Looking for a Plot

Started by Ray and Darren Marshall-Sewell. Last reply by Nancy Sampson Apr 14. 1 Reply

Good Evening All.We have been refused a local allotment is Wells (Wookey Hole).We are keen to find a plot somewhere that we can use to grow food etc. Happy for it to be a share etc.Can anyone help…Continue

Connect with your community

Started by Alive Feb 7, 2018. 0 Replies

Older people living in care are twice as likely to experience loneliness as those in the community.We are looking for friendly volunteers with an interest in helping others to gardening, to support…Continue

Tags: #givingback, #gardening, #volunteer

Can You Help Combat Loneliness?

Started by Alive Nov 29, 2017. 0 Replies

Growing Support are looking for friendly volunteers with interests in gardening and supporting people, to help older people and people with dementia take part in gardening activities.  You will…Continue

Join our volunteers!

Started by Alive Aug 17, 2017. 0 Replies

We're looking for friendly volunteers to join our team working hard to enable people with dementia to stay physically and socially active.Join us and make a valuable contribution to your community,…Continue


Making decisions together

When you have a newly formed group of people working together, all sorts of challenges can arise in terms of who decides and does what.

Thankfully, many organisers over time have developed tools to support ways of making decisions effectively and democratically.

One tool is consensus decision making. Group Seeds for Change describe Consensus decision making as “a creative and dynamic way of reaching agreement between all members of a group. Instead of simply voting for an item and having the majority of the group getting their way, a group using consensus is committed to finding solutions that everyone actively supports, or at least can live with.”

There are different methods and approaches to making decisions by consensus. Instead of repeating the work of some very well-thought out resources, here are some documents you can download to learn more about consensus:

  • A Handout about Consensus from the US (6 pages)

There are also some emerging approaches such as holocracy to support groups to make decisions together.

Communicating as a group 

As well as deciding how you will make decisions together, you will also need to work out how you are going to communicate as a group. This means looking at:

Where, when and how often you meet - many local groups like to meet every two weeks for a couple of hours, some like village halls, others just in their kitchens!

How you will connect in between face to face meetings? Email lists are generally the most common tool but be aware not everyone may like using email or know how.

Email lists
Google groups is a straightforward email list to set up, but many may feel their security is compromised by google. Otherwise you there are tools such as, who offer free email lists services to groups working for social change. Its good practice to keep your group closed so that new people have to be added manually, so you can keep group conversations confidential and to people you already know well.

You will also need to decide how you are going to communicate with members of the public. Most groups will generally have a website. The benefits of your own website is that you have control over content and can keep your messages consistent and aimed locally, or to whoever you want to reach. If you do not want one you can always use the Incredible Edible Somerset website.

The amount of hosting providers is huge. You can use a free one such as or you could pay for hosting and have your own domain name. Green web host, that are powered by renewable energy charge about £29.99 a year for hosting a basic site.

Email address
Unless you want to list your personal email account, which we wouldn't recommend, as groups change over time, you will need an email address that members of the public can reach you on. There are a huge amount of free email accounts online - such as gmail, rise up, yahoo and so forth.

Social Media
It really is the technological age and many people get their news and engage in campaigns through social media, such as Facebook or twitter. You can also get tools to use in your website that will automatically update your social media accounts. If there are a lot of people in your group that use something like facebook, having a facebook group may be an easier way to organise than an email list for example.

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