This week we turned a huge corner with the work we do in the community here in Cornwall.
Thanks to funding from The Lottery Community Fund, where we have funding for 2 years to work with local communities through textiles, we have opened a shop on the high street in Bodmin. This has come about after weeks of work getting ready with our team of volunteers and the fantastic donations that are always welcome and from such a giving community. The shop open day and was very well attended simply blown away with all of it. We had over 60 people in the shop, loads of signups for workshops, events and so many donations and offers of support and the tea and cake went down well.
Thanks so much for the support and help we have received here, it has made us feel very humble. We now look forward to working with you over the next 2 years and bringing better connections to the community.
The open day coincided with the instalment of a Community Fridge that we have helped by providing the space and working to public demand. The community Fridge is the result of some great people working together to help make the places we live just that little bit better.
The community fridge is stocked and topped up a few times per week, as need be and its ready for anyone who may need.
The Fridge / Freezer was very kindly donated by HBH Woolacottes after the beautiful Carmen Steel answered our call for help and helped this happen.
Now the hard work of Nik Elvy and her team of dedicated partners can have another place to help distribute food for those that need and divert from landfill. Nik Elvy and her girls and have been collecting waste food from supermarkets and working with other hard working food waste organisations like DCFA for some time and finding cool ways to use it and distribute it. The Community Fridge has been run and funding by Nik and is in answer to the need for it in Bodmin.
If you would like to find out more about it, use it, set one up where you live or donate to the fridge then pop in the shop or message us here to find out more.
We have always looked at ways we can bring communities together and this year after taking inspiration from Eden Projects Big Lunch we shall be holding one in Bodmin.
Our ` Connections through Food` project involves all 3 wards of Bodmin + an event that will bring everyone together in the form of a Big Lunch that we will hold on Narisa Lawn after finding the kind permission of the town council.
The Big Lunch we are planning would involve us, Cultivate Cornwall, partnering for delivery with The Curious School of the Wild on a day that would be open and free for all to attend, much along the lines of the ` Share Fare` we held 2 years ago but mainly focused on food. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjZeoG2ENHo&t=14s
The ideas again is no money to change hands as with most of what we do and to simply bring people together as a community for community benefit.
What we are ask from the council is permission to use Narisa Lawn on the 9th June, a Sunday, so we can make this happen. We will be sourcing `in kind` contributions from various agencies in Cornwall, FareShare being one of these who work with food poverty and food waste we will aim to be involved and we ask for others who would like to contribute in some way to come forward. . We would also plan for a childrens play area on the lawn where supervised children will be able to join in with traditional games and learn new skills. Again, all for free.
Our funding in this is secured from the lottery community fund and will be spent on delivery on all 3 wards with other activities being held in St Marys - a series of outdoor cooking events held at the community garden and the Hub on Kinsman, A series of outdoor family cooking events that will be held in the grounds of Berrycoombe school - A wild weekend that we plan to hold at the Scout hut at Castle Kanyke and involve family camping for those who may not get chance to take part in these type of activities and ... The Big Lunch to bring everyone together from all 3 wards.
The whole project is aimed at benefiting the community of Bodmin, a project that we believe is inclusive for all and something we can use to build on to make stronger connected communities.
Of course, we would welcome any and all wards to join us on the day or in any of the other activities mentioned. We would also welcome any donations or contributions to help make this happen although we are not dependant on these.
You are invited to our Open Day for the shop where we will be serving Cakey Tea and have information about the up and coming workshops and events that we have planned for your enjoyment.
We will be able to let you know where you can join in on the workshops in Bodmin , Par and Liskeard, what we have planned there and when.
Swishing is back and the dates and venues have been confirmed. This year we plan things a little different in some areas and bigger and better in other areas. Come and find out how you can be involved.
Volunteers ! we simply love the help you have offered and we hope that you will be continuing with this and that we can attract more. You know its fun and a great way to help the community grow.
We would welcome your ideas on workshops and events that we could run.
So, come in, sign up, join in and get involved in positive action and most of all.... lets have some fun with textile!
You know when you are doing something good - when you are asked to Share with others what you are doing..
This weekend we are in Exeter at the CAG meeting skill sharing with like minded others. A fun, interactive day ahead.
And then this comes through this week with a request to do 2 slots / sessions on the Saturday and Sunday at the festival. Of course we said yes to Semble and we are so looking forward to being there !
The Seed Festival celebrates courageous leadership, creative expression and innovation in partnership with our natural world and we are going to be there to share what we do in a little old corner of Cornwall.
Click on the button below to find out more about the Seed Festival and about Semble.
Cultivate Cornwall CIC are awarded two years of lottery funding to grow their
TeX – Textiles with a difference project.
TeX - Textiles with a difference; part of the Cultivate Cornwall social enterprise - is a community benefit project that aims to bring communities together through textiles.
Providing skill sharing opportunities, holding youth fashion shows, organizing Swishing events and creating a ‘Makerspace’ where the community can come together, learn from each other, get creative and make things in a social environment are some of the key opportunities that will be made available through the project.
