Learning & Collaboration Fund Update

Thank you for the 17 applications POP+ received for round two of the Learning and Collaboration fund, it highlighted the amazing collaboration which is happening across the city. In April, the Network of Networks the decision making group, met virtually in a Zoom room during the early days of lockdown, to decide which collaborations would receive the funding.

Having read through the proposals before the meeting,14 were considered, three were ruled out, as they were not quite collaborations.

Four collaborations were offered funding: Positively Diverse Action, Precious Plastics Plymouth, Street Meets/Street Eats and Plymouth Literary Research and Pilot Project.

Due to lockdown changing all of our worlds, we had conversations with each project that was offered funding, ensuring there was time to consider what may be possible for their collaborations and projects. Three have started their projects, due to the event based nature of Plymouth Literary Research and Pilot Project, they have decided to review in September.

Positively Diverse Action – City of Sanctuary, DBI, Stephane Kolinsky, Ptown Radio

Change making and community building often happens in isolated bubbles. Even though a lot of time and energy is invested on broadening collaboration and inclusion. This is true within the BAME community where small groups with shared nationalities do their own thing and try and make change happen in silos. Its also true outside of the BAME community where place-based groups, or groups of particular interest also do their own thing, advocating for their own interests without stepping into other people’s shoes, finding joy in difference and genuinely letting new things be created through relationship. This funding will help people explore what then happens outside their bubble, connect with the positive intentions of others, identify shared interests that cross cultural boundaries and lay the groundwork for people to build relationship and collaborate in new ways. To find out more info@plymouth.cityofsanctuary.org

Precious Plastics Plymouth – Plymouth Play Scrapstore & CIC, Rob West and Kate Crawfurd, Precious Plastics Tavistock and more

We can’t actually claim to have come up with this excellent idea ourselves! Precious plastic is a global community initiated in the Netherlands by a group, who in the true spirit of social enterprise, put their idea out there for us all to use. You can view all the designs, products and community correspondence here: https://preciousplastic.com/ . Basically, it involves recycling plastic by shredding it, heating it and remoulding it into new useful/artistic creations. The plans for building the machines are open source and they are simple and quite cheap to build. The Plymouth Play CIC, Scrapstore building on Union Street would be a perfect location for this as there is space and a supply of clean waste plastic. We would be thinking of using this to recycle plastic which is otherwise difficult to recycle. It would also reduce transport and other costs associated by recycling locally. We think of this as a fun project to bring the community together, engage with recycling and plastic waste issues and get creative. Even better, this process can create high quality plastic products which can be sold. To find out more go to https://www.katecrawfurd.co.uk/ppp

Street Meets/Street Eats – Friends of Wyndham Square, Feeds n Seeds and Helen Moore, PCC – Natural Infrastructure Team and Sovereign Housing

Is a project to develop community gardening and future food related pop-ups. The project will see two local residents employed to develop growing as a community resource and wellbeing opportunity, initially making use of The Talk Shop on Stoke Road as a place to get seeds propagating. The work has been inspired by Seeds n Feeds which has been a local gardening project run by Gin Farrow-Jones and now joined by Helen Moore – who is giving gardening tips under the guise of The Gardener in Residence.

The project will support the group’s ongoing development of a new community business and support ambition to utilise any spaces where growing could happen. The project builds on Plymouth City Council’s recent Enrich programme where new opportunities for enhancing green space and a healthier environment were explored.

Gin and Helen will start off with a ‘Nature Take Away’, offering salads, herbs and tomatoes as means to connect people to the project. Working with Sovereign Housing and residents at Notre Dame House the project will be a chance to hear about how food was grown at home in the past.

The group will also get to go and see another urban agriculture project and when possible visit Rooted in Hull to learn how communities can grow together and provide edible spaces in a city environment. This research will interest Food Plymouth CIC who will look to see how the group develop the project in months to come.

We want to sustain monthly pop-up events in the neighbourhood and the funding will provide these ‘street eats and meets’ for free. We’ll be working towards finding new ways to connect people, while socially distancing and taking care of vulnerable people at this time. To find out more – info@friendsofwyndhamsquare.co.uk

Plymouth Literary Research and Pilot Project (on hold to be reviewed in September) – WonderZoo, Soapbox Culture, Imperfect Cinema and supporting organisations

We intend to establish a working group consisting of literary and event organization groups in Plymouth, including those with previous involvement in literary festivals in Plymouth. We will then contract an independent researcher to investigate why festivals in Plymouth have had poor attendance and low levels of community engagement, as well as to look into other, more successful events in other places like Bare Lit London, Bath Festival, Charleston Festival, Hay Festival or the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The group will work regularly with the researcher throughout the project to use this body of research to inform two pilot events, which will be a collaboration between different groups. Working with an independent researcher will enable the partner organisations and supporters to take an objective view of action needed to develop connections within the city as well as leading towards a productive and successful literary festival in 2021. To find out more contact Pete or Gabi wonderzooarts@gmail.com


Hello to round 1 projects – December 2019

Repair, Make and Mend – Borrow Don’t Buy, Timebank, Scrapstore, Makers HQ

Culture and integration through food – Based at the Plot on Union Street, Diversity Business Incubator, Food Plymouth and Miriam&Miriam

Creative Natures – Deb Hoskin – Horticultural Therapy Trust and Thomas Loveder – Free Radical Creations

The Eclective Network based at Leadworks in Rendle Street, behind Union Street Leadworks Factory CIC, The Kintsugi Project, Flyinghead Studios Community Arts project, Cawfee Community Café, Pride in Plymouth, Empowering Hidden Voices, Imperfect Cinema, WonderZoo, Mothership Audio