Thriving Communities - where is permaculture engaging people from disadvantaged and marginalised communities?
The Permaculture Association has been supporting permaculture practitioners and teachers to create thriving communities across Britain for over 30 years. This year we have launched the Thriving Communities project to ensure that permaculture is reaching those in the greatest need.
We are living in a time of great change and uncertainty. The EU referendum and government austerity have revealed huge inequality in the UK with many people experiencing appalling poverty, fragile public services, precarious employment and decreasing opportunities to find ways out of poverty.
At the same time, gobal challenges including climate change, war and natural disasters mean that more people than ever are being forced to flee from their homes and seek sanctuary elsewhere.
People feel powerless and angry with limited options for changing their own future.
For many years, permaculture has shown that is able to make a huge difference to people’s lives, no matter what their background or their circumstances.
- May Project Gardens in South London works with urban communities to address poverty and disempowerment;
- The Grange in Norfolk works with refugees and asylum seekers offering therapy and skills training;
- Hyde Park Source offers people in Sustained Recovery alternatives to talking therapies as part of their recovery plans;
- Offshoots gives every schoolchild in Burnley a chance to learn about nature.
These are just a handful of examples.
Thriving Communities is about learning from these and many other existing projects, and finding ways to support much more of this to be happening all over Britain. It will be supported, in part, by regular donations.
How you can help now
The first stage of the Thriving Communities project is a survey.
This will help us better understand how permaculture is already engaging people from disadvantaged and marginalised communities and how we could improve our practice in this area. We encourage you to please complete the survey and then share it with your friends, colleagues and fellow permaculturists any way you can.
The survey will likely take around 10 - 15 minutes to complete and will really help us shape the next stages of the project.
The link to the survey is here: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PermacultureThrivingCommunities.
Following the survey we will be carrying out some details case studies with existing permaculture projects to find out more about how they engage with marginalised communities and what additional support they feel we would be most useful.
In Spring 2018 we will hold an event to bring together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss the initial findings and to help us shape the second phase of the project. By the summer we will produce a report and a video which will be freely available on the Permaculture Association web site
If you would like to be involved in the Thriving Communities project or have any thoughts or ideas to share, please complete the survey and you cant e-mail Ben Margolis at [email protected].