) in London until late 2012 (I’m a veteran commuter!).

My local environmental credentials are modest: creation of an environmental information collection at the Central Library, participation in the Green Festival for many years, and a long-term member of Friends of the Earth.

I believe that my professional experience has been of benefit to PECT/Greeniversity and I know that volunteering has grounded me in something very worthwhile after the end to my working life.

My main tasks have been looking after the Greeniversity Peterborough class database www.greeniversity.org.uk/peterborough, increasing the number and variety of classes, encouraging new teachers, and promoting brand Greeniversity in the Peterborough area including at local events.

I work now for two and a half days a week and really feel a part of the PECT team. PECT recognises the positive input of its volunteers by awards such as Volunteer of the Year and recommends individuals for other external awards – including the annual Peterborough Green Awards and PCVS Volunteer Awards. You may need to build a new shelf to house all those certificates!

PECT is a great organisation to work as a volunteer for and is welcoming to both young and old. If you’re interested in volunteering some time to PECT, call 01733 568408 or email selina.west@pect.org.uk to discuss any current opportunities.



My first week at PECT

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 10.08.2015

Time: 11:18

By Alice Lister, Energy Matters Project Officer.

The first day of work is a bit like the first day of school. You’re probably running late, you’ll get lost on the way, and when you get there you wish you’d seriously revised your choice of outfit. To make things a little more interesting, my lunch had leaked all over the chocolates I’d packed with me (always a good tactic to make friends – present them with soggy chocolates). Luckily I was taken to a shop where I could buy a nice replacement lunch, which of course soon found its way into my lap.

Despite the wobbly start, I settled in quickly thanks to the brilliant team at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT). I became interested in working for the charity after reading about the projects they run, their ambitious environmental targets and impressive achievements.

A great fact about the Energy Matters project that I am working on is that it supports both the environment and Peterborough residents. This is really what interested me in the position.

My first day was spent being introduced to colleagues and familiarising myself with the office. Everyone was super friendly and helpful, and have continued to be so – I already have heaps of tips for my project!

By the second day I found myself out in the field helping to deliver PECT’s Warm Homes project, which has given me lots of ideas for Energy Matters. I got stuck into a PECT yoga class on my third day and found my ‘inner Zen’ during the busy week, followed by useful project training sessions, which I have learnt so much from.

Now my first week is drawing to a close, and I feel like I have been a PECT employee for months… It’s a great feeling!