Collaboration policy | Incredible Edible Todmorden | Resources

Collaboration policy

below is our newly written collaboration policy

Incredible Edible Todmorden Collaboration Policy

Introduction
The most important thing to say about collaboration is that it’s very much what we are about at Incredible Edible Todmorden (IET). We see working together with others as a cornerstone of building strong, resilient and sustaining communities. We are practicing radical community work, we take risks and we sometimes get it wrong. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, ‘He who makes no mistakes makes nothing’.

Collaboration tends to be a fluid thing, with various people and groups moving in and out of collaboration with us, and we frequently receive invitations and requests to work in collaboration with others. For this reason we thought it would be useful to agree some guidelines for when we need to make a decision about whether, how and when we will work with others. Having an agreed written policy enables us to easily inform people or organisations at an early stage of interest about whether we are likely to be suitable collaborators for their purposes.

General Principles
We are very keen to help and inspire others throughout the UK and across the world. In addition to our local growing efforts, our other core activities include conducting tours of our town and growing beds for visitors, and giving talks and presentations to groups, conferences etc (in person or online). If you have resources, we ask for a donation to help pay our bills (see our website hyperlink below), if not, contact us and we will sort something out. Spreading the word is more important to us than bringing in the money.

Kindness is our watchword. Where we get requests for help that fit with our principles we will always do what we can. We are a small organisation with a big reach, we won’t always have the time or ability to accept every request, but we’ll always take a look and do what we can.

Relevant Factors
Being a very well-established group means that many people have heard of us, but also that they may have some incorrect assumptions about who we are, what we do and what we can offer others. We are run and staffed entirely by volunteers, have no premises, no offices and no fixed hours that we are available or working. Consequently, we often have to politely refuse requests to provide full time (or, for example, a 6 week placement) volunteering opportunities as we don’t have any full-time working, or people available to supervise students, WWOOFers or other volunteers.

The backbone of our work is twice monthly working parties (1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, 10am to 12noon followed normally by a free shared meal) to service our growing beds and generally clean up the town. In addition we, individually or in groups, do various other ad hoc gardening and other activities, and sometimes workshops, such as making and installing bird boxes and free little roadside libraries.

Funding Bids
We are financially self-sustaining and have a policy of not applying for public funding. This is for two main reasons. Firstly, we don’t wish to be burdened with the administrative requirements and responsibilities that normally come along with any public funding. Secondly, we want the freedom to do as we please and change course or branch out whenever it seems like a good thing to do, without having to stick to the conditions of any funding. We find our work far more joyful for everybody if we’re not having to measure and evaluate outcomes, write detailed evaluation reports etc, hence we leave such funding options alone.

We are often approached by other groups seeking funding and asking us to partner with them for that purpose. For the reasons just described we always refuse such requests.

Academic and Research Projects
We get frequent requests to work with school pupils, undergraduate and post-graduate students, researchers and other academics. These vary enormously in scope, length and in the amount of time that would be required of us, were we to agree.

Where the request amounts to obtaining information that is easily available on our website, we direct the enquirer to that site (https://www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk). Where a request relates to The Incredible Edible Network (a related but entirely separate organisation), we refer them to their website (https://www.incredibleedible.org.uk).

Where the request involves a research project that would require significant engagement or input from ourselves, we will happily look at any proposal outline and consider whether we are able to participate in it.

Judy Audaer on behalf of the IET committee
21 July 2021

Want to help?

There are loads of ways you can help us in our work. For more information click here. Or email Estelle.