The activities will be free to participate and will predominantly take place between Bodmin, Par and Liskeard.
The project will also work with the business community, helping reduce their environmental impact through repurposing textile waste, TeX aims to use embrace innovation creating products for the circular economy out of waste textiles to help support their long-term sustainability.
Harry, 22 who is one of the Directors of Cultivate Cornwall said "We are really looking forward to reaching out further into the community, we have a great team of sewers, designers, teachers and seamstresses who are ready and waiting to share their skills with the community.
"The fashion industry produces about 60% waste and that is set to increase, so as well as the community aspect of this enterprise there is the ecological side, which to us is so important.
"Working with partners like BJ Sherriff, who have been amazing, we can try and change the culture of the industry and build a successful company that will make a real difference."
Harry says the continued support of the community has been invaluable, as the project aims to benefit the local community, their continued contribution has been essential to shaping the project – with 2 years of funding having now been secured - there are firm foundations on which to grow the Tex – Textiles with a difference project.
Anna who will be helping deliver the project added: "It's vital to us that we help the people around us, with the removal from textiles from the curriculum it is essential that people like me share our skills and experiences with the younger generations so these skills don’t die out.
"TeX is a great way of doing that and I am excited to get out there and start building on our engagement with the community."
Over the last year we have worked with 34 community projects helping to support them in making their ideas a reality. After realising there was a lack of existing provision for supporting community groups to thrive, we set up a project that aimed to support these projects in reaching their full potential through providing, training, mentoring and other support activities.
Since launching COGS in January 2018, we have provided 132 hours of 1-to-1 mentoring, supported 136 people with training and workshop programs and enabled the community groups we have supported to go on and secure £19,295. We have helped 8 groups form legal entities and shared their stories with an audience of over 2400 people.
Last November Harry went to Eden for a Community Camp where he spoke to Semble about the motivation and successes of COGS. This has since been put together in a video that Semble have kindly produced for us. https://lezl42zxsgtwivlm17ffd0dg-wpe
COGS has helped these groups build strong foundations and become ready and knowledgeable for applying for funding. This further strengthens the legacy of COGS which has and will continue to enable the community groups we have worked with to thrive. These Community groups are also now able to go on and share what they have learn with other community groups and workers, allowing them to improve their work and the multiplier effect to continue.
Those we have worked with have been able to develop their ambitions, improve quality and grow. As a result, the legacy of COGS will live on through the betterment of local communities and the greater impact of community groups.
COGS has also left its legacy on Cultivate Cornwall, we have learnt huge amounts from the project that we intend to apply as we go forward. We are now looking to develop a new project, similar to COGS but improved based on our learning and improved capabilities.
Our impact has only been possible thanks to the support of the Big Lottery Fund. We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for the continued support from the National Lottery Community Fund as without this and their willingness to help and support us at all stages of the delivery of the project none of this would have been possible.
The COGS project has now come to an end and while we look to secure future funding that will allow to continue from the successes of this project we will in the mean time on a voluntary basis, continue to provide 1-to-1 support for anyone that is already or looking to work for the betterment of the community.
You can read more and see the video on the Semble website here
Semble Stories - Eden Community Camp - COGS
A Week of Swishing
Last week was a very busy week with two swishing events in addition to everything else we do in a normal week. But it was great fun, we met some amazing new people and almost 100 of you got the chance to swish, whether for the first time, or for some this was their 3rd or 4th time at one of our swishing events.
On Monday we tried something new, a swish in Truro. This is an area we have worked in very little so far. It was a brilliant introduction to a new audience with a great event, made possible by Epiphany House who we collaborated with, enabling us to bring Swishing to the people of Truro.
We had never been to Epiphany House before and what a venue it is! Their worked hospitality went above anything we could have expected and the venue was superb for such an eve, allowing us to use different rooms for different parts of the event which helped this event seem like the smoothest yet.
The people of Truro, and those that came from further afield, we feel that now would be the perfect time to thank you for all the amazing clothes you brought to Swish. It really is surprising what we have in our wardrobes that we don’t wear, you certainly surprised us with the quality of the clothes you brought and shared with others. It is great to see our clothes getting a new lease of life.
Then was par, and again you all came out in force, though I am pleased to say that this time we actually managed to stay on top of the que. Now we have done a few in different places it has become clear that in par the events have a very different feel. Par seems to be much more fast paced, though I would say that that helps create a really enjoyable atmosphere. You definitely keep us on our toes but we do have a lot of fun Swishing in Par.
The event in Par saw John and Harry for the first time take a step back from running the event which was great, allowing us to pass over control to the community who we had aimed to support. We want to pass on a huge thanks to everyone involved in the event for taking lead and using their initiative. It frees up our time so we can focus on growing the activities we offer whilst also supporting the development of skills and inclusion for all involved. A huge congratulations to everyone involved, the event was problem free and its great to see so many people stepping forward to help drive us forward!
