Join us to celebrate the amazing things happening in Cornish communities and create a shared imagination of what the future could look like!
About this Event
What if we could see all of the positive things happening in communities across Cornwall? What if we were all connected, and could share ideas, resources and questions? What would that look like, and what would it take to get there?
All are welcome to this free event to celebrate the often invisible people, projects and ideas which make our communities so special. You'll get inspired by people you've never met before, make new connections for sharing advice and support, and be invited to imagine what the future of communities in Cornwall could be.
The event will be fun, friendly and relaxed, with a mixture of discussions, talks and activities.
We'll provide a lunch (with vegetarian and vegan options), and to ensure that the free places are held for community members, we ask that anyone coming in a professional capacity donates £10 for their food.
While the event will take place at the Visitor Centre, you are welcome to explore the site after 4pm, before Eden closes at 6pm.
For the tickets please go here
Over the last week we managed to spend 5 of those in a field in west Cornwall. Healey`s Farm was the venue and the Cider and Music Festival was the event.
This little festival has grown over the years but it has kept it soul and friendliness well intact. The fun starts for the public at mid day on Friday and its all over by midnight on Sunday. What goes on in-between those times is epic, is fun and is what is just needed after a long and hectic summer in Cornwall.
We go down on the Thursday to set up as we have a 3 meter x 6 meter marquee that we dress with lights, carpets, wall hangings and we even bring the leather sofa with us! This year we had a better idea of what to expect and we were well prepared for it. Stock had been made and created over the last few months, ideas had brought new workshops into life and we had a WOW with us this year to help us along in the form of a Solar Powered Sewing Machine !
With the help of a friend who managed Solar Power Farms across the UK, he managed to help create a Solar System that would power our Sewing Machines, off Grid and just about anywhere. The system would give us around 18 hours continuous energy with sun and years with. We needed it for the weekend and it did just that, it powered all our repairs and workshops over the weekend and all topped up by the Sun of which we had in large amounts. To say it was fun would be an understatement, as it grew lots of interest, requests to replicate and increased both repairs and workshops due to it being unique. I mean, who wouldn’t want a go on a solar powered sewing machine, in a field, in west Cornwall while listening to great music and drinking pineapple Rattlers on draft.
What we like most about this festival are the people who attend. (Although the organisers are kinda cool as well). The families who turn up seem to bring big smiles from miles around and really are interested in what we do and they turn up and join in. They like what we offer and we know this because they not only tell us but the participation we receive grows each year.
Headline acts this year were The Zutons and Reef and they rocked! It seemed like the whole audience knew and sang along to the bands and huge applause came after the songs. Once they were over there were Silent Discos, Secret Gin Gardens and other hangout found via going through wardrobes (thoughts of Narnia appeared) dotted all out the event site. Day time activates included the Rattlers Olympics, children play areas, foraging, yoga, sofa racing all mixed in with such wonderful street food from vendors. We think the Thai food was the best and the coffee from the airstream was hard to beat but that was only our opinion as the other traders seemed to have full lines of people most of the time.
All in all we simply had the best of time there and hope we get to go back next year.
We have just spent the day plotting and planning the delivery of new workshops in Wadebridge.
With the fantastic the support of Wadebridge Town Council and the determination of Robyn Harris, who will be heading up the workshops and activities there, we will now be able to start delivering textile related workshops that will be in the heart of the community and for the community. Robyn is best placed for this we believe as she spends her time as a local councillor finding ways to bring benefit to those living in Wadebridge and when she is not doing that then she is sewing and creating magic from textiles.
The workshops we will be holding can be found in the town Library from October and our menu of activities are below. The funding to enable this to happen has come through our Reaching Communities Award from The Lottery and it is for exactly this, Reaching Communities.
If you would like to take part, join in or simply anything else please message us to see if we can help.
These activities we hope are just the beginning and if the initial demand continues or grows we hope to have a place full time in Wadebridge so if you come along and support it then that just might happen.
Today started with some great news, I (Harry) have been shortlisted among 3 finalists from across the UK for Young Leader of the Year in the Groundwork Community Awards. I have been invited back to the London in November for the award ceremony, clearly last year we didn’t offend anyone with our more radical views, to the point that once again I will be hosted for an evening of celebrating all the great community work happening across the UK.
Everyone seems to ask the same questions; how does it feel? To be honest, I don’t know, I wouldn’t have said the news has sunk in yet and as I have some time off over the next few weeks I am sure my opinion will change as I reflect on what this could mean to me. For now, it feels great, after countless sleepless nights, added stresses and months of living on the breadline, recognition for my drive to make change and the efforts I have been putting in make it all worthwhile. Myself and for that matter, everyone that we work with, very rarely get opportunities to celebrate what we have achieved so, we do find awards are a great way of rewarding ourselves, from the networking and connections they provide to the opportunity to go somewhere out of the normal routine is a brilliant way to celebrate our success. While the further credibility awards like this bring, help position us well to expand our work and grow the positive impact we have on our community, it also allows us to have a greater influence on key decision-makers, making it much easier to bring about systematic change.
