Online workshop archive

Here are the topics we have covered so far. Where available, click on the links to watch again!:

 August 2022

June 2022

  • Communities addressing loneliness and wellbeing 
  • Refugee week online session
  • Eden Project Communities Network Scotland Catch Up

April 2022

  • Planet friendly community events
  • Central England Community Networking
  • Fundraising at Community Events
  • NI Eden Project Virtual Monthly Meet Up
  • Planting Seeds Of Wellbeing: Community Access To Nature Through Growing
  • Why All Charities Should Support Community Building – Pears Foundation Webinar

March 2022

  • The Big Lunch How-To: Ideas For Running A Community Celebration

February 2022

  • Devon Connections - a space to connect and share with other people in Devon
  • London & South East Community Network

January 2022

  • Wales-Wide Community Networking Space
  • Northern Ireland Virtual Meet Up

December 2021

  • Climate Friendly Christmas
  • Dealing With Conflict At Christmas
  • London & South East End Of Year Get Together

November 2021

  • What Is Your Story? A Workshop To Help You Map Your Journey And Flourish Forwards

October 2021

  • Virtual Community Living Room Series - Do Good Lives Have To Cost The Earth?
  • Do Good Lives Have To Cost The Earth? Exploring The Power Of Community
  • World Food Day Lunch
  • Do Good Lives Have To Cost The Earth? System Change, Not Climate Change
  • Cooking Up Connections

September 2021

  • Do Good Lives Have To Cost The Earth? Series Launch!

August 2021 

  • How can we come together again? - Virtual Community Living Room series
  • Grow connections! How nature brings people together.
  • Food For Thought : Positive Approaches to Using Our Food Surplus
  • Waste Not, Want Not - Exploring Different Ways To Reduce Food Waste And Insecurity
  • How To... Be A Good Listener

July 2021

  • Spark creativity! Making creative connections in your community
  • Covid community spirit

June 2021:

  • Supporting (re)connection workshop
  • Celebrating our community - storytelling & craft session - watch now
  • Stay up late with our lovely Lunar Lunch
  • Cook-along with Coexist Community Kitchen - watch now

May 2021:

Better outside - Building Community Outdoors - watch now

Cooking up chat! With the Scotland Network

Bringing The Big Lunch to Birmingham

Ideas for your Big Lunch in 2021! - watch now

Weaving words with the Scotland Network

The Confidence to (re)connect

How to create a community green or grow space

How to use The Big Lunch as a fundraiser! - watch now

Ideas for your 2021 Big Lunch - watch now

April 2021:

Food for Thought: Connection with Local Nature and Community through Foraging

Restarting your community connections with mindfulness

How to talk to strangers

Share the Joy of Growing Your Own - watch now

March 2021: 

Playful, Mindful, Alive: How Nature Improves Your Wellbeing - watch now

The Power of Creating Online Community Connections Across Staffordshire

Put the Fun in Fundraising! See the video here

February 2021:

Ideas for Growing Community - see the video here

How to connect with new arrivals in your community

How to talk to strangers - see the video here

How to start an intergenerational project - see the video here

Access to Nature and Wellbeing for all - see the video here

The Nature of Connection: how being outdoors supports community wellbeing - see the video here 

January 2021:

Reaching out - a discussion about mental health and asking for help - see the video here 

How communities can act on climate change - see the video here

November 2020:

How to start a community garden - see the video here

September 2020

Community Action for Wellbeing - Please see the video here.

Empowering Action for Nature, A conversation with Adam Murray RSPB - Please see the video here.

August 2020

How Culture can Connect Communities - Please see the video here

The Power of Sharing to Connect Communities - Please see the video here

31 Lessons Learned from Founding and Leading Community Projects - Please see the video here

How to Share Stories and Preserve Memories - You can catch up with an edited recording from the session here

Supercharging your online activity - please see the designing your online activity and supercharging your online activity resources, as well as the video

How to be as inclusive as possible when organizing events online - Please see the presentation and video

The value of formal and informal volunteering - video here

Stay safe online - please see the notes and video

Keeping community spirit going post lockdown - please see the video, here

July 2020

Zoom testpad session - please see the notes and the ideas that were shared

The Rainbow and the journey - please see the video, presentation and notes and images

Importance of sharing good news - please see the video and notes

How to practice mindfulness - please see the notes, presentation and video

Poetry & Paint final session ‘The Cabinet of Curiosity’ - Notes and video here

How to Crowdfund - Notes and video here

Zoom 101 - Notes and video here

June 2020 - 

‘The Green and The Microscopic’ Poetry and Paint - please see the session notes and video

'Building networks with purpose' - please see the session notes and video

'Campaigning for positive change in a changing world' - please see the video for the session

'Intergenerational connections through food' - please see the presentation, the resource links and the recording

April 2020 

Personal Resilience

This open, relaxed and informal session will mix practical tools with space to share ideas with others.  We'll explore some of the challenges to prioritising your own resilience and how to overcome them. Please see the workshop notes here

Group Resilience

In times of crisis, our own wellbeing is often the first priority to be put aside. But now more than ever, we need to develop and maintain the skills and tools to keep ourselves well. This open, relaxed and informal session mixed practical tools with space to share ideas with others. We explored some of the challenges to prioritising your own resilience and how to overcome them. Please see the workshop notes here

March 2020 - What does Covid-19 mean for community projects

An open discussion with community-minded people from across the UK to discuss what impact Covid-19 has on community projects, venues and activities and how we can support each other.

