Freedom Community Festival Group

  • Freedom Community Festival Group
  • Clean Our Patch
  • WonderZoo
Briefly describe your project
Freedom community festival began back in 2000 and run by some local residents and supporters. This ran out of steam around 2004 and I was asked if a festival was happening as at that time I was running the community cafe in the Park on behalf of Plymouth and district Mind. I was able to put a small one day event and from that grew to what it is today. We have steered the event to be as community focused and family friendly as possible. The event only happens with a lot of goodwill and voluntary support.
Describe what you hope your Collective will achieve
We would hope to sustain the annual festival but also to put on further linked events in the community with the collective members and other community minded groups. Although this is seen mainly as a music festival for some we see it as more widespread in that it brings various community groups and organizations together who also offer support services such as Barnardo’s as an example.
Describe how your Collective formed
We have close links in supporting each of our projects and both of our collective partners take part in the festival but also take part in other community events. The festival only happens as a collaborative of many groups and individuals.
Which collaboration “shape” do you expect will best describe your project?
HUB AND SPOKE – Like a bike wheel, one organisation holds things together at the centre, while other organisations perform specific tasks
In which areas would you expect most of your grant to be spent on?
During the first round, POP members will be asked to advise you. What advice would be most helpful?
How we may improve and include more activities and possible support on IT and process to cover all expected health and safety needs.

The Climate Hub

  • The Climate Hub
  • Climate Action Plymouth
  • Climate Clarity

Online Advice Session: Thursday 23 June at 9am

Briefly describe your project

Creating a welcoming and collaborative space to engage, educate, and empower the community to respond to the climate crisis. The Climate Hub will:

ORGANISE and host activities and exhibitions to engage people of as many different backgrounds as possible, with events, workshops, talks, people’s assemblies, climate cafes, and drop in sessions.

PROVIDE a range of trustworthy, evidence-based knowledge and accessible resources that can support people and organisations to develop their understanding of the issues.

CREATE and share opportunities to take meaningful action to address the climate crisis, from reducing emissions and energy use, to transitioning to a circular economy.

Describe what you hope your Collective will achieve

The Climate Hub will amplify the collective efforts of the people and organisations of Plymouth to transition to Net Zero by 2030 by gathering and signposting projects already underway, increasing collaboration and reducing duplication, and raising the background levels of awareness, understanding, hope and aspiration.

The climate crisis is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced, and the science tells us that even if the commitments made at COP26 are all met on time, the planet is facing catastrophic warming of 2.4°C, rendering areas of the planet inhospitable to human civilisation, flooding entire island nations, and all but wiping out entire ecosystems such as coral reefs. As such, the environmental focus during the pilot will be the climate crisis and the need to reduce emissions to zero or as close as possible to zero.

Over the course of the 6 month pilot, the Hub will collaborate with dozens of partners from different sectors across the city to engage, educate and empower people and organisations to respond to the climate crisis.

Via a mix of permanent and rotating displays and exhibitions (including literature to take away and signposting to other groups and organisations) and a packed calendar of events and workshops (aimed at explaining the urgency of the need to act now to drawdown our carbon emissions, and providing the practical skills and tools to do so) we hope to meaningfully support the city’s transition to Net Zero by 2030.

We will be able to report on the number of visitors, the number of event attendees, and the feedback from both groups. We will work with our partners to develop a reporting system that will allow us to estimate the climate reductions achieved by actions (or pledges to action) taken by visitors and participants.

We aim to demonstrate not just the efficacy of such a Hub but also the financial sustainability, so that we can establish the Hub as a permanent fixture in much the same way as a library or town hall might be: a practical and symbolic placing of our collective response to the climate crisis at the centre of our communities.

Describe how your Collective formed

During the launch of a Crowdfunder under the name Our Planet Your Path it became clear that the idea of a climate emergency centre in Plymouth was what the community was really asking for. The Crowdfunder pivoted towards this and successfully hit its target of £75,000.

