It’s all about connections, belonging and support” Poole local hails the power of community and encourages more people to join in

A mum who brought her community together during the pandemic for celebrations and mutual support is calling on more local people to reach out and start making a difference where they live. Raminder Jaswal, 45, began her community journey by attending an inspirational Community Camp run by the Eden Project, and hopes more people from Poole will follow in her footsteps. 

Research undertaken by Eden Project Communities this June revealed that almost a third (32%) of adults in the UK want to find ways to connect with their community to help local people through the rising cost of living, while 36 million people believe the UK would not be able to function without the generosity of people giving away food in programmes such as food banks, community fridges and food share schemes. 

With so many keen to do more, whether that’s by supporting those struggling with the cost of living, encouraging people to live more sustainably, or helping local green spaces to bloom, the Eden Project’s Community Camp (30 September – 3 October), made possible by The National Lottery, aims to equip people with the skills and knowledge they need to put their dreams into action.

Raminder signed up to Community Camp last year, when working remotely made her realise that none of her neighbours knew each other. Keen to bring everyone on her road together, from young children to people in their 80s, Raminder applied for a virtual edition of the programme in the hopes of finding out where to start. 

After attending Community Camp, Raminder organised a socially distanced cup of tea to break the ice, and then turned her head to planning a Big Jubilee Lunch in June. The event was a huge success, and saw Raminder organise a road closure and gather around 120 neighbours for an afternoon full of shared food, games and memories. 

Raminder said: “Community is all about connections, belonging and support. Some people on our road are on their own and it’s really important that we’re all there for each other. I’m so glad I took that first step into my community!

“I learnt so much when I went to camp. It was fantastic to share and receive ideas, and I realised that even small things make a difference. I’d recommend it to anyone!”

Community Camp’s jam-packed, fully-funded programme offers a mix of practical activities, workshop sessions and network opportunities. Attendees will have the chance to hear from more inspiring speakers, and join workshops on topics such as funding, engaging people and volunteers and confidence building. They’ll also be encouraged to explore Eden’s iconic biomes and hear more about the charity’s unique mission to bring people closer together with the natural world.

Applications for September’s Community Camp at the Eden Project are open, with people at any stage in their community journeys invited to apply for the programme. For anyone keen to access support and learning opportunities that fit around their lifestyles, Community Camp will also be running as weekly, specially-tailored virtual sessions over the course of three weeks in November. 

Tracey Robbins, Head of UK Delivery at Eden Project Communities, said: “Raminder is one of the many people around the UK who have turned their ideas for their communities into real action, and are now making life that little bit brighter, not just for their neighbours but for many others. Although times are hard at the moment, we know there are so many more of us out there who want to make a positive difference where we live, but aren’t sure how to get started.

“That’s why we’d love to see anyone with a bright idea they’d like to explore at Community Camp this autumn, whether it’s about improving a local green space, keeping your community connected, living more sustainably or supporting people struggling with the cost of living. Our camps are always full of laughter, connection and stories, with everyone leaving Eden with a confidence boost, practical ways of bringing their initiatives to life, and many new friends!”

For more information on how to sign up for Community Camp visit:

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