February 2020 - Imagination

The moments when imagination is most important can often be the moments when it’s hardest to find. But if we can find ways to look at things differently, or invite the curiosity and perspectives of others, we can often discover amazing new ideas and approaches.

This workshop covered ideas for unlocking our collective imaginations and how to ask the sometimes scary question ‘What if…?’.

October 2019 - Intergenerational

Watch the edited video

Intergenerational practice – definitions
'Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building more cohesive communities. Intergenerational practice is inclusive, building on the positive resources that the young and old have to offer each other and those around them
(Beth Johnson Foundation)
International certificate of intergenerational learning
"A learning partnership based on reciprocity and mutuality involving people of different ages where the generations work together to gain skills, values and knowledge." 
(European Network of Intergenerational Learning)

What is a generation?
For the purposes of intergenerational work, a generation is considered to be a gap of round 20 – 25 years. Over this gap in age researchers can measure and view marked differences in a number of social aspects of our life. For example, researchers in America talk about “six living generations” which are fairly distinct groups of people. Each generation has different likes, dislikes and attributes. Together they have had collective experiences as they have aged, leading to the likelihood of broadly similar ideals. Of course, a person’s date of birth may not be indicative of generational characteristics, but as a part of a common group there are likely to be similarities.

Principles of Intergenerational Practice

Some possible obstacles

Lack of practice of being with people of different generations.

Participants feeling that it's not for them.

The use of jargon and terminology within different organisations or by certain individuals.

Timing - the project may be competing with other things (e.g. free time, leisure time, school time, end of term holidays) which may take priority.

Daylight hours.


Costs associated with participating in the programme, such as transport costs.

Language and cultural differences.

Local dynamics and idiosyncrasies, which could make such encounters problematic.

Lack of trust and fear around what one generation may think of others.

Difficulties in managing different needs and expectations of participants and organisations involved.

Ethical and legal issues.

Stereotypes and social prejudices.

Stereotypes exercise
Ask your group: “Are the following statements targeted at younger people by older people or at older people by younger people?” Take a show of hands for each question.

They always stick together and keep their distance from other age groups

I hate the way they drive. They are a menace on the road.

They are always taking and never giving. They think the world owes them a living

They are so opinionated. They think they know everything.

They are never satisfied, always complaining about something.

Don’t hire them. You can’t depend on them.

Don’t they have anything better to do than hang around parks and shopping centres?

Why are they always so forgetful?

I wish I had such freedoms as they have.

Why don’t they act their age?

All statements can really be targeted at all generations by all others and  represent some of the myths which can inflate stereotypes and get in the way of the creation of intergenerational relationships and connections.
If you have time, elicit from your group some of the other stereotypes which generations hold about each other. We will briefly discuss some of these when we come back together.

Further information and learning

September 2019 - Inclusion

Key themes
The principle of the sessions were that there are no wrong questions – it’s much better to ask than to assume.
We discussed what it means to help others, and many of the points centred around control and power. A key part of inclusion felt like the ability to allow other people control in their own life, not to make decisions for them.
There were lots of taboos around inclusion, and issues of uncertainty, guilt etc. which could create barriers on both sides.
Julie’s key suggestion was to always ask! Don’t assume, listen to your curiosity, engage without knowing all the answers.
Asking for help can also be really important and useful, it should always be a two-way relationship. What are you getting out of it?
It’s ok to get it wrong, as long as we learn from our mistakes.
Another key aspect of this was the importance of valuing others and their experience. Sometimes it is right to pay for advice and experience of marginalised or seldom-heard groups, especially if they have had to ‘pay’ to gain the experience through being marginalised by society.
Empathy is vital, and this is summed up beautifully by these two comments from Marta and Bethan:
My other thought is that sometimes in our drive to increase diversity we can homogenise a particular community as if it’s a monolith, not a group of individuals who happen to have one or two characteristics in common. Perhaps one for a whole other webinar, but I’d be interested in talking about making space for tensions and differences within the communities we try to engage with.
It’s exhausting for marginalised people to always have to educate others because they have never been in a space that isn't designed for you

Three suggestions

Know your neighbour – a few people mentioned The Big Lunch, and Julie discussed the benefits of connecting with others on your street/in your town. This can create valuable new connections outside of our own immediate experiences.

Emergency plans – when disasters happen, it breaks social bonds and helps people find permission to reach out and support each other. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that without a disaster! Emergency plans came up as a potentially wonderful solution to this – engaging the whole community and ensuring that everyone has a role to play in something which affects them all. More links on this below.

Always leave an open chair/space – in all that you do, always leave space for others to join in their own time and in their own way. Don’t present a closed group or idea, other people will be able to define the way they want to engage much better than we can on our own.