During the Crowdfunder the project gained a great deal of support from interested parties, from individuals to collectives, non-profits to SMEs, and educational institutions to many of the relevant council departments.

After the Crowdfunder we embarked on a program of partnership and network mapping, inviting ideas and expressions of interested from groups and organisations interested in collaborating on the project. We have selected a small number to represent the Collective, but we hope that The Climate Hub will be able to act as a Platform for future POP Collectives wishing to make use of the space, such as the recently launched Plymouth Book Collective.

Which collaboration “shape” do you expect will best describe your project?
PLATFORM –An organisation, supported by others, that generates opportunities for self-expression by individuals or organisations.
In which areas would you expect most of your grant to be spent on?
Core Funding / Time
During the first round, POP members will be asked to advise you. What advice would be most helpful?
We would be most interested in learning more about social impact investment, working with the public sector (getting public sector contracts), and securing other forms of financing that could sustain the project.

Trauma Informed Collective

Describe your aims & ideas

This partnership will tackle issues around trauma, how this affects people and the
associated myths surrounding different types of trauma. It will also encourage
people to talk more openly about their experiences and come forward to seek the
help that they need. We want to reach people from all walks of life to talk openly
about their experiences. These people could be young people who have early
developmental trauma or grown men who were sexually abused. We want to tackle
challenging subject matters and get people talking and listening to promote a
greater understanding about the effects of trauma. We see this as an opportunity
for people to learn and share. We will do this by developing a series of engaging
films that openly talk about different forms of trauma and how this affects people.
We want to challenge myths and stereotypes that cause significant hurt to people
and ultimately stop people from fulfilling their potential. We believe this is
important because, even in 2022, we still struggle with talking about trauma. We
live in a society where we ask what is wrong with people, not what happened to
people. We live in a world where if you break the rules at school you are deemed
naughty and disruptive, with often no understanding of what is perhaps behind
this. If you are male who was sexually abused due to male gender stereotyping you
are often discouraged from talking about past traumas. Through conversation and
education this can be changed and people’s lives can improve. We see the power of
film as a great way to achieve this.

Describe how you will work together to achieve this

We are working together as two organisations who use film to tell people’s stories.
Stories that are not fashionable and are often overlooked in mainstream society.
Our third member is the Trauma Informed Network who exist to get people talking
about the challenges trauma has on people. Viewhear CIC is a social enterprise
media company, primarily producing high quality impact / promotion films for
charities, community groups and small businesses. They deliver a high quality
video production service that is different, they use their profits to support
communities and give them a voice. Our social mission is to give a voice to the
voiceless. Their role is to provide video production services to support the creation
of the films during this project. Operation Emotion is a Plymouth based charity
that provides services for adult male survivors of sexual abuse, linking with
specialist organisations where appropriate. They never ask what is wrong with
someone but instead what happened to them. They help men to come to terms with
their own experiences and play an active role in helping other men who have been
similarly affected by sexual abuse. Like Viewhear, their role is to provide video
production services to support the creation of the films during this project. The
Trauma Informed Plymouth Network is an open membership group that welcomes
any person, professional, or community representative who wishes to join us in
developing Plymouth as a trauma informed city. Their role in this project is to
support the distribution of films and help with content development and contacts
for further consultation that will support the film creation process. We have not
worked together before, but we are confident that with the many years of
experience we have between us, that we can produce high quality productions that
will have a positive impact. We see Viewhear and Operation Emotion working
closely together to share equipment, skills and know how. We believe that working
with the network will help us to explore further ideas and content to support the
production of the films. The network will also be critical to help distribute the
final films.

During the first round, POP members will be asked to advise you. What advice would be
most helpful? 

