Engagement case studies

Examples of how we have been working with residents, businesses and our partners.

Fairer – supporting people with food and financial help during COVID

We have worked in partnership with Food Plymouth, Provide Devon and FareShare to support over 50 food aid organisations in Plymouth with over £343,000, to help them provide food and essentials to people in need over the winter. This has included co-ordinating the supply of surplus food from supermarkets so that it is fairly distributed across the city. There has been a direct referral route into Citizens Advice for people accessing food aid, many of whom may not otherwise have asked for advice, as a means of breaking this cycle through advice and support with benefits, debt, housing, and employment. Plymouth Energy Community has been provided with additional funding to ensure that people on low incomes can pay their bills and are able to keep warm during the winter.

Greener – Wild Flower Mad

In 2020, with support from the Future Parks Accelerator programme, we took a radical new approach to grass cutting. After gathering evidence to show that there are twice the number of pollinating insects and species found in meadow areas compared with amenity grassland, we decided to reduce the amount of grass being cut on over 1000 areas across the city to support more plant and animal species thrive. We ran a social media campaign to inform people why they were taking this approach and encouraged residents to tell them what wildflowers they had seen. A survey on one innocuous roadside verge in Prince Rock highlighted 17 wild flower species spotted in one June day - including a Bee Orchid. Customer reports of problems with grass cutting were reduced by one-third of 2019 volumes. As a result of this trial, the Council plans to roll this approach out more widely next year. Through our Green Mind project, we will be supporting residents to take action for nature through events, networking opportunities and resources. 

Healthier – Grow, Share, Cook

Plymouth City Council worked with volunteers to co-design Grow, Share, Cook handing the power to local residents to find the best solutions. This volunteer led project has seen volunteers grow food in and around the city on council land and on private land owned by farmers. This produce is then shared with communities via volunteer drivers and volunteer cooks and community cooking sessions. Plymouth City Council fund Grow, Share, Cook who work with Tamar Grow Local and Food is Fun to manage the project, enabling a new yearly cohort of 50 families to receive free fruit and vegetables for a year, deliver support and advice to the existing 250 families who have completed the scheme and the 50 families who are the current cohort and manage. They also support the 158 volunteers who work on the scheme. This highly commended project started in October 2014 following a recommendation by the Fairness Commission.