What is good is given

December 21, 2012 by
Filed under: Fellowship 

‘What is good is given’ is the dedication in Lewis Hyde’s book The Gift recommended to me at the Leeds Leadership taster event by Ed Carlisle from Together4peace. We explored possibilities together for the Incredible Edible and Catalyst Leeds Empties project where architects, council leaders and housing professionals are getting together on March 18th in an empty location in Leeds.  

leeds empties

More than 100 people came to a Call To Action in May last year – where a range of ideas were explored. With support from the RSA Catalyst Fund and Leeds City Council, SBB are currently “prototyping” a number of these ideas – so that they can fully launch Leeds Empties in Spring next year….   Rob Greenland

Leeds Empties was set up by Social Business Brokers (SBB) to encourage and support a range of socially enterprising approaches to bringing more empty homes back into use in Leeds.  Services include an Empty Homes Doctor to offer intensive support to empty home owners, support for social ventures and self-help schemes, and further work on innovative ways to bring more money into empty homes, such as community share issues.

Originally published in 1983 the book, in common with the RSA, is hard to summarise.   In the second paragraph of the 2006 Foreword we are asked to tackle the big questions of commodification and who is the book’s audience; a challenge similar to defining our Fellowship.
So now in my third month at the RSA working across Yorkshire and the North East I am learning about what this Fellowship means and how we move forward with focus to support, grow and spread our work.

At the excellent RSA North West Keep Calm, Prepare for Change Conference young entrepreneurs Casserole showed how their idea to get people to cook an extra meal to give to others has spread into a national programme – interesting that initially there were fewer takers than givers. So their challenge was – not enough takers.

“Casserole was born out of a desire to help bring communities together. There are a lot of people cooking food and many others who would greatly appreciate a home cooked meal. Our goal is to connect the two.”

Maybe this is about small steps leading to large changes – opening up the conversation about what the gift of Fellowship means: “What is good is given”.

Julia Davis is the Programme Manager for Yorkshire & Humber and North East.  You can follow her @juliadavis111