A range of vegetable dishes in large metal trays ready to be served at a conference. The dishes are made up of local, organic, seasonal (Autumn) and surplus vegetables
Thursday, 30 November 2023

CAG Somerset Launch – Nov 2023

We are incredibly excited to announce that the new CAG Somerset is launched! We have a dedicated team who are eager to support local community groups on their journey towards a more sustainable future. 

We had an absolutely fabulous day at Somerset Community Foods, ‘Nourishing Community’ Conference. The conversations were flowing and it was brilliant to see the amazing community work happening around Somerset from community fridges to kids gardening clubs. The day started with a talk from Dr Martin Caraher, an expert in Food and Health Policy at the University of London. His talk highlighted the food poverty our country is facing which was quite sobering. However, it was amazing to see the amount of community groups at the event tackling a mixture of food waste and food poverty issues in their own unique way. We loved participating in the workshops and learning how to make sauerkraut and reuse every day objects in our gardens. The jam jar lid wind chimes were a big hit!

Jinny Uppington, our project lead gave a great introduction talk on the CAG Somerset Network and our stand was busy all day. Both Amelia and Jinny had some brilliant conversations with community groups and how we can support them, we look forward to welcoming some more Community Fridges to the network soon! We have included a round-up of the CAG Somerset network below.

Meet the team

The CAG Somerset team consists of two dedicated part-time members of staff who are eager to support your amazing community work across the county. Jinny Uppington, the CAG Somerset Project Lead has over 15 years’ experience working in the Voluntary and Community sector in Somerset and has a proven track record for supporting groups to survive and thrive

“I am really looking forward to getting out in communities and meeting you all! We look forward to speaking to you and providing relevant and interesting support to help you to develop and sustain your ideas, groups, projects and ambitions. – Jinny Uppington, CAG Somerset Project Lead

Jinny is supported by Amelia Allerton, the new Community Project Officer for Somerset. Amelia has experience in community work with conservation organisations and a strong business background. Both staff members are based locally in Somerset.

“I cannot wait to see what amazing community work you are all doing and I look forward to supporting you to achieve your aims!” – Amelia Allerton, CAG Somerset Project Officer

CAG Origins

Two CAG groups are already established in both Oxfordshire and Devon and have been successfully supporting local community groups since 2001 and 2016 respectively, providing a trusted framework for us to follow. CAG Oxfordshire has gone from strength to strength and has grown to become the largest network of its kind in the UK. It is now an independent organisation consisting of more than 100 groups across Oxfordshire who are taking action on issues including waste, transport, food, energy, biodiversity, and social justice. In addition, the CAG Devon network impressively diverted over 21 tonnes of waste from landfill and avoided over 138 tonnes of CO2 emissions from 2021-2022. Its groups held a wide range of community events from repair cafes to clothes swishes, racking up a total of 16,079 volunteer hours!

We are extremely excited to tailor this shining example from other CAG groups to our Somerset network.

Our Approach – Community-led support

We are eager to offer free tailored support to community groups who are focusing on the areas of waste reduction, composting, sharing, re-use and repair. Our support and agenda are driven by you, we are here to empower community groups and champion local knowledge. We aim to offer a number of support features to help network members and together, we can build a more sustainable Somerset with impactful community action.

Features of CAG Somerset:

  • One-to-one mentoring to set-up, maintain and develop community groups.
  • Help you to increase and measure your impact on reducing waste and sustainability.
  • Offer networking opportunities and peer-to-peer learning.
  • Offer skills sharing opportunities with other groups.
  • Infrastructure support (insurance, risk assessments, policies etc.)
  • Support with volunteer recruitment.
  • Free training and up-skilling.
  • Grant application and development support.
  • Marketing support.
  • Showcasing your group on our CAG Somerset website, social media channels and newsletters.
  • Access key resources for a wide range of community-led action.

Want to know more?

We would absolutely love for you to get in touch! Please do contact us and for updates you can sign up to our Newsletter here.

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People powered change

We support and help community action groups who focus on re-use, repair, reduction, sharing, surplus food or composting.

A picture of a community allotment. wooden planters are in neat rows with small paths between them. Within the planters are different green leafy plants of varying heights. In some planters are canes growing peas. All plants appear to be seasonal summer vegetables. To the back right of the image are some sheds and the community allotment continues right through the image