When I started yours2share, I didn’t realise that I was starting a social enterprise, I just wanted to help people share stuff. As the number of private syndicates that were helped by yours2share increased, I also became aware that if as the number of partners in a private syndicates increases substantially, it becomes a co-operative.
Over time yours2share has created a well established forum for people sharing property, boats and aircraft. It also enables people to share land, gardens and allotments, for food and vegetables as well as animals such as hens, goats, horses, and bees. We’ve also helped people to share cars as informal car clubs: buying a car between three and six people in a street or village. The principles of sharing, the issues that must be agreed to make a sharing arrangment work are basically the same, whether you are sharing a £1 million yacht or a vegetable plot at the end of the garden.
The last year I moved to a small town in south Norfolk, a rural corner of East Anglia and I’ve become immersed in a rural lifestyle and economy. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been using the social networks much more, particularly Twitter, and all of the strands of yours2share and my lives, seem to have come together in the guise of the Plunkett Foundation and various projects in which it is involved.
The Plunkett Foundation promotes and supports co-operatives and social enterprises in rural communities worldwide. One of the Plunkett Foundation’s projects is the lottery funded MakeLocalFoodWork, where it works with a range of other major partners including Co-operativesUK, the trade association for all types of co-operative enterprise throughout the UK, and the Soil Association which works to improve the public’s understanding of the impact of different methods of food production on health and the environment.
The MakeLocalFoodWork project is a collection of projects all designed to ‘reconnect people and land through local food increasing access to fresh, healthy, local food with clear, traceable origins’.
If you want to know more about supporting rural communities, do visit the Plunkett Foundation’s website, and if food issues interest you, have a look at the MakeLocalFoodWork website.
If you just want somewhere to “grow your own” or would like someone to help you to make use of your garden, here are yours2share’s landshare listings and landshare guidance.