Remembering Kate Ormrod 1949-2020

Here at Transition Falmouth we continue to feel love and gratitude for Kate’s presence in our lives and remember her wonderful qualities as a friend and co-operator on many community projects over the years.

There is a wonderful tribute site created by her family at and her friends and colleagues Lorely and Rob have also shared their memories of Kate at reallifetools and LETS Forum websites.

Some of the many projects Kate was involved with

The Bowly: Bowling Green local community project for playground and traffic calming.
Falmouth LETS: Trading scheme and skill share.
FLAG21: Falmouth Local Agenda 21: Working together for a just and sustainable future.
Falmouth Green Centre:    Environmental group and skill centre.
The Meridian Project:  Local Community hubs and centres.
Urbane Guerrillas: Acts of Random Kindness:
Gyllyng Hall for All. Project to use old Quaker Hall as community centre
Falwheels: Informal community Car Share Scheme.
Falmouth Town Team: BT Better Towns
Falmouth Residents Association
Community Energy Plus
BTCV : British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
FLI: Falmouth Living Initiative
WEA Courses/EZONE/21st Century Living and Learning
Local and National Co-operatives.
Credit Union.
Town Centre Forum
FalmouthOne: Embryonic Community Development Trust.
A Peoples Survey Falmouth
Last Rights: encouraging and supporting last human rights and rites
Fairtrade Falmouth
Manager Oxfam Shop Falmouth
Ecogenie: co-founder of Environmental Cleaning Workers Co-op.
Shared Power: local group activities.
Transition Falmouth
Falmouth Alive: Community Alive Falmouth
Fal Energy Partnership
Ambos Co-Housing Project

Submission for Woman’s Hour Power List October 2020

Kate Ormrod:  1949 to 11th Sept 2020 : Campaigner

A passionate and fearless woman who dedicated her life to people and the planet. Kate’s main concern was for justice and fairness hence her work on both mainstream and radical community initiatives and co-operatives to create opportunities for people to change their lives and their environment.

For over 30 years in the SW Kate was pivotal in furthering social and environmental issues as summarized by Agenda 21 for ‘a just and sustainable future’.

Practical and innovative strategies for Community and Culture, Education, Energy, Environment, Transport, Partnership, Creativity, Food, Building, Health and Wellbeing. Waste and Reuse.

We wish Kate to be remembered as a pioneer, fostering so many UK and local community projects with her spirit of joy, community, cooperation, wit and wisdom. A true exponent of “kitchen table democracy”

Summary on Co-op activities

Kate was a campaigner for decades for a more democratic, collaborative way of living, trading and working.  A co-operator to her core, she served on the Co-operative Group Members’ committee whose task was to help set social policy on behalf of the membership, and the Regional Board where her commitment and contribution was respected by all who knew her.

As the largest Co-operative organisation in the world, keeping true to its guiding principles and acting in a truly democratic way is not always easy, but Kate would never be reticent to call into question anything which didn’t measure up to those values and principles, expressing her views but always in a measured, confident way.

Later, she Chaired the regional organisation Co-operatives South West for a number of years, which worked to raise the profile of all local co-ops, large and small, from credit unions to farmers’ collectives, co-housing groups to food co-ops and community shops and pubs.  This was very much Kate’s forte.  She believed in people working together to achieve common goals.

Kate felt strongly that global problems could largely be solved by individual and local community action – whether it was campaigning against environmental pollution, or for social justice, poverty reduction and women’s rights.

Despite increasing ill-health she never stopped challenging the status quo where she believed it to be failing humanity and nature.  Her dedication, enthusiasm and zest for life will be missed enormously by all who knew her.

Sadly Kate has very recently died after many years enduring COPD

words by Viv Calderbank, Rob Follett, and Lorely Lloyd

In 2019, as Kate’s health and mobility continued to decline, but her enthusiasm for community projects continued unabated, we held regular “veterans” meetings at her home, until, with the onset of Covid-19 and the need to shield, group meetings moved online using Zoom.

Kate always found computers irritating to deal with, but as a quick and lifelong learner she adapted very well, and wrote a couple of typically incisive articles for this website last year, Living Lightly and Locally with Covid-19 and Finding reliable information in the online maze – she remained clear headed, good hearted, supportive and productive right to the end, and was starting to enjoy using twitter!

On 12th September 2020, the day after she died, the NHS Blue Spitfire flew over Falmouth hospital raising money for NHS Charities together. Kate was an avid explorer of new horizons on all levels, and as a lifelong community champion it seemed thoroughly appropriate to donate and get her name inscribed on the spitfire, especially given the following from an article at the time on the Falmouth Packet:

“This Spitfire, which was specifically built and used for photo reconnaissance during the conflict, carrying cameras instead of weapons, once again embodies the sense of freedom and togetherness that it did then. It has had an interesting history, which includes being flown and air-raced by the famous female ATA pilot Lettice Curtis, whose signature can already be seen on its side.”

Our dedication on screen-shot below, slightly shortened to fit from

(From:) Kate’s Friends in the Falmouth Community

We would like to nominate, Kate Ormrod, in gratitude for a life of loving support to her wide circle of friends and family, pioneering and fostering so many local community projects with her spirit of joy, community, cooperation, wit and wisdom throughout her life.

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