Stoke JarSquard

The one thing the team want you to know

We’d like to get Stoke JarSquad off the ground!

JarSquad brings people together to communally preserve food, curb waste, and revitalize the art of sharing. In collectively cooking up our shared abundance (of surplus, grown, or foraged food), we spark a RETHINK on what we might value/waste/share.

We’re ready to grow the number of JarSquadders in Stoke by training people to acquire skills to hold caring spaces and run their own JarSquad. In making food together, we work out how to share more, waste less, and connect with each other in mutual support.

Project description

JarSquad offers a social space for people to make, prepare, preserve and share food together that would otherwise go to waste. Being part of a JarSquad is an proactive and practical way for local people to address the cost of living crisis (in food and fuel cost inflation) and knock-on effects of loneliness and isolation. By coming together to creatively cook up surplus food, we share skills and ideas to support each other in and beyond the kitchen. This can also create exciting new foods that brings variety and quality to our diets.

We model the importance of freezing/defrosting, using leftovers, batch-cooking (and even composting!) as modes to curb food-waste, championed by WRAP (a climate action NGO). WRAP’s 2021 reports shows that 71% of (otherwise edible) food waste is generated in domestic households. As a squad we also learn new techniques (like fermentation, or dehydration) that can transform free, cheap or readily available ingredients into long-lasting food. JarSquadders go away with ‘luxury’ food (to enjoy and share with others) without the ‘luxury’ price-tag.

Co-creating a Stoke JarSquad responds to several requests from local people who’ve attended JarSquad ‘takeovers’ at The Village Hub’s Culture Club and want more! JarSquad’s co-animators would develop an offer of skills transfer (through creative consultation, community coaching and organizing) so that Stoke JarSquad can be cooperatively run by members.

JarSquad would promote and hold 2 community-designed sessions to listen to what interested local foodies would like to make happen. We can help chunk these visions to actions, set agreements on how best to support each other, (and handle conflict); and transparently share details of the budget.

The community group will rotate co-steering the first 3 sessions (guided by JarSquad), with an aim at self-facilitating the final 4th session. We included consultation time in-between sessions to aid planning, event-promotion and resourcing food and other necessary materials and equipment. We’ve also included few social gatherings as we’ve found ‘squadding’ more pleasurable when accompanied by opportunities to recreate in other inspiring ways.

The project is not currently funded elsewhere, and meets POP’s funding criteria by responding to an identified need, empowers local people to work more cooperatively and with care for our collective well-being. Success would be measured by the independent running of Stoke JarSquad with locals taking the lead; and the development of new skills and confidence by JarSquadders.

Funding needed £3870

What group or groups of people will the project be working with and why?

We’ve identified a budding food-passionate group of individuals in Stoke through The Village Hub (TVH) that would form our first set of community-designed consultations. This initial group (~12 people) is a mix of ages (15-73 y/o, with most falling in the range of 45-50) with several people working part-time, or retired. There’s quite a range of abilities and cooking knowledge: some have cooked professionally in kitchens, most are home cooks, and many are interested in local food, but aall re united in their enjoyment and love of food and learning.

Some have volunteered for TVH, or attended a Culture Club event or have previously attended a JarSquad session in Stoke or Stonehouse. Many are looking for an opportunity to upskill or share skills and gain more confidence whilst doing so. Some have specific wellbeing needs including mental health challenges, neurodiversity, addiction recovery etc.

Many live in Stoke, Morice Town, Ford, and North Stonehouse – approximately a 30-minute walk from Blockhouse Park (see below). Two of these areas (Morice Town & Stonehouse) rank high in the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) and has seen increased and continuing demand from local people for acess to emergecy food and fuel throughout 2022.

We would like to collaborate with other POP projects (TPT for eg) to help get the word out to other local people in this same area interested in food.

What areas will the project be working in?1 neighbourhood

Our project will take place in Stoke Village, with an eye to having sessions at the Stoke Youth & Community Centre in Blockhouse Park.

We are aware (from 2021-2022 data collected by The Village Hub), that people who regularly attend creative activities in Stoke Village mostly living in Stoke, Morice Town, Ford, and North Stonehouse neighbourhoods – all within a 30 minute walking distance of Stoke Village – so we will target people living in this area specifically, and treating it as one “neighbourhood” area.

What is the group or organisations track record? Track record:
Been going for a few years

How new is the idea? Experimentation:
New, adapting something similar


Salaries & peoples time 37%

Project costs 37%

Event/hire/rent 17%

IT spend 0%

Core costs 9%

Capital 0%

Organisations involved

Primary Partners:
The Village Hub
Friends of Blockhouse Park
All Ways Apples
Generous Earth

Ancillary Partners:
Food Plymouth
Nudge Community Builders

We’d like to connect with Transforming Plymouth Together and Care Nest to explore possible partnerships.

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