Other links
Learn your name in BSL:
Privilege Walk example:
Mentimeter – a free and easy (as long as you have a smartphone!) way to ask questions in a safe way:
An example of Community Resilience funding:
Disability passports:
Safe Places:
Nina Simon:
Emergency plan example:
Communities Prepared – funding and resources for community emergency plans:
Julie promised to share / as an example of a joined-up community partnership

June 2019 - Asset-Based Community Development

Watch the edited video

Here are some things which came up across the workshops:

Sustainable community development: from what's wrong to what's strong | Cormac Russell | TEDxExeter

Intro to ABCD (Nurture Development) by Cormac Russell

Basic Manual to ABCD by By John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight ("founders" of ABCD) - wealth of resources around ABCD and other

The 6 types of assets (please scroll for more information)


April 2019 - Microfunding

Watch the edited video

Six practical steps you can take right now!

Approach your local Co-op (or other supermarket) to ask what support they could offer – e.g. surplus food, take part in a charity token scheme

Look into the various crowdfunding platforms, like Crowdfunder, or one of the various alternative options around:
-  The 8 Best Crowdfunding Sites of 2019
-  Top 5 crowdfunding platforms that nonprofits, social causes can use

Sit down on your own or with your group and make a list of all of the individuals, organisations or institutions in your community who you could approach to ask for support. Once you’ve written your list, double it, by thinking beyond the usual suspects

Find your local councillors, then contact them and ask for their support (through their own community funds or something else)

Put yourself in the shoes of someone you want to approach and consider:

What is the human appeal? How will this impact them as an individual, rather than a representative of a business/etc.

How can you simply convey the impact their support will have?

What assumptions might you make about them and their response/experience?

How can you communicate the legacy their support will have?

How can you invite their support as an investment, rather than a donation?


March 2019 - Making Every Voice Count

Watch the edited video

The car journey analogy

Laonikos walked us through a useful framework for thinking about shared ownership, using a story of going on a car journey. We all found this really useful, and would recommend it to discuss with our own groups. Either altogether or in smaller groups, work through the following questions:

You are the car owner, what do you need to communicate to others so they feel invited to help be part of the journey?

You are potential passengers, what do you need to know about the trip in order to join or not join the trip?

You are responsible for insuring the trip, what do you need to know before you invest a large sum of your money into this trip?

You can hear on the recording where we took the analogy, but it created some fascinating insights about risk, choice, purpose and onward journeys.

An interesting model of shared ownership

I mentioned an organisation called Chayn, who use a rotating membership structure, and you can read more about them here.


January 2019 - Bringing in Others

Watch the edited video


Empathy mapping – this is a hugely useful tool to put yourself in the mind of the person (or group of people) you are trying to engage. Work on your own or with others, and think about what they are seeing, hearing, doing, thinking. Identify the gaps in your knowledge, what don’t you know until you ask? Use the worksheet attached. If you’re struggling, do it from your own perspective to get used to the idea of taking a step back and noticing what you are experiencing

Delegation and collaboration – this can be broadly thought of as creating tasks and creating space. Both are valid, and useful, but not always compatible, and it’s important to come to terms with the power dynamics you are using. Consider old power vs new power (a helpful overview is here) where old power is the more traditional approach which is top down and transactional, whereas new power is more DIY and about relationships. Notice and respect the inherent fear in holding and letting go of power, accept the risks that mistakes will be made. ‘Leave seats empty’ – don’t try to make everything look neat and finished, keep spaces open for others to come into and feel part of

Offer what people want – it’s easier to go to where people are, get them to identify as someone who is part of your thing, and then bring them with you to where you want them to be (with their consent, of course!). Create allies!

And, of course, learn from slime mould – ask nature for help, it will always have a model

Start with why - how great leaders inspire action

A TedTalk suggested by James.

Marshall Ganz The Story of self, the story of us, the story of now 

From Diana, a great tool to create an engaging narrative.


December 2018 - Looking After Ourselves

Watch the edited video

Drivers - these are Be Perfect, Be Pleasing, Try Hard, Be Strong, Hurry Up.

Useful questions to consider are:

In what way do the ones you rated highly operate in your life?

What effect do they have on your work for social change?

How might they contribute to burnout?

Do you notice giving these kinds of messages to colleagues or others?


The Resilience Tree shows your roots (what gives you energy, direction, joy etc.) and fruits (what a resilient you is able to do) of resilience. Remember to balance tangible ideas (e.g. sleep, exercise) with more conceptual ones (e.g. creativity, being kind), and work to create links between them to help eradicate the Myth of Doing Nothing.

Brene Brown on the power of vulnerability

As said by Laura during the workshop, “Brene Brown is amazing. That TED talk is EVERYTHING”

Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

As recommended by Charlotte during the workshop.

March 2020 - What does Covid-19 mean for community projects
February 2020 - Imagination
October 2019 - Intergenerational
September 2019 - Inclusion
June 2019 - Asset-Based Community Development
April 2019 - Microfunding
March 2019 - Making Every Voice Count
January 2019 - Bringing in Others
December 2018 - Looking After Ourselves