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Our Incredible South West gathering

By Sarah Ward

Each month or so we’ll hear from one of our six Regional Facilitators whose role it is to support new and existing groups in their area, sharing our learning so we can all benefit from it – to read more have a look here.  This month, we’re hearing from Sara Venn, our Regional Facilitator in the South West.

On 11th August we held the third annual South West Incredible Edible gathering, hosted by our Beacon group in the region, Incredible Edible Bristol. We held the first gathering in 2016 and every year since we have convened a meeting of groups from around the region, that includes the South West and the South Coast.

At our first gathering we all learned that the power of sharing our stories over a lunch of good, locally sourced food, was extraordinary. Talking through successes and failures encouraged a huge amount of both learning and connection between groups and also made us realise that however and wherever a group is spinning those Incredible plates, the challenges are often the same. It’s supremely empowering to hear that the issues we are having here, are the same across our region, and after that first gathering, on a hideously wet day in 2016, we committed to bringing that gathering together every year.

This year, we had representatives from all across the region, from Eastbourne to Ilfracombe, and spent a happy hour wondering along Incredible Edible Bristol’s Urban Food Trail before walking across the city to the Bearpit and lunch which was provided by our friends at Bearpit Social, a café in the Bearpit roundabout in Bristol that supports local producers. Over the most delicious dishes we talked success and what that looks like, as well as listening to and supporting any groups having particular issues, which we all tried to support as best we could.

It was a great day. Chatting with other Incredible folk, making connections and plans to meet again, soon, to discuss how we continue to support each other regionally, strengthening what we do as individual groups was core to the day and we look forward to supporting that as it develops.

To find your local Regional Facilitator click here.  Incredible Edible believes in the power of building connections between individuals and also between our Incredible Edible groups.  Your group is not alone, you are part of a movement across the UK and the world.  Have a look on our find a group page to see who else is doing Incredible things near you – as the South West groups experienced in the Bristol Bearpit, sharing and learning from each other builds confidence to keep going and to try out new things!