Connecting people
to build community

Keynsham Action Network

Welcome to Keynsham Action Network

‘KAN’s’ mission is to empower people to build community. We do this in varied ways, but always intending to offer opportunities and connections. We believe that a community that is connected through people’s shared interests, concerns and passions will come alive, not only as individuals but as a collective. Such a cohesive community will create health and vibrancy.

There is no more powerful way to initiate significant change than to

convene a conversation.  When a community of people discovers that

they share a concern, change begins.  There is no power equal to a

community discovering what it cares about.

Margaret Wheatley

One of the distinguished speakers we have invited to Keynsham over the past five years is ALASTAIR MCINTOSH. Here is a brief but immensely inspiring edit from the talk he gave in the big Music Festival tent of Keynsham’s beautiful Memorial Park on 4th July 2014

Here are more tastes of what we do……

6TH December 2017 in the Space

with Patrick Holden, director of the Sustainable Food Trust, and Ped Asgarian from the local Community Farm at Chew Magna

This event was a collaboration between Live Simply and Transition Keynsham. It followed the Live Simply tradition by presenting an international speaker alongside and a local practitioner, both organic farmers.

From Jim Parry – Chair of Live Simply:  The evening was summarised by what we can do as individuals to make a difference. We can buy our food locally that was grown locally – even when buying from a supermarket.

After the talks, suppliers from in and around Keynsham laid on food for everyone. Many thanks to G&D Free, Somerset Local Foods Direct, Fresh Range and Temple Street Canteen, Chew Valley Community Farm and to the local Fairtrade Group for wine and soft drinks.








Saturday, 11th November, 2017

Whilst the Town Council and the military cadets and the scouts and others were getting ready for Armistice Sunday, our band of KAN volunteers were giving out BAGS OF KINDNESS in the High Street. We were getting ready for World Kindness Day on Monday 13th November. This was our second kindness event. We stood in the intermittent drizzle under yellow umbrellas and gave away 250 bags.

The small brown carrier bags held a kindness kit! There were instructions for ‘forward buying’ or ‘suspended coffees’ in a cafe – that is paying for two coffees (or other drinks) with the second payment becoming a voucher for a free drink for anyone who needs it. There were many other simple but engaging things: a daffodil bulb wrapped up in yellow tissue, a yellow pencil, a stretchy yellow wrist band with the Twitter hashtag ‘kindness_connects’, a pebble in a little tie-up bag – this is about the social media phenomenon ‘Bristol Rocks‘ which is connecting thousands of children and adults who carefully paint the pebbles, hide them, then search for other people’s – all joined up through social media.

“There was no motive except to spread kindness”

High Street shoppers were often suspicious when we offered them a bag, and then amazed that there were no motives except to spread kindness and all its benefits.


Monday 24th April 2017

This event was about our relationships with one another – about CONNECTION

Kindness is surely a valuable human quality. That we felt the need to launch an event to promote it is already saying something profound about our culture. The same sentiment applies to the film premiere in August (see below) which shines a beautiful light on our relationship with nature.

The international colour for kindness ….

                                                                                      …. is Yellow!

Our KIND KEYNSHAM project is a celebration of KINDNESS ! It was the brainchild of the KAN member, Sarah Fox.

For the launch event Somerdale Pavilion KINDLY gave us free access to a large room. The programme included a specially recorded video from Leon Logothetis from California, creator of the KINDNESS Diaries.

The event turned into a sort of funfair of opportunities. Hundreds of people came – from the locality and beyond! BBC South West filmed one of our local primary schools (Kelston Road) during their morning assembly song about KINDNESS. This and other clips were shown on the BBC South West evening news bulletin.

Below is the full video for the Kind Keynsham Launch (19mins)



… of this wonderful film about our relationship with nature – presented by KAN’s Sustainability group, Live Simply, in collaboration with Transition Keynsham

Love Thy Nature



Saturday, August 6th 2016, 6:30 pm – 9:30pm

The Space, Market Walk, Keynsham, BS31 1FS

TICKETS FULL £10 CONCESSION (under 16 or over 60) £8

The Space, BS31 1FS



2016’s BIG TENT EVENT from Live Simply presented …

Two amazing women…and a funny man!

1st July 2016 7pm Keynsham Music Festival Big Tent

Two extraordinary women brought their stories about how to save the world from the genius and the foolishness of the human.  Both women are concerned with ….

What Lies Beneath?

Eve Poole photo

Eve Poole

… has worked both for the Church of England and Deloitte! She has a PhD in Capitalism and Theology from Cambridge University! Eve asks this question:

“In a testosterone-driven market place where men seek to cut each other’s throats, would women have acted differently, choosing to co-operate, rather than compete, when faced with a crisis? Would life for us all be different if there had been a Lehman Sisters instead of a Lehman Brothers?