I think the most helpful advice we could receive would be support in identifying
whether we are telling the right kind of stories in the right kind of way. This could
be from people who have lived experience, those that support people who have
lived experience in a professional way, and family and friends of those that have
experience of trauma. Stories from those that experience secondary trauma are
not often told. That could be a potential area to explore. We would use our
extensive networks to help identify what people feel would be most interesting in
terms of subject matter. We could do this using various forms of research
including; group discussion, individual meetings, and perhaps a survey. We know
we cannot cover everything in one project, but we hope that through some positive
engagement we can get a sense of what might be at the forefront of people’s minds
at this point in time. The Pop Collectives process would really help us achieve this
and we would welcome any advice and support from our community

Queer District Collective


  • Farley’s Food Co-op
  • Take a Part
  • BigUps Signs & Graphics
  • LOCI Collective
  • Minerva Clothing & Cafe
  • The Swallow
  • Gossip 
  • OMG
Describe your aims and ideas
– Plymouth’s queer scene continues to develop, with the introduction of Drag events, queer theatre-making, and more recently with the establishment of a central queer district, home to Plymouth’s leading LGBTQIA+ venues.

– We would like to harness queer and ally people-power to help with the development of Bretonside as Plymouth’s queer district, and explore how this is complemented by city wide activity.

– There were 6,363 reports of hate crimes based on sexual orientation in 2014-15, the year same-sex weddings became legal in the UK, compared to 19,679 in 2020-21 – a total increase of 210 per cent.

For reports of transphobic hate crimes, there were 598 in 2014-15 and 2,588 in 2020-21, representing a rise of 332 per cent.

Only ten out of the 45 UK police forces recorded a decrease in hate crime, and the vast majority of those who provided data had seen a year-on-year rise in hate crime reports since 2014.

Among them were Liverpool’s Merseyside Police, which has been battling a wave of homophobic attacks in the city this year. Back in 2014-2015 the hate crime reports numbered just 64; in 2020-21 this figure soared to 834.


– Anecdotally, members of the queer community have experienced abuse and violence within queer spaces in Plymouth in recent years. We believe that this can be traced, in part, to a lack of community cohesion and visibility for queer people.

– To bring down and irradicate instances of abuse and violence against the queer community, a community wide celebratory approach is instrumental – hence the establishment of the Queer District Collective (QDC).
Describe how will you work together to achieve this.
– As Public Realm Producer for community engagement CIO, Take A Part (TAP), Rhys Morgan has a wealth of experience in overseeing the setting up of community groups; helping them to develop strategies for development and delivery of projects and fundraising. Within his own artistic practice Rhys has worked extensively with members of the queer community on issues surrounding visibility and public perception.

– As a key business owner in the area, running food cooperative Farleys, Josh Puleston has a vital role in linking up the local community, the queer community and other local businesses. This will be fundamental in starting to effect changes in attitudes towards members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Josh is also a trustee for Take A Part, with a sole focus on the queer district.

– Minerva, Lo-Ci, Farleys, and TAP have already have a track record of working collaboratively, with the introduction of the monthly pop up exhibition First Thursday, celebrating the work of queer people and their allies.

– Farleys have already started building positive relationships with the queer spaces on Bretonside, with management from Gossip, The Swallow, North Street Cafe (Cafe Kiss) and OMG already on board, or interested to know more.

– Queer District Collective will be an action group accessible through membership of Farleys Food Co-op, with an aim for the collective to become its own multi-stakeholder co-operative.
During the first round, POP members will be asked to advise you. What advice would be most helpful?
How would it be best to engage them and their community with the queer district?

Which organisations – that are not overtly queer or queer friendly – should be engaged throughout the process?

Please follow us on Instagram to be kept up to date.


Big Sis Girl Empowerment Collective

Note: Big Sis CIC was awarded POP Collectives funding in June 2021 and is now applying for a second grant.

