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What is a Food for Life Get Together?
Food for Life Get Togethers are regular community activities that connect people of different ages and backgrounds through growing, cooking and sharing good food.
How do I get involved?
Register and we’ll send you a free event pack with everything you need to get started – posters, recipe ideas, games for all ages and much more!
Can I still organise or attend a Get Together during Covid-19?
Whilst we are socially distancing, this doesn’t mean we should be socially isolating.
Now more than ever we believe it is important to build strong links within communities. Growing, cooking and sharing food together are brilliant ways to do this.
There are loads of things you can do whilst Covid-19 is affecting our lives. Here are some ideas to get you started. Just make sure you follow the latest Government guidance for your local area.
Read our regularly-updated Covid-19 guidance here.
I'm planning to run Get Togethers activities in Wales. What does the latest 'firebreak' period mean for my activities?
Wales are introducing a firebreak for the period 6pm Friday 23 October until the start of Monday 9 November 2020. This means that almost all Food for Life Get Together activities must happen remotely or at a household level as:
- people must stay at home, except for very limited purposes
- people must not visit other households or meet other people they do not live with
- certain businesses and venues, including bars, restaurants and most shops must close
- secondary schools will provide learning online only for the week after half-term, other than for children in years seven and eight. Primary schools and childcare settings will remain open.
Exceptions include if your Food for Life Get Together activity requires you to leave home in more exceptional circumstances:
- to provide care for or to help a vulnerable person; this includes getting food or medicines for them
- for work purposes, or voluntary or charitable purposes, but only where it is not reasonably practicable to do this from home
For more information on the firebreak see: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-firebreak-frequently-asked-questions#section-53263
According to the latest guidelines, the rule of 6 does not apply to charitable or educational activities. Can I still run outdoor activities for my Get Together?
The latest restrictions and guidelines differ depending on whether you're in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales. Read our regularly updated Covid-19 guidance.
I’m planning a virtual Get Together with children and older people. What safeguarding precautions should I be aware of?
Since Covid-19 many interactions that would have taken place with children and young people face to face are now happening virtually. Event leaders have to weigh the benefits of using technology with the associated risks.
Managing these issues may involve developing specific policies for using video and photographic recording. Safer Internet UK provides lots of helpful advice to help manage digital risks.
We recommend following these guidelines:
- Ensure that all participants are fully and appropriately dressed. Be mindful of what is visible in the background of your video image. It is best practice not to conduct calls from children’s bedrooms
- Ensure you have expressly been given consent from parents/caregivers for participants under 16
- Avoid sharing of personal, account, financial or sensitive data
- Disable the chat function of video calls. If this is necessary for your activity, ensure that someone is assigned to monitor chat
- Report misuse of the platform, privacy or safeguarding concerns immediately to the event organiser and relevant authorities
When do Get Togethers take place?
You can host a Get Together any time of year, so long as it is within current Government guidelines for your local area. Take a look at our upcoming events calendar for some ideas to get you started.
Is there any funding available?
We take applications throughout the year for small grants in certain areas. Find out more here.
Why are Get Togethers important and how can I measure my impact?
Good food sits at the heart of Food for Life Get Togethers.
Good food is food that’s good for you, good for the planet and good for the local economy.
The benefits of coming together over good food are numerous.
We know that:
- Younger people are becoming more disconnected with where their food comes from
- There aren’t many opportunities for older and younger people to bond
- Many people – of all ages – feel isolated within their communities and do not know their neighbours
- We are feeling increasingly divided as a nation. The BBC’s Global Survey reported that 85% of people surveyed think the UK is very or fairly divided.
FFLGT’s approach of bringing people from different generations and backgrounds together promote the benefits that diversity within our communities provides.
A Get Together is the chance to show people of all generations and backgrounds that we can all grow, cook and share food together
We’ll send you an evaluation poster as part of your event pack so you can see what a difference your Get Together has made.
How do I cater for people with food allergens and intolerances?
We have created an easy guide to food safety, including information on food hygiene, keeping food safe, and allergen information. Read more here.
What do I need to consider for safeguarding?
We’ve worked with our partners Linking Generations Northern Ireland to bring together all you need to know about safeguarding. Find out more here.
How can I share what we’re doing?
We’d love to hear about your activities, and so would our Get Togethers community. Share your photos, videos and stories on social using #FFLGetTogethers, check the hashtag to get inspiration, and join our Get Togethers Community Group on Facebook to share stories and pick up ideas.
How are Get Togethers linked to the Soil Association?
Food for Life Get Togethers are part of a bigger movement, led by the Soil Association, to make good food the easy choice for everyone. The Get Togethers programme is brought to you by Food for Life, thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund.
How can I include diverse communities in my Get Together?
Bringing people from different generations or backgrounds together around good food is at the heart of Food for Life Get Togethers. We believe that working together not only strengthens communities but also creates a space for everyone to play an active part of their local food system.
Diversity and inclusion issues and approaches will be different in each community, so it is vital that you know the diverse groups that make up your community and take steps to make sure that they can all access your Get Together activities and feel included. There is no one-size fits way of doing this, but we have included some practical tips and suggestions here.
We are committed to developing our work and to being as inclusive as possible. Read more about our work for further diversity and inclusion in what we do.
Does the food at my Get Together need to be organic?
No. We believe that good food is food that is good for people and good for planet, and you could approach this in different ways - such as growing your own, cooking fresh, local produce, or using food that would otherwise have been wasted. Organic is another great way of ensuring you're eating good food but it's not a requirement for a Food for Life Get Together.
How can I connect to other organisers and people involved in Get Togethers?
Our Community Connector tool can help you to find and connect with our local and national partners and other community leaders in your area.
You can also join our Get Togethers digital community and share recipes, ideas, tips, advice and more with like-minded people across the country. Join today and be inspired by what others are doing.
How does Food for Life Get Togethers fit with Eden Project Communities’ the Big Lunch?
Eden Project Communities are a national partner of Food for Life Get Togethers. Eden Project Communities hold an annual event each June called the Big Lunch which is all about bringing people together and making connections, often with food, so it’s a natural partner for Get Togethers. As part of Get Togethers, we hope you want to get involved and organise your own Big Lunch too!
What if I don’t have space to grow anything?
Even small spaces can be used successfully. Larger spaces are often available in local community gardens, allotments or on community settings like schools, community centres or religious properties. Building bridges to community organisations is what Get Togethers is all about, so if you’re a school or community group with a small space, why not contact you’re a community garden or setting who has got space locally to talk about growing in their green space?
What if things go wrong in my garden?
They do, of course. With seeds and weeds, pests, wind, drought and rain to contend with, there’s always something that won’t quite go to plan. What matters most is the care that you take, and what you learn from the experience. This can be an ideal point for discussion, and an optimum time to get a gardening expert from the community on board to lend advice.
Who will look after the plants when I’m not around?
Plants keep on growing and will need watering, weeding and picking. Whether you’re gardening in a school or in a community space, a rota of adults who are up for checking on the plants every now and again is a great idea. You may need to pay them in kind – or in crops!