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Incredible Edible and Wigan Council’s Deal

By Sarah Ward

Our founder, Pam Warhurst, is leading on a partnership with Wigan Council, so on 17th October, we joined Pam at a full-day conference co-hosted by our two organisations to celebrate Wigan’s Deal initiative.

The event was a sell out and was attended by people from councils across the UK as well as community led groups.  Wigan Council has been trail blazing an approach to organising services which has resulted in improved outcomes for individuals and communities despite shrinking budgets.  One of the key ways this has been achieved is through focusing services on communities and joining up with other service providers, like NHS, education, community organisations and police, to provide a tailored service around each of the communities.  And Pam Warhurst, the Incredible Edible Network founder, has been advising Donna Hall, Leader of the Council, on how Incredible Edible can compliment the Council approach at a community level, where groups bring people together to address local food issues, to an operational level, where the council services can better support activities like local markets and horticulture education, through to a strategic level where future plans can be made to ensure communities can connect with local food producers as well as each other.

Pam chaired the event and gave one of the keynote speeches where she talked about the opportunities to redefine prosperity and how councils can support this through bending their budgets, reviewing the use of public realm spaces and changing thinking about healthcare and curriculum, as well as rebooting enterprise.  We also held an afternoon workshop, highlighting all that the Incredible Edible Network can do to support councils to support local communities to become Incredible.  It was a great session with a lot of excitement about the Incredible Edible approach and discussions about how this might be utilised to work with communities in different locations.

We’re keen to help councils think differently about how they work and believe that Incredible Edible can provide an alternative framework for delivering services.  If you work for a council across the UK and would be interested in discussing opportunities with us, then get in touch.  And if you’re already working with communities who would be interested in being Incredible, then sign up to the website to access a range of resources to inspire and help budding groups.  Finally, if you work for a council and are approached by an Incredible Edible group, please say yes to their request – as you’ll see on this website, our groups lead Incredible activities which can often rely on your support!