EAT MAKE PLAY is a community business that was established in 2019 with the support of Co-operative Futures and Birmingham City Council, during the USE-IT! programme EAT MAKE PLAY’s purpose is to take things that are considered to be surplus, such as food, spaces, textiles, etc and use them to help local residents gain employability skills and reduce waste. The development of this enterprise is truly community-led and was driven by the desire of the local community to enhance their area and make use of the assets available to them.
The pre-cursor to the development of this community enterprise was the informal establishment of an alliance of local organisations working together to voice their concerns over local authority regeneration plans for the reservoir within the area. By working together, the alliance successfully developed an alternative regeneration plan that held the needs and desires of local people at its core, and as such contributed significantly to the community consultation work carried out by the council.
Co-operative Futures supported EAT MAKE PLAY in registering the society and developing their business model, as well as forging relationships with other local organisations. EAT MAKE PLAY is now developing a growing site on a playing field adjacent to the reservoir which is owned by a local charity and has been unused for several years. EAT MAKE PLAY is also leading on the development of a share library pilot project in conjunction with another Birmingham based community business. This is based within a previously empty shop within the area, so again taking ownership of assets that will provide direct benefit to the local community.
Sam is one of the founders of EAT MAKE PLAY and said the following: “Eat Make Play began in 2018 as a community event, and in 2019, we became a community business — we couldn’t have done it without the support of Cooperative Futures.”