General ramblings, Happy Stuff!

What a Weekend!

How was your weekend everyone?

I have had a blast!
I was hugely flattered to be asked to speak at the Big Lunch Extras Swindon Roadshow this weekend, and fabulously excited when I was able to join in for the whole weekend of talks and workshops, and general all round awesomeness!

Big Lunch Extras is an Eden Project programme to help individuals across the UK to create positive change within their communities.

BLE logo
They hold ‘camps’ at the actual Eden Projects (the last one is this July, and is already full-boooo! BUT fingers crossed, things are looking hopeful for more funding to be able to carry these on-yay!) and have started Roadshows around the country to spread some of the Big Lunch Extras love!

Caroline and Anna are two beneficiaries of the Big Lunch Extras Eden Project camps, and are fabulous ambassadors for the scheme. They are part of a community group who have taken over the running and management of their local community centre, The Savernake Street Social Hall, in Swindon.
These two ladies are doing such fab things, and have such a great venue in the shape of the Social Hall, that it must have been a bit of a ‘no-brainer’ for the Big Lunch Extras organisers to run a roadshow weekend in Swindon!

I had high hopes of the weekend, and the ‘line-up’ looked fabulous, which it was.
But the very best thing was meeting so many inspirational people and hearing about the amazing projects they are working on to make their communities, and the world, a better place!

I’m aware that this post could turn into one of epic proportions if I tell you all about these fab projects in one go, so I thought it might be better to do a mini-series, highlighting some of my faves.
Whoopeeee! A whole week of inspiration!! And I get to re-live the weekend for longer!!

In the meantime, here’s a sneaky taste of the projects I’m going to be raving about…

  • Free Shop at Savernake Social Street Social Hall-this is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a shop, but it’s all free!
  • Super Kitchen-we had a talk from Marsha Smith, the founder of this fantabulous Social Eating Movement
  • Create Me Happy– I met these lovely guys who had come all the way from Welsh Wales. The project is aimed at lessening the impact of parental depression on children, through the magic that is Lego!
  • Spice-there wasn’t anyone from Spice actually on the weekend, but the Create Me Happy guys were raving about it, and it seems like such an amazing idea, I want to tell you all about it! Spice is a Time Credits system, that rewards volunteers for their time, with credits that they can spend on experiences elsewhere, like using the leisure centre. It’s GENIUS!
  • Socially Social-Sarah has started monthly get togethers for social entrepreneurs in her home town of Bournemouth.
  • Foragers Farm-I was surprised and delighted to see Gary, who I have previously known in his role at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. But unbeknown to me, he had moved on from the Trust, to set up his own Community Farm. I am beyond excited at this-I would LOVE a smallholding (not sure hubby is so keen though!) and I can’t wait to follow Gary and his family’s journey.
  • Incredible Edible Swindon, and The Secret Garden-showing how community gardens and community growing spaces work in actual real life.

This is just a teeny tiny taster of the amazing people and projects that I was lucky enough to meet and find out about this weekend.
The thing that struck me more than anything, was that all of these people are out there, and actually doing it.
They aren’t sat at home, complaining, or even sat at home coming up with marvellous ideas.
They are out there. Doing it.
Some are just starting, some are more established.
But they are all doing something about the things they are passionate about.
And that is how change happens 🙂

Stay tuned for more info on each of these projects this week.
I do hope you’ll be as inspired as me!
And here’s some of the great pictures that were decorating the Social Hall:

BLE weekend RS5

BLE weekend RS4

BLE weekend RS3

BLE weekend RS2

BLE weekend RS1

PS. My presentation was all about Repair Events, and how to get one going in communities-I’ll be turning into a blog post for Make Do and Mend-able, so I’ll post the link when it’s live!


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