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Collaboration builds a greener community from the ground up!

The new town of Northstowe, being built between Cambridge and Huntingdon, is marketed as “a sustainable new development”. But is “sustainable” really possible?

For local residents joining the Longstanton and Northstowe Sustainability Working Group and those forming Pathfinder Church, the answer has been to take the initiative themselves with grass roots activism, intergenerational education, and collaboration.

It is often thorough the eyes of children and their truthful words that we see how our modern lifestyles are impacting on our earth. Therefore, the Working Group and local Church enlisted the support of 'A Toys Life and Beyond', a Cambridge-based social venture specialising in learning about recycling from a child's perspective. Through collaborating together to provide a fun and accessible event, these organisations hope to make sustainability a priority for everyone living in Northstowe, Longstanton and the surrounding communities. 

Northstowe’s First Sustainability Day will be held in The Pathfinder Church of England Primary School on Sunday 24th November, 10AM-1PM. This free community event is made possible through the generosity of those taking part.

Helping those of all ages catch the sustainability message – ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’  – will be storyteller Marion Leeper, scientist Prof James Elliott of The University of Cambridge, and representatives from local companies and social ventures. There will be cloth nappy demonstrations, hands-on compositing, and a family friendly ‘Circular Economy Trail’ as well as a ‘leave it or take it’ stall where old books, toys, and clothes can be left for others to reuse. The pop up café and community noticeboard will offer space to chat to neighbours: who knows what new projects might be dreamt up around those tables?

Antoinette Nestor, founder of ‘A Toy’s Life and Beyond’, explains her passion: “While many projects begin from “the kitchen table” ours started out from my boys’ bedroom and the need to find suitable recycling places (other than the charity shop) for the toys they no longer played with. Given that at the moment there are no recycling facilities targeted to the toys we buy or acquire (not to mention the usual phrase every parent says at least once in their lifetime “we have too many toys in this house!”), and the need to reduce plastic pollution, I decided to create something that would help parents and their families as well as the environment. This is how “A Toy’s Life and Beyond” was born.”

But where does a church fit into all of this? Revd Dr Beth Cope, Pioneer Minister for Northstowe, explains: “At Pathfinder Church Northstowe, we are forming a new church community, made up of those of all Christian traditions and none, who seek to make a difference through praying, exploring, and sharing.  We believe that we are meant to be good stewards of God’s creation, and love working with anyone who wants to help care for the planet. We look forward to running the café and throwing ourselves into the morning’s activities, before wrapping up the day with a hands-on Forest Church Gathering 3.30-5pm.”

For more information please contact

Maria Antonieta “Antoinette” Nestor, founder, A Toys Life And Beyond
M: 07758122063 E: 

Revd Dr Beth Cope, Pioneer Minister for Northstowe, Pathfinder Church Northstowe
T: 01954 261 181; M: 07720330272 E:




Notes to Editors

If you would like information about A Toys Life and Beyond, please go to:  Find us on Twitter: and Facebook:

If you would like information about Pathfinder Church, Northstowe, a Church of England Church with an inclusive ecumenical welcome, please go to : Find us on Twitter:, Facebook: and Instagram:




Page last updated: Tuesday 5th November 2019 11:10 AM
First published on: 5th November 2019
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