Open Collective page


  • Big Sis CIC
  • Nature & Me
  • The Nest Southwest CIC

Collective’s aims and ideas

As facilitators working with girls in schools and youth centres, we have observed that the biggest crisis of confidence occurs transitioning from primary to secondary school Years 5-7. Established in 2020 we have designed a girl mentoring programme for Plymouth pupils which eases the puberty transition period and tackles mental health problems early. We train young mentors recruited from local universities to lead transformative workshops for girls and non-binary children after-school which makes a huge difference to their overall wellbeing. Mentors deliver crucial learning through games, crafts and creativity. Girls playfully build life skills to manage their mental and emotional health. They deepen peer-bonds and are therefore able to participate in their communities and wider society with inner strength and courage.

Feedback from pupils, parents, teachers and mentors evidences that our programme piloted in 2021 works and demonstrates the positive outcomes girls experience: “I felt safe to share my thoughts and feelings,” said Ruby. A teacher said: “Many of the girls seem happier and more positive about themselves.”

Research stresses that positive puberty conversations at the earliest possible stage, reduce the risk of negative body image, eating disorders and depression during puberty and later life. Our impactful programme fosters girls’ confidence, resilience and therefore sets them up to achieve their full potential. This powerful preventative approach is further strengthened by the solid relationships our young mentors have proven to build with girls over 12 weeks.

Our programme benefits wider communities as girls as well as mentors develop into role models for others within their peer groups and networks, which ultimately tackles gender inequality in the adult world and wider community.

We currently run this impactful programme with 3 schools in disadvantaged areas of Plymouth, having trained 8 mentors. This year we’d like to train 10 new volunteer mentors to increase the reach of our programme in the local community which would enable more girls to benefit.

How will they work together to achieve this?

In 2021 we have successfully run our project pilot of ‘Girl Mentoring Programme. We have supported 50+ girls in 3 schools around Plymouth, have trained 8 near-peer mentors and spun collaboration between local schools, universities, organisations and individuals which is bridging different generations of women and non-binary people. Due to the positive experiences of working together previously, we want to build on this process further by collaborating closely with organisations and individuals that support children and young people and align in values of wellbeing, transparency and kindness.

Our collective and skills:
Big Sis CIC Plymouth: with Friedel Fink, Clare Coyne, Hannah Thomas and Victoria Doufur-Cox. We have created a 12-week curriculum, established relationships with schools and universities, designed a comprehensive training curriculum for volunteers and a thorough recruitment process crucial to the success of the programme.

Near-Peer Mentors:
Are volunteers who are young university students that study for education degrees at Plymouth University and Marjon. Near-peer mentors are best placed to deliver this programme as they enable dialogue around puberty conversations, sensitive issues within their community.

Local Primary Schools:
Currently our core collective collaborate with 3 schools in disadvantaged areas of Plymouth with whom we prepare and run the girl empowerment curriculum. Teachers within these schools provide valuable insight, connections with parents and carers and valuable feedback.

Flint and Steel Forest School and Seawyld:
Flint and Steel CIC provides forest-school activities for children, adults, and families in at Poole Farm Plymouth. They bring expertise in working with families from all walks of life and would like to integrate more positive puberty conversations into their work.

The Nest CIC:
Was set up in Devon by local women to support other women and girls through the major life transitions of menstruation, pregnancy, birth and menopause by providing social, emotional and informational support. In this project The Nest, who run a similar programme run by volunteers in schools, is advising the process.

Our project requires different interventions and involvement of collaborators at different project stages. To achieve our aims best we work with a core-team bringing in different freelancers and experts in their fields as and when appropriate (some for recruitment, training, execution and reflection of the programme). We work with a strong focus on interpersonal relationships and wellbeing.

During the first round, POP members will be asked to advise you. What advice would be most helpful?

We want to build on our learning from the pilot programme, especially improving involvement of our volunteers in co-creating the programme and tailoring it better to girl’s needs. We’d benefit from advice from anyone who has experience in setting up steering groups or involving young people/young adults in decision making processes to build a more non-hierarchical working culture and practice.

We are also interested in hearing from any members who work with parents and carers (for example providing after school clubs for their children) to improve their understanding and support of our impactful programme. This might involve best practice advise on how to communicate with carers in regards to supporting their children.