> Digital Democracy can be a great way of ensuring the voices of all children and young people in a school are heard. Sue Lyle and Peter Anderson report on how the digital platform, VocalEyes can be used to support Pupil Voice and lead to serious action for change in schools and community.
This is such a positive project with loads of ideas such as no-dig food growing and involving communities from Swansea.
They have plans to create 7 areas of hazel coppice over the next 7 years. Coppiced wood is invaluable for building materials and for converting into bio-char to add to the soil. (The project is inspired by Ed Revill's growing project on South Gower and his biochar pioneering work).
Tuesdays have now been set as a weekly workday. It would be great to have a large group of people working together and sharing food and conversation too. Car parking available across the road at Bishopston Community Centre or the number 14 bus from Swansea bus station takes you right there.
If you want to get involved please contact Bob and Jules on 07964 530436 or email@example.com or Val on 07533 711 506. Also if you know of any community groups that may be interested in participating, contact Jules and Bob. Volunteer expenses are provided plus unlimited cups of tea and coffee with biscuits!
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Sovereign Housing Association is working alongside Bristol residents to transform the outdoor spaces around where they live.
Three projects, submitted by locals in Easton, Fishponds and Westbury-on-Trym, will receive a share of over £27k from Sovereign’s Your Community Your Choice (YCYC) programme.
YCYC lets people submit their project proposals and the public then gets to vote on which ones they think should receive funding and Sovereign’s support.
Residents from 113 homes will benefit.
Kiln Court in Easton will see its communal garden converted into a haven for residents and wildlife alike.
Residents will be able to grow their own food in new vegetable planters and take a rest from gardening on recycled plastic benches.
A bug hotel will be added, to give bees and other insects that contribute to the local ecosystem a safe space to stay, lay eggs and hide from predators.
Fencing will also be fitted to the front, to create more privacy, and a barbeque area installed so neighbors can enjoy meals together.
Jordan Edgecombe, Support Worker for Second Step who manage Kiln Court, said: “The project will transform our garden space into an outstanding communal area that is conducive to the continued wellbeing of our residents.
“They’ve been motivated by how they have been listened to and it’s really encouraging to see the enthusiasm displayed by the team behind YCYC.”
College Court in Fishponds will see a great change to its outdoor space.
Gone will be a disused gravel area, nicknamed ‘the beach’, and in its place will be decorative trees and shrubs. Lavender plants and bug hotels will be placed throughout the estate and recycled plastic benches installed in green areas.
Alan and Marie, who submitted the idea to YCYC, said: “It’s good news on ‘the beach’ upgrade, which we’ve been asking for, and its due to Your Community Your Choice we have been successful.”
Llewellyn Court in Westbury-on -Trym is surrounded by green areas, so residents wanted to utilise them to create a private sanctuary for everyone living there.
A new fence and gate will encompass extensive changes to the layout of the gardens, and neighbours can enjoy nature together, surrounded by flowers, home grown vegetables, and wildlife using the new bird box and bug hotel.
Daisy Mummery, Community Development Officer at Sovereign, who’s managed the YCYC project, said: “It was great working with the residents to develop these ideas.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how they’ll benefit everyone, with works completing in the next two months.”
The work was priced up by a contractor and the project was uploaded to the YCYC voting website.
The project received several votes and was awarded the funding.
Toby said, ‘I'm pleased that the community come forward and proposed the project. It has transformed an old play park into a spacious green area where the children from the flat blocks can play together’
A Sovereign resident said, ‘It looks great, the kids will love it’!
We loaded the idea onto Vocal Eyes and discussed what was wanted. We then held a voting session for all the residents to vote in person and discuss the plans. They discussed how the neighbourhood was so lovely and how through covid they had been bringing their own garden chairs onto the grass so they could socialise at a distance. There was one bench but it wasn’t looking too stable and wasn’t big enough for more than two people.
The residents decided they would like two benches at each end of the close for sharing cups of tea and a good chat with each other. The project received backing from the local community via votes. We funded the benches, and the residents are really pleased.
The work took place in February 2022 and four benches made from recycled plastic were installed.
**Quote from Jenny Bowley**
I am happy to have been able to help the residents of Collingwood Close to have a lovely seating area. I am sure they will enjoy being able to chat together in the sunshine.
**Quote from local resident**
I am so pleased the benches are in place, it’s going to make such a difference to us all. We will be out there in the good weather catching up and helping each other, thank you.
Growing and supplying fresh, seasonal produce all year around, [Cae Tan](http://www.caetancsa.org/en) is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project based on The Gower Peninsula in South Wales. They put together this 28 minute film as a guide to help provide information and advice to those looking to set-up their own CSA project.
Cae Tan offers training and volunteering opportunities to a range of groups and individuals, both living locally and welcoming visitors from across the world. Working with local schools, they raise awareness of sustainable farming while reconnecting young people to the land and their food. Discover more by visiting [Cae Tan’s website](http://www.caetancsa.org/en) where they publish their [volunteering opportunities](http://www.caetancsa.org/en/volunteering-learning/) and provide in-depth information on their [education programme](http://www.caetancsa.org/en/children-schools).
## Explore our top 5 food-based solutions:
1. [Compost Your Organic Waste – even without a garden!](https://inspirationhub.org.uk/solutions/15504/make-compost-using-your-food-waste)
2. [How to grow more food](https://inspirationhub.org.uk/solutions/15980/learn-how-to-grow-food-to-save-money)
3. [Reduce food waste](https://inspirationhub.org.uk/solutions/15991/tips-for-reducing-food-waste)
4. [Grow fresh food on your windowsill](https://inspirationhub.org.uk/solutions/15979/grow-fresh-food-on-your-windowsill)
5. [Healthy diet guidelines](https://inspirationhub.org.uk/solutions/15981/healthy-diet-guidelines-that-can-boost-mood)
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