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Three people weeding around a raised bed - behind is a shed and the site is close to housing Three people weeding around a raised bed - behind is a shed and the site is close to housing

New group launched in Bishop Auckland

By Sarah Ward

Wednesday this week saw the launch of another new group Incredible Edible group, this time in the North East of England – Incredible Edible Bishop Auckland, County Durham, supported by The Auckland Project.

At the launch event, held in the Town Hall, 120 people came along to learn from Mary Clear, co-founder of Incredible Edible Todmorden and Dr Mikey Tomkins, Director of the Greening Innovation Studio and to start discussing how growing food in community spaces can connect their communities. There were stalls from Food Durham and Durham County Council’s recycling team, as well as the opportunity to plant a seed in a compostable coffee cup to take away and plant at home.

Incredible Edible Bishop Auckland will support people from local communities to set up their own Incredible Edible groups, learning from each other and sharing ideas, resources and skills to build kind, confident and connected communities. There are a range of potential growing sites in Bishop Auckland and surrounding villages, as well as schools who want to get involved and local food producers so there’s lots of potential to spin the three plates.   People from across the local community are keen to get Incredible activities going in their own neighbourhoods.  The initiative is being supported by The Auckland Project, a visitor destination being created in the town. And following the launch of Incredible Edible Bishop Auckland, The Auckland Project will offer support to help these discussions become a reality, with community members leading the development of their own group and activities.

This is a great example of an organisation seeing the potential of Incredible Edible principles for the communities they work with.  We call these organisations Catalyst Partners, and we support them to support their communities to start spinning the three plates.  The key is for the organisation to be the catalyst (like a facilitator) and community members to be the do-ers and decision makers – this ensures what’s done meets the needs within the local community, rather than the needs of the organisation.  And having the backing of The Auckland Project will certainly help open doors with local stakeholders, so altogether this will be a great example of partnership working.  If you’re in the local area and would like to get involved you can contact Incredible Edible Bishop Auckland [email protected], or if you’re not close by and would like to start a new group then have a look at our 10 Steps to being Incredible guide, then sign up to the website to access all our Getting going resources.  And if you’re interested in being a Catalyst Partner, then you can read more here.