As I write this blog my excitement is growing and I am very much looking forward to the ceremony, seeing those from previous years again and meeting many new faces. It’s a great feeling to think that my work has inspired others and that I have been able to support numerous young people in realising their vision and aspirations. This year has definitely been a transformative one for us at Cultivate Cornwall and without support from people like The National Lottery Fund, my amazing team of mentors and Eden Project Communities, just to name a few, I struggle to see this becoming a reality. It has shown me the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and without their helping hand, taking the leaps forward that have amounted this year, would have never been possible. Yes, I am sure we would have progressed and achieved some great results but, to this scale and with such an impact, I find it hard to believe.
But this is still only the beginning, at the end of the day, I am only 23 and hope that each year that passes I can have a more substantial positive impact on the communities we support. Plans are in place for progression over the coming years and I have some big ideas that I hope to realise. To date much of our work has benefited local communities so next I want to look at how to generate change on a regional, national and international level as that is what is needed. The challenges faced by us all, particularly the younger generations are unprecedented and require a shift in almost every aspect of modern-day life, I have now shown that we can lead this change on a local level so next that impact needs to be scaled far and wide.
I want to finish by saying thank you to whoever it was that nominated me, this mornings email came as a pleasant surprise. This will help motivate me to continue the work we do, not that I was planning on stopping but, on those not so great days, this will give me something to look back on and reignite my passion and drive and as a reminder that what we are doing is so important to so many. Fingers crossed for the day but finishing in the top 3 in a UK wide award is good enough for me!
During the summer break from school we had a brilliant opportunity to work with a group of very enthusiastic young people in Liskeard, Cornwall. This was enabled by Clair from the Lighthouse CIC who is very active in Liskeard and who is constantly seeking opportunities for young people of the town.
We had previously visited with them after they attended one of our events and expressed an interested in us doing workshops based around sewing in their town. So we came to visit them and worked out a series of workshops that could run during the holidays, that would be fun and creative and that they would gain experiences from taking part. We basically created an Eco Fashion Show that would enable them to make clothing and upcycle / recycle clothing that would be warn in a Fashion show and for them to show the fantastic creations they made.
We started the sessions on the first week of the holidays with an army of 6 tutors and volunteers who could bring the young, fresh ideas into life. This was headed up by Anna one of our head seamstresses, who took the lead and organised the weekly sessions that had been planned out. The weeks consisted of de-logo-ing and remaking Tee Shirts that had been donated by such companies as Fluid Branding and Eden Project Communities, Up-cycling and re-freshing items of clothing that they already owned and one week we gave everyone some money and went charity shopping where clothes were bought, up cycled and prepared for the show.
The Show itself was held on the 31st August and had a huge turnout of friends, family and local dignitaries that included the Mayor of Liskeard who really enjoyed herself.
In all we had 18 girls and 3 boys take part in creating Eco Fashion, all had a wonderful experience and gained from the opportunity that could clearly been seen from the main event – the catwalk and the huge smiles they wore whilst showing off their creations.
The event not just gave experience for the young people but also the more mature leaders and those that taught how to sew during the project. To have young minds guiding the mature seamstresses on what they wanted and to help bring the creations to life was real benefit on both sides. This also enabled the younger people to learn the skills that some already have taken home with them and put into use.
All in all it was a real success for all involved and we want to do more in Liskeard as they have expressed to us about continuing there. What we do will be planned over the next few months and we will keep you informed on events and how you can also be involved.
Huge thanks must go to Clair from Lighthouse cic and the people of Liskeard that helped this to happen.
The Youth have taken over !
This week we tried something different and it was simply excellent.
This week for a day the youth took over!
On the day we had 2 groups come to join us and they really had fun. Half went to set up a coding club, brought their Raspberry Pi, Arduino`s, top hats, boards and monitors and set out to discover and share their knowledge amongst each other. This first session was based around getting to know each other and getting to know what we know. They set the session on what they wanted to do and they set the rules. During the day they discovered what they were missing, what they would like to help them along and I am sure we will get a shopping list to match. What we discovered was the fun they had that matched their enthusiasm when it came to coding. By the end of the day it was set out for how they would like to continue and an after school club was set up to start running from next week. Small weekly groups to start with as we are limited with resources but over the next few weeks we think it will find its feet more solid and come up with some great achievements.
The 2nd group of young people are not new to us but have had a break for the summer and were so eager to return. This group is more textiles based and know what they want. They generally want upcycled and reworked clothes that they often bring in and full of ideas of what they want to make. We are there simply to help their ideas come to reality. What get created normally gets worn and with pride. I made that and it comes with a smile. What they also bring is the fresh ideas and its infectious, we breath it in and want more. Their youthful ideas are often what we need and we end the day feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and rewarded.
Both of these sessions are planned to run over the winter months and its great to see that its not just them that are benefiting from the activities. My idea is to mix the 2 somehow and find ways to have the textiles worked in with coding to make wonder and wow.. Light show events will be running during winter here in Cornwall so it would be brilliant if we could do something there to show off their work. Watch this space.
Our blog is designed to keep you up to date on Cultivate Cornwall news and all the different projects we are working on.