Top tips for your Food for Life Get Together

In spring, Food for Life launched its new Food for Life Get Togethers programme to bring different generations together through real, healthy food. The programme supports schools, nurseries, care settings, community groups, charities and individuals to organise their own Get Together events, to tackle loneliness and isolation, promote a healthy relationship with food for kids, and bring people from all walks of life closer together through the common thread of fresh, locally-sourced food. A Food for Life Get Together is any event, big or small, where people of different ages come together to grow, share or cook... And we want you to get involved! 

We’ve spoken to community experts to find out their top tips for hosting a Get Together. Read on for activity ideas, the things you may wish to consider... and the things you may not have thought about!  


Eyes on the goal  

From the very beginning, it’s a great idea to have a long-term vision for the gathering or event. What local groups or venues might you like to connect with? What would you like to get out of the day? How might the new relationship be sustained after the event? These sorts of questions can help generate event ideas for your Get Together.  

 
Event ideas 

If your event idea will bring people of different ages together to grow, cook or share food, then it’s a Food for Life Get Together! It could be a street party that gets the whole neighbourhood sharing a feast, a group of school kids visiting their local care home, or as simple as a few people of different ages sitting down together over a plate of food. If you can host it, we can support you! 

You can organise a Food for Life Get Together event in your community at any time of the year, or if you’re stuck for ideas, you can join one of the three national events and be part of something huge! The next event is Roast Dinner Day on 13th November 2019 – so why not invite people of different generations and host a roast! 


It’s all in the planning 

Consider the practicalities of your event idea. For example: 
  • What size group do you anticipate being involved? 
  • Is your event space big enough to fit everyone in? 
  • Is there disability venue access and disabled access toilets in your venue? 
  • How many facilitators might you need on the day? 
  • Are there any special dietary requirements or allergies? 
  • Are there any transport needs? 
  • Can attendees get a drink if they need one? 
Once these sorts of questions are answered, you’re all set! 

 
Get free stuff!  

Don’t forget to register your event on our website to receive your free event pack, crammed full of activity ideas, invitations, bunting, cake toppers, stickers and more, to help your event go with a bang. 

 
Put names to faces 

Name badges are really helpful to prompt everyone get to know each other and, if appropriate, gives an opportunity for individuals or groups to say who they are, what they do and why they’re there. 

 
Telling stories with food 


If you’re serving food at your event, it’s a great opportunity to tell your guests a story about where it’s from – especially if it’s local, home-grown, seasonal, or if you have any interesting facts about it which could get conversation started. 

 
Mixing it up 

Sometimes when you’re getting people of different ages and backgrounds together, you need to plan creative ways to get them talking and encourage them to mingle. Think about opportunities to mix people up and get them doing activities together. For example, if you’re sharing food, seat younger and older people alternately around the same table. If growing vegetables or cooking together, pair an experienced person with someone who’d appreciate help and advice.  


Games are a great icebreaker!  

Games and activities get people talking, but around a shared theme. Try out our ‘human bingo’, available for free in your resource pack upon registering here!  

 
Time to talk 

Leave space in your time together for opportunities to talk. You could use props or prompts to get children and older people talking together. For example, a child could hold three simple question cards, such as ‘What is your name?’, ‘What jobs have you done?’ and ‘What music do you like?’ to get the conversation flowing! 

 
Creatively document your day  

If you can, take photos, record lovely comments and feedback and decorate walls with any art that has been created. This not only serves to capture your time together but allows for reflection of all you have achieved! It can also act as a reminder to some older people who may be forgetful or live with dementia, of the time you spent together. 

 
It doesn’t have to cost the earth! 


Think of the impact your event has on the environment, and make small changes to minimise this. For example, you could cut out single use plastic plates and cutlery and recruit washing up volunteers instead! Source local produce that hasn’t been transported across the world, or even the country. These small actions will collectively have a huge positive impact on the carbon footprint of Get Togethers across the country. 


Penny for your thoughts 


In your event pack, which you’ll receive upon registering your event, you’d find a feedback poster. Pop it up on a wall or noticeboard in your venue and ask attendees to fill out their thoughts at the end of the event. The feedback will give you great insight for what went well and changes you might like to make in the future, and feedback also helps us continue to improve our support to you. 


Share to win! 

If you decide to make Roast Dinner Day your next Food for Life Get Together, then take part in our competition! We’d love to see your best Roast Dinner Day Get Together image! Make sure you have any branded item from your Get Togethers resource pack in the shot, then just tag #FFLGetTogethers - or #FFLGTCymru for Wales - to be entered into a prize draw to win £100 Garden Centre vouchers.  


Get involved 

Sign up to host a Get Together here, to receive your free event pack. If you’d like to talk to one of our regional specialists about planning an event or what support we can offer, please email FFL@foodforlife.org.uk as we’d be happy to help.


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