Eve argues that communication and sharing is actually a better outcome sometimes in a competitive environment. Her work is stirring up great debate and interest.


Kate Rawles

…. is an action woman! She does ‘Outdoor Philosophy’. Her 2006 long distance cycle ride took her from Texas to Alaska following the spine of the Rocky Mountains exploring climate change. In 2014 she was ‘mission leader’ with Pangaea Exploration from the UK to the Azores and Lanzarote focusing on ocean plastic pollution. Eve asks this question:

“What are the root cause of our multiple environmental challenges?”

More at


…. and the funny man?

Dr Phil Hammond        Dr Phil Hammond

…. well known radio and TV personality will try to keep them in order with his unique brand of wit and humour.





VENUE: the beautiful Keynsham Memorial Park, Top Stage Marquee BS31 2BL

Tickets £6.50 from or from Keynsham Town Council 0117 9868683.


Arts and Health South West Prize 2016

Butterflies-Voice Choir Project was shortlisted for the AHSW 2016 prize

On 17th June representatives of the 13 shortlisted projects congregated at the Arnolfini in Bristol dockside for a day of workshops followed by the prize-giving ceremony. The workshops covered funding and the big picture of the world of arts and health – the latter held in a dark room with walls painted black. William House attended for our project. He is the hunched and ghostly figure facing away from the camera!

AHSW workshop 17June2016Unlike many of the other projects represented, neither KAN nor our partners in the Butterflies-Voice project are specialists in Arts and Health projects. So we did not expect to win a prize. But I now know a little how it feels to be sitting in the audience watching the envelope being opened!           WH



Keynsham Winter Festival 27th November 2015

This year KAN’s stall was in the Fear Hall at the St John’s end of the High St. After shivering in the High St for two years it was real luxury to have mains lighting and heating and no rain!


From left to right: William House, Sheila Crocombe, Sarah Fox, Ron Payne and Jill Herrett.





Behind Ron Payne is the tree   design he created to represent the networking and achievements of KAN over the last three years.





Jill Herrett gives out laughter and free apples. It is now a tradition to attract visitors to the KAN stall with Lord Lambourne apples grown in William House’s garden – a particularly tasty crop this year!







Sheila Crocombe chats with a visitor over a plate of apples, good humour and a KAN leaflet!




Download the latest newsletter here:

KAN Newsletter August 2015


Butterflies-Voice Choir charmed their audience

On 1st July 2015 the new choir sang a selection of familiar popular songs and some entirely original songs created by choirmaster, Charlie Groves, Trish Williams and choir members.

The programme opened with the short documentary film, “Butterflies Voice Choir – the journey” created through the collaboration of KAN with Bath Spa University. Three final year students led by Tilly Karabina produced a moving testament to the choir and to the work being done at Butterflies-Haven in supporting young people and families affected by the Autism Spectrum.

The choir was started from scratch just 7 months before the concert through a collaboration of KAN with Butterflies-Haven. Several children, young people and parents belonging to Butterflies-Haven sang in the choir. There was a good sized audience including many of the people who had contributed to the choir’s creation. Councillor Alan Hale gave a short tribute at the end of the concert and flowers were presented to Charlie Groves, Trish Williams (founder of Butterflies-Haven) and to Tilly Karabina.

Butterflies-Voice Choir
Butterflies-Voice Choir



Lewis Killick (film cameramand) with Tilly Karabina (film director)
Lewis Killick (film cameraman) with Tilly Karabina (film director)
left to right: Sarah, Kate, Andrea, Poppy and Mel
left to right: Sarah, Kate, Andrea, Poppy and Mel
Charlie Groves
Charlie Groves (choirmaster)
Trish Williams (founder of Butterflies-Haven)
Trish Williams (founder of Butterflies-Haven)
Charlie Groves (choirmaster)
Charlie Groves
Councillor Alan Hale
Councillor Alan Hale (Vice-Chair B&NES)
William, Megan, Tilly and Lewis
William, Megan, Tilly and Lewis



Small is Powerful

KAN’s annual Big Tent Event at Keynsham’s Music Festival turned out to be a double act this year: Adam Lent and Katie Alcott. On Friday 3rd July 2015, between them they provided the enthusiastic audience with an inspiring account of why small needs to be powerful (Adam), and how to do it (Katie).

