Eden Project Community Camp: One Year On

It’s been a year since I attended a Community Camp at Eden Project, so I wanted to reflect on the experience.

Run by the Eden Project Communities team, the sessions are designed to help local activists tackle disconnected communities. This issue costs the UK £32 billion every year, according to research commissioned by Eden Project initiative The Big Lunch and funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

My journey to Eden began in Glasgow, where I boarded the plane which took me and my fellow Scottish participants to Exeter. This was my first time flying, so thankfully the flight went smoothly. Despite the fact we were all on the plane together, the conversation between all the Scottish participants began at the airport. We all got onto the service bus together (taking up most of the bus; we didn’t realise there was as many of the Scottish Eden Clan).  Funny enough, the lady I was sitting beside on the bus used to work where I used to volunteer (it’s a small world)!

Throughout the weekend, we heard many inspirational talks on a range of topics. The talk which I took the most away from was “‘unite and unite’ The Power of Community Celebration” by Sue Hill. She spoke about ‘The Museum of Us’, a display of objects which brought about nostalgia for local people and ‘Perthi Kov’ (Cornish for ‘remember’), a project where the stories of the deceased in the graveyard ‘came alive’.

Another talk which linked with my role was Anne-Marie Culhane’s. Her points on project design were thought-provoking. She spoke about intergenerational work, collaboration, creating new rituals and seasonally repeating events. I hope that my projects will incorporate these qualities.

These talks gave me some inspiration for upcoming projects. Most notably, Auchinleck Fun & Memories Hub. Also being part of the Eden Project Community Network means I am connected to many of my fellow ‘Big Lunchers’.

This was an uplifting and interesting experience. Throughout the weekend, we slept in shipping containers which had been converted into accommodation. These were located in a quiet area (you could even here an owl hooting at night!) near Eden Project and we were transported to the main part of the park on a tractor-pulled-roadtrain.

You can view more photographs from the event in the Flickr album.

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