Our project officer, Cat gives us an insight into our Youth co-operative Action project and where things are up to so far.

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and that’s certainly the case for the young people involved in our Youth Co-operative Action project. It doesn’t seem that long since the launch at Federation House - games were played, friendships were formed and our group of inspiring care leavers signed up to take part.

Since then, the young people have completed a course in community reporting with Greater Manchester Youth Network and created two thought provoking videos. They’ve also learnt about origins of the co-operative movement and applied the co-operative values through activities and games including business pitching.

Time on tour

Throughout August the group are on tour, visiting different community groups and taking part in events. it's hoped this will inspire them to choose an area to focus on for the final stage of the project.

Incredible Edible Artwork

Earlier this month the care leavers visited Incredible Edible in Todmorden, a community growing scheme run solely by volunteers. Their aim is to provide access to good local food for all, simply through working together.  Since 2008 they've taken over public spaces in the town, including allotments outside the local police station and planters on the high street, all with the aim of growing food for their community.  Their slogan and membership policy is simple; if you eat, you’re in!

Linking care and community

The group received a talk from Incredible Edible chair Mary Clear, who is also a care leaver. She talked passionately about her experiences of leaving the care system and filled our young people with enthusiasm, inspired by how easy it is to create positivity. 

Incredible Edible visit

The young people were then treated to a tantalising tour of some of the project’s growing areas from Estelle Brown.  She walked the group down urban streets and canal tow paths, car parks and council waste land to see some of the incredible fruits, herbs and vegetables available for local people to pick and eat. 

The group talked with the Incredible Edible volunteers about the growth project and were inspired by the impact a few volunteers can make to a whole town. As the young co-operators collected their coats and bags and got ready to board trains and buses, they could be heard chatting about what they’d grow and where they’d plant their food. It seems a seed may have been sown for their future cooperative action. 

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Youth Co-operative Action was made possible with the support of the Co-operative Foundation #iwill Fund.