We now have a proud tradition of the annual Music Festival lecture on the Friday evening of the final weekend. These events are presented by Live Simply – the sustainability arm of KAN. Adam and Kate follow Satish Kumar in 2013 and Alastair McIntosh in 2014. Adam Lent is the newly appointed European Director for Research and Innovation for Ashoka, the premier global network for social entrepreneurs. His message was that history shows we do not have to put up with domination by big business and big government and current trends show that small is not only beautiful but powerful.

Katie Alcott gave us a great local example of small power. She told her story of founding her business, Frank Water, following her own experience of serious illness through drinking contaminated water in India. The goal of her charitable social enterprise based in Bristol is ‘safe water for all’. They work with community organisations across India funding their work through selling bottled water in the UK and channeling 100% of the profits to their Indian partners.

The event was very hosted by Dr Chris Preist from Bristol University. Chris himself has previously provided a talk on sustainability at a KAN event in September 2013.

DSC_0102    Katie Alcott_0093

Adam Lent                                                                                    Katie Alcott

              Chris Preist – compere

                   William House – chair of KAN

Katie Alcott+Chris Preist+poster_0066_92mms

Chris and Katie with Katie’s business poster




KAN at the 2015 Keynsham Music Festival

Keynsham Action Network is presenting two very different exciting and inspiring events

FIRST: KAN has got together with Butterflies-Haven, Bath Spa University and Keynsham Music Festival to create the new choir, Butterflies-Voice and a documentary film following the choir’s development. On 1st July this new choir will perform and the documentary film, The Story of Butterflies-Voice, will be premiered in The Space – the new cultural venue in the rebuilt Keynsham town centre. THE SPACE IS ABOVE THE LIBRARY.

Thanks to: Butterflies-Haven, Keynsham Music Festival, Quartet Community Foundation, Keynsham Waitrose.

SECOND: KAN’S sustainability arm, LIVE SIMPLY, brings yet another international speaker to the BIG TENT in the Memorial Park on the Friday of the final KEYNSHAM MUSIC FESTIVAL weekend, 3rd July. ADAM LENT will speak on the subject of his forthcoming book ‘Small is Powerful – why the era of big business, big government and big culture is over (and why it’s a good thing).’

Thanks to: Adam Lent, Keynsham Music Festival, Keynsham Fairtrade, Frank Water  and Transition Keynsham.


an evening with author, Adam Lent

at Keynsham Music Festival 2015

Friday 3rd July 7.30pm

Top Tent, Keynsham Memorial Park, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 2BL

Tickets £6.50 from Keynsham Town Council in person at 15-17 Temple Street, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1HF or Tel: 0117 9868683; or ONLINE at

This is a timely and vital evening for everybody interested in the development of Keynsham. We are at a turning point…..

“We need nothing less than a small revolution!”

Adam Lent 2

Adam Lent, European Director for Research and Innovation

Following on from international speakers, Satish Kumar (2013) and Alastair McIntosh (2014), Live Simply brings another great speaker to the Friday evening Music Festival slot. Adam Lent is European Director for Research and Innovation at Ashoka, the premier global network of social entrepreneurs. Here is Adam’s summary for the talk which will set the agenda for a Q&A session:

Listen to politicians and you’d think that the solution to our many challenges rests either with big government or big business or both. We are asked to put our faith in ministers and chief execetives to take the right decisions to keep us in work, protect our living standards and stop the environment crumbling.

But the world today is changing rapidly. Top-down, big structures no longer work. The economy is too complex, people too independent-minded and the pace of change too rapid for a tiny elite to keep things on the straight and narrow. The 2008 Crash showed everyone how out of touch the big institutions that supposedly run the world had become.

Instead we need a totally new approach that unleashes the creativity, entrepreneurialism and wisdom of millions if we are to meet our biggest challenges. That means spreading political, economic and cultural power far more widely across the population. Going back, in fact, to the ‘small power’ visionaries of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries we became so obsessed with ‘big power’ in the twentieth.

Biography of speaker: Adam Lent is the European Director for Research and Innovation at Ashoka – the premier global network of social entrepreneurs. His book Small is Powerful: why the era of big business, big government and big culture is over (and why it’s a good thing) will be published in early 2016. He has written dozens of widely read articles, blog posts and papers on the future of the economy, politics and society. Adam was Director of the Action and Research Centre at the Royal Society for the Arts and Head of Economics at the Trades Union Congress.



Butterflies-Voice Choir

Performance and documentary film premiere

at Keynsham Music Festival 2015

Wednesday 1st July 7.30pm

in The Space, Market Walk, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1FS

TICKETS FREE from Keynsham Town Council: 0117 9868683 or in person 15-17 Temple St, Keynsham, BS31 1HF

Though the tickets are free, it is important to obtain a ticket because of limited seating. There will be a voluntary retiring collection in aid of Butterflies-Haven.

