As 2016 draws toward a close, it is time to celebrate the successes of the CAG Project.
Currently there are 58 active groups in the CAG Network, spread across the county, working on a huge range of activities from swap shops to thermal imaging and food surplus cafes to growing projects.
We are seeing our network rapidly expand, with 10 of these active groups having joined in the last year including Stonehill Community Garden and Incredible Edible. A number of these groups are working on housing and land issues, such as Oxford Co-Housing and the Community Land Trust, which introduces a new topic of focus to our network. We are supporting 4 new groups to become CAGs and have had enquiries about joining the network from a further 7 groups.
We organised two successful events this year. The Network Social in April, which brought groups together to share ideas and experiences, was attended by 80 people. In November, 90 people attended training workshops on a variety of topics at the Skill Share. The majority of people (97%) rated the quality of the event content as very good or good. We’ve also started facilitating “Collaborate” meetings where groups working on similar topics can meet up to discuss how they can support each other more effectively.
Since our rebranded website launched in June 2016 we’ve had over 16,605 views. We also rebranded our newsletter communications and have had an above average open rate of 28% for the fortnightly Key newsletter which goes out to around 2,400 subscribers. We have 1,630 followers on Twitter and a total of 300 likes on our Facebook page over the year. There have been 22 items of media coverage of CAG activities since March 2016 including articles in local newspapers, a piece on BBC radio Oxford, an interview on That’s Oxford TV and a feature film documentary on the national BBC Digital Nation programme.
We have lots of exciting things planned for the new year including starting up a outreach working group to develop a more diverse and inclusive network and creating an education strategy to support CAGs to work more closely with schools and colleges.
We wish you a peaceful and relaxing festive break!
Beth, Simon and Alice