LlyG members blog – Tir Coed’s visit to the Wild Forest Product Fair

Posted on June 6, 2016 by

This year the Llais y Goedwig annual national Gathering included the StarTree Wild Forest Product Fair, celebrating the non-wood forest product research project StarTree, led by Llais y Goedwig in Wales. Bringing together people and products from across Europe, the packed programme will included social enterprise workshops, demonstrations, talks, and wild things to buy and eat. Here, associate member Tir Coed, a charity that works to improve the quality of life for rural communities in Wales through trees and woodlands, reports back on the day. 

On a beautiful bright sunny day a group of Tir Coed representatives travelled from Aberystwyth and Llanidloes to take part in the StarTree celebration and learn from the interesting workshops available.

Ffion, Martin, Dave, Robin, Julie and Theo began the day by looking around the stalls which had eclectic products on offer such as cork gloves from Portugal, Wild boar hair brushes from Latvia, Norway Spruce sweets from Sweden and Bluebells from Snowden. We then had the difficult decision of which activity to choose out of the jam-packed itinerary.

As the progression trainees attending the event are planing to start their own social enterprise it was decided that the workshop by Shared Assets on setting up a social enterprise would be helpful. Director Ffion and Powys Coordinator Martin also went along to learn more about these tools in support of the next major project LEAF where progression in to micro-enterprises for trainees will be supported.

Shared Assets are a think and do tank that supports people managing land for the common good and are based in London. Kate Swade facilitated a very interesting session where the group looked at managing group dynamics and bringing out the best in people by understanding individual motivations and identifying the diverse range of personalities and skills needed to make a community group or enterprise work. The group discussed tools and concepts each person could take back to their group to help people work together effectively.

Following that session a manic but informative interactive session was held by researchers from the University of Padua, looking at social networking and how this can increase effectiveness of your group and in creating change.

The final session was again with Shared Assets looking at growing and scaling and making changes in your organisation- which is particularly important to Tir Coed inline with its 5 year strategic plan. Others in the group spent this time willow weaving and chatting to the stall holders.

Thank you StarTree and Llais y Goedwig for a fantastic day!

You can find out more about Tir Coed by visiting their website here

 

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