Inspired by Gareth Malone TV series

Butterflies-Voice is a recently formed, new choir. The formation of the choir was inspired by a combination of the BBC2 TV series fronted by choirmaster Gareth Malone and the wonderful work of Butterflies-Haven in Keynsham. We were very lucky to recruit the inspiring and versatile, Charlie Groves,  as our choirmaster.

Charlie Groves at Waitrose Dec 2014

Charlie Groves in Waitrose at the  choir’s Christmas Carol Concert

The Butterflies-Voice choir started with its first rehearsal on 12th November 2014. There was a very successful Christmas Carol concert in Kenysham Waitrose Store on 17th December.  The group is made up of some children and young people from Butterflies-Haven, along with volunteers and supporters of Butterflies-Haven and of Keynsham Action Network. The programme for 1st July is a mixture of familiar songs and new songs created by and for the choir.

Film premiere: “The Story of Butterflies-Voice”

For Butterflies-Voice, KAN got together with Bath Spa University and three final year media students have made a fantastic film following the choir from its formation in November 2014, and through its ups and its downs to the preparation for this final performance! They have also created a social media presence with regular postings.

Butterflies-Haven is the supportive organisation and network for families affected by the Autism Spectrum. Offering caring and support plus social events to parents, carers, children and youths from communities of Keynsham, Bath, South Gloucestershire, Bristol and surrounding areas.

Venue: The Space is a beautiful new venue for all sorts of cultural events above the library in the new Keynsham Civic Centre.

Click to view poster/ flyer for this event

KAN is very grateful for support from Waitrose and Quartet Community Foundation, and  for enthusiastic collaboration with Bath Spa University and, of course, with Butterflies-Haven.




KAN  is three years old!

On 26th February 2015 we celebrated our birthday with a SHOWCASE EVENT in the newly-built meeting room at Community@67 in Queens Road, Keynsham.

There was a good crowd and a feeling of achievement as we showed off what we have managed to do.

Against a backdrop of projected photos from some of our events over the three years, Andrew Judge described our activities, Christina Smith spoke about the realities of connecting people and groups, Sarah Fox demonstrated the facebook and very successful twitter feed, and Sheila Crocombe gave an account of how new recruits could help with our work. William House opened and closed the session, and spoke about the Butterflies-Voice choir, including a very short video of the choir’s life so far, created by Tilly Karabina, student at Bath Spa University.

butterfly-voice logo

Tilly Karabina’s beautiful logo design for Butterflies-Voice

Try this link for Frankie’s flyer about Butterflies-Voice: frankie-choir-flyer-final-18Feb2015

KAN can help you to fulfill your potential

Some of those present at the Showcase Event are interested in joining KAN in the work we do. We are able to offer roles in supporting the various back office functions, but also we exist to help the people of Keynsham to realise some of their own dreams for themselves and for the town. If you have a dream for how your life in the town could be improved, let us know. KAN exists to help people fulfill their potential by working with others to make things happen. Try not to be daunted by a seemingly impossible task! Problems shared are problems halved!

Here is our Special Birthday issue of the KAN newsletter

KAN_showcase_newsletter_Feb_2015_final[2]-2_Page_1 KAN_showcase_newsletter_Feb_2015_final[2]-2_Page_2

…..or click on this link for a readable version: KAN showcase newsletter Feb 2015 final


Keynsham has a new CHOIR!

It’s called BUTTERFLIES-VOICE and there was great excitement at the first  performance of Christmas Carols in the new Waitrose store on 17th December.

Christmas shoppers loved it and gave generously to help build the choir into a first rate performing group.

                     OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The choir is drawn from Butterflies-Haven – the Keynsham-based support agency and network for families affected by autistic spectrum. Keynsham Action Network has supported Butterflies-Haven to create this choir.


Choir members are mostly children and young people and they LOVE the singing!

                                OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here Katie is singing her solo at the start of Once in Royal David’s City.


At the end of the performance everyone was excited, including William House, chair and founder of KAN, as he is interviewed by Tilly Karabina from Bath Spa University. The university is helping us to create a short documentary film of the creation and development of the choir.

                             Butterflies-Voice Charlie+Trish 17Dec

Trish Williams, founder of Butterflies-Haven, and Charlie Groves, choirmaster, share their excitement with a festive backdrop after the singing!
This is just the beginning for the choir which has great plans for 2015.
Butterflies-Haven and KAN are very grateful to Waitrose for generously supporting this new venture.


