Week 4: An ongoing assignment… creating our organisational structure.

I don’t think any of us realised quite what a big assignment creating our organisational structure would be! From the seriously practical topics of Food and Finance to creating and managing our curriculum, assignments and communications channels, we have a lot on our hands. We are all learning a shed-load, and that is what this assignment is all about.

This week, we used our group time to break out into action teams to get organised, plan, and write proposals and policies to structure our exciting year ahead. Working at our basecamp at the Vallis Youth and Community Centre, our homes and the new Works Canteen (which we all love) we really got down to business and Frome felt like a busy hive of activity, including a good handful of chance and fortunate encounters. We are really excited about working with the new manager of the Youth and Community Centre, Mark. He got what we are doing straight away and has a really exciting assignments to pitch us this Thursday – The Apprentice Style!

Today’s meeting took us deep into the realms of our personal and organisational finances. For many reasons it was decided that rather than 50% of money made on assignments being put in an ‘investment fund’ (as we have been calling it), any money will be split amongst participants directly. Also, after a long ‘council’ style meeting, there was a strong sense that the three criteria for judging assignments (1 – community impact, 2 – learning opportunity, 3 – value exchange) is very important to everyone, and that we want to encourage non-monetary exchanges. Having focused a lot on our organisational structure and group work we are planning to make more space for participants to launch themselves more fully into their personal projects so watch the space in the coming weeks….

This week, Ben and Zoe are off to meet with Chris and Cordelia who previously ran Vallis veg and are now looking for new opportunities to best utilise their beautiful 18 acre site on the edge of Frome. We have set ourselves a 4 week challenge to get a 10 minute cabaret piece together for a *secret performance (please email one of us for details), which we are very fortunate to have Annabelle Macfadyen to help us devise. We are busy organising some exciting workshops that have been offered by people locally in response to our curriculum post (link). And we have scheduled a long overdue storytelling evening for the group this Thursday…