Last week across the 2 events 340kg of clothing was swapped between roughly 100 people, workshops were provided to keep kids occupied allowing parents to relax and enjoy browsing while, Anna’s repair service helped give otherwise unloved clothes a new life. Loads of business cards were handed out so hopefully some more of you are now connected with us, making it easier for you to find out about future events. Finally, we have committed to running another swish in Par in January so, watch this space to stay updated and make sure you don’t miss out on our next Swish!
We are hoping to run 1 swish event every month in the new year so if you have any feedback on the events so far, we would love for you to get in touch.
Last week saw us step outside of our comfort zone when we visited London. It’s not often that we get out of the county but having being shortlisted as a finalist in the Groundwork Community Awards we were kindly invited to attend the House of Commons for the Awards Ceremony.
What an event it was, starting with a tour of Parliament we were then taken to the Strangers Dining Room for the ceremony. The room was filled with MP’s, Businesses and the 30 community projects that had been shortlisted as finalists and what amazing projects they were.
We had been shortlisted for an award for Best Community Partnership with Business, and though we didn’t win, we were delighted to see Bridgman & Bridgman get the award for their impactful work. For us, as such a new project, just getting recognised by being shortlisted was more than we had ever expected and to say we were proud, humbled and delighted to receive this recognition for our work was an understatement.
The event for us was more than just an award ceremony and has helped us progress our work as a result of just being there. We met some amazing people there, in addition to the Groundwork staff we met Environmental Plymouth (winner of Best community group contribution to environmental sustainability), Givewith who sponsored our award and many others who we will surely be working with in the future.
The whole experience was hugely inspirational and has helped inspire new ideas and reenergised us giving the motivation to continue pushing our ideas forward whilst exciting us about future possibilities.
To make the most of our trip, before heading home the following morning we met with Nick Gardner, founder of Semble (previously Project Dirt) to discuss our ideas and their possible involvement in some projects we are working to create for next year. Nick loved what we were trying to achieve and will be supporting us in making them a reality which completely blew us away.
So, from our mad 24 hours in London we came away with so much more than we had ever expected, even if it meant coming away without an award. We met some amazing and hugely inspirational people, we formed business relationships and we set out plans for how we want to grow next year and got on support that will help us make it a reality. Really, we couldn’t have asked for much more.
Over the last month we have been working with students from Falmouth University and they have created a film for us that highlights some of our work.
A quick update on our workshops and events.
We have just finished the workshops in Bodmin on Dignity Bags where over the last few weeks people came together to learn how to sew a bag with a real purpose. The Dignity Bags will be filled by the makers with essential items and toiletries and distributed through the foodbanks. We loved working on this project and we hope to do more in the new year if people would like to join in, All ages and abilities welcome and we will supply everything to make the bags.
Our workshops in Par / Cornubia are going really well and there are still 2 Thursdays left for you to join in. These sessions are again bag making but a different style and these will be used for essential items for the childrens clothing bank here in Cornwall. The need comes through a referral system and agencies across Cornwall and we are very happy to be able to help the fantastic work they undertake. We have started to distribute them and more are needed in the run up to Christmas and again in the new year. You would be very welcome to join in on the last 2 sessions planned for this year and we are also on the look out for sewing machines to help us continue the great work and to be able to keep up with demand from you guys to join in. If you have a spare machine and would like to donate it to us then please let us know and we can arrange collection / delivery.
We have a Socially Social network event planned for Tuesday the 13th November - 7 - 9pm and aimed at Social Enterprises and Community Groups where we can come together and meet like minded people, share stories and inspiration and maybe meet people who will be able to help build stronger communities.
And then we have the Christmas Pop up Market in Honey Street on the 8th December. This is aimed at promoting youth Enterprise and social good causes around Bodmin. We are busy planning the day and we do have space for 2 more traders so if you think you fit the description then get in contact and find out about joining in. There is no cost to trade as we know the barriers that many young people face when trying to start up something and that costs can often mean exclusion.
We have swishing in Cornubia on the 1st December and last time we attracted 107 people and nearly 1/2 ton of textiles! Not sure that will happen again but we can assure you that we will have fun, music while we swish and free tea and cake to help the day along. If you are unsure how swishing works then just pop along and find out, oh, and bring a bag of clothes to swap!
We are also finalists for 2 awards this year, first is Cornwall Sustainability Award and the 2nd is a finalist for a Groundwork Community Award in the Best community partnership with business category. We have been invited to join the awards ceremony, to be held at the House of Commons, Westminster, London. We are delighted to be finalists for these awards and it seems that our hard work and efforts are paying off through recognition.
We hope to continue building stronger, more connected communities in 2019 and we are working on some quite exciting stuff so stay tuned and watch out for our updates and how you can get involved.
We simply loved 2018 and we cant wait to get going on bigger and better in 2019.
Our blog is designed to keep you up to date on Cultivate Cornwall news and all the different projects we are working on.