The BIG TENT EVENT on 4th July 2014

Review of the Alastair McIntosh visit to Keynsham – three bites at the cherry! – from KAN member, namesake and fellow Scot, Alastair Singleton.

July’s Music Festival weekend saw the visit of renowned social activist, author, campaigner and Quaker Alastair McIntosh to Keynsham. Alastair came at the invitation of Keynsham Action Network’s Live Simply project – – and he led three very different events over the course of the weekend.

Things are as they are now because we do not demand better…

On the Friday evening he addressed a packed KMF Main Tent audience on the subject of Rekindling Community. Drawing on his own experience of working within communities of many kinds, both in the UK and overseas, he challenged and inspired those present to take responsibility for their society. Things are as they are now, he suggested, only because we are quiescent and do not demand better and more ethical outputs from the politicians who represent us and from the banks and corporate world which rule so much of our lives. An engaged and determined community need not accept the status quo, and has every right and indeed responsibility to insist on a fairer, more just and caring environment for all.

…a powerful and compelling learning experience…

On the Saturday afternoon Alastair led a social activism workshop at Chewton Church for a group of those engaged with community and social justice issues in and around the town. Sharing views, stories and lessons from each other on matters affecting the disadvantaged and excluded in our society proved a powerful and compelling learning experience, which will have a lasting impact on those involved and the work they can do to promote the interests of those in need.

… a quite extraordinary weekend.

Finally, on Sunday morning, Alastair gave the sermon at Chewton’s Eco-Church service – and it was a sermon that will live long in the memory of those privileged to be there. Developing the theme of seeking moments of calm in busy, troubled lives, Alastair drew on St Mark’s Gospel and the examples of Jesus’s Temptation in the Desert and the Feeding of the 5000. Speaking around sub-themes of temptation, obedience and chastity, Alastair was at once both erudite and utterly accessible. It was an exceptional tour de force at the climax of a quite extraordinary, charismatic and catalytic weekend.

Pictures of the Big Tent Event on 4th July


Dr William House chatting to Dr Phil Hammond & Alastair McIntosh before the talk



Dr Phil Hammond hosted, entertaining us and making us think


Erica Davies told us about the great work Keynsham Wombles do to tidy up our area & maker it nicer to live in


Alastair McIntosh gave us a talk to remember : thoroughly thought-provoking and inspirational

 Here is some of KAN’s pre-event marketing

World renowned writer, campaigner, broadcaster, teacher and academic, Alastair McIntosh, is to visit Keynsham to speak during the Keynsham Music Festival. Alastair is known across the world for his many books, and especially his achievements in Scotland helping the beleaguered residents of the Isle of Eigg to become the first Scottish community ever to clear their laird from his own estate. His next target was the attempt by a multinational quarrying company to turn a majestic mountain on the Hebridean Isle of Harris into a giant superquarry. He invited Native American Warrior Chief Sulian Sone Eagle Herney to come to Scotland and help assemble the first-ever theological submission to a public inquiry. This attracted international attention and the tiny population of the island successfully achieved one of the most striking challenges to corporate power in British history.

In his own words, “I use the factual campaign stories as a carrier to express the deeper story of our times – the struggle of the human spirit to shine, the imperative of making community, the recovery of a credible spirituality…” He calls his work ‘human ecology’ – how the human race relates to the rest of nature in a way that allows both to flourish. His extraordinary breadth of knowledge and experience could not be more relevant to the problems faced by our civilization today.

In this sentence from his celebrated book, Soil and Soul, Alastair gave us this idea of the message he aims to get across in the Keynsham event:

We had to shake people out of a meek acceptance of the Powers-that-Be, out of the consensus trance zone and into the transformative fire of indignation.”

LIVE SIMPLY LOGO no date trimmed 20mms        LIVE SIMPLY LOGO no date trimmed 20mms         LIVE SIMPLY LOGO no date trimmed 20mms         LIVE SIMPLY LOGO no date trimmed 20mms

Event hosted by Dr Phil Hammond

“One of the most entertainingly subversive people on the planet”  The Guardian


Venue: Main tent, Keynsham Memorial Park, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 2BL

Tickets and more information from

Also see


Alastair McIntosh  (C) Médiathèque Lafarge – Alain Le Breton.

“Truly mental”   Thom Yorke, Radiohead

“World changing”  George Monbiot

“Live changing”  Bishop of Liverpool


Dr Phil Hammond, GP and TV presenter

Thought provoking, scalpel sharp stand-up” The Independent

“Sharp intelligent commentary woven through ruthlessly funny anecdotes” The Big Issue

NOTE: for details of KAN and Live Simply EVENTS PRIOR to 2014 see the Events page.