The Real Farming Trust is bringing together pairs of organisations to work in ‘twins’. Each twin will be made up of one urban and one rural group which are geographically close but socially isolated from each other. All of the partners are already working with food and in each case, one is a social justice organisation such as a food bank or refugee group.
Groups of people from both groups meet each other on both sites and understand each other’s perspectives. They decide what they would like to do together, on both sites, with both groups of people. The Real Farming Trust enables access to Community Fund National Lottery funding to implement their ideas.
Twinning began in April 2023 and will run for 4 years.
We want the people involved in Twinning to develop and communicate their own ideas about their experiences. We meet and reflect on what has happened and share our stories. We are working with Coventry University on a Photovoice evaluation, in which people take snaps of their experiences, share them in a group and comment on what they mean. We like this method because everyone can participate together, including people with limited spoken or written English, such as asylum seekers and adults with learning difficulties. Some communities will use the shared photos to make an exhibition about their experiences.
So far the Twin organisations have been building relationships between the organisations. They have all visited each other.
The most consistent feedback is that people have enjoyed their experiences so far and found them very interesting. There have been many surprises for participants.
“What I realised is that we have different kinds of conversations in different places. It was surprising how deep our conversation was at the pumpkin table.” Farm manager with food bank visitor
“The walk took ages. It took a long time for everyone to navigate the stile. People hadn’t seen a stile before.”
“I noticed that people did all different things at the farm, whatever they wanted. Mostly people did things that were about interacting. Some people had a laugh doing hair dos.”
“You can’t get it at the supermarket, this is special to here. Epitomises what we do. Colours (laughing about matching her purple nail varnish)”
“People become friends / extended family here. I took this photo of the sharing bread because of that.”