Food Equality Creative Methods Toolkit

We are delighted to share our Food Equality ‘toolkit’! This Toolkit shares what has been learned through delivering creative workshops with groups in Plymouth on the Food Equality Project.

“Why use Creative Methods?”

Creative activities can provide new approaches to get groups and individuals talking about and sharing views on complex topics, such as food (see the video for a bit more detail). Our workshops aim to create sociable, relaxed spaces for communication, trying something new and…

  • Conversations, getting people talking about complex topics, such as food
  • Consultation, amplifying diverse and under-represented voices
  • Sharing personal narratives and multiple perspectives on a topic
  • Gathering specific, local knowledge and experiences
  • Documenting conversations and ideas to share with others
  • Creating a relaxed and sociable environment, building relationships

Dr Clare Pettinger from the University of Plymouth, strategic lead of the Plymouth Food Equality Project.

“Who is this toolkit for?”

These resources are for anyone working with groups who want to make their views heard and make changes at a local level, or even beyond. You might be a facilitator or working with volnuteers who provide a vital service to local people, such as a community fridge or larder.

Even if you have not worked in this way before, you may well have other skills and knowledge that will help you to deliver these methods.

Resources include a ‘Method’ and ‘Suggestion Session Plan’ for each Creative Method and templates for informed and media consent and evaluation and handy guides.

We hope this toolkit will….

  • Enable you to run creative workshops which help you to discuss and gain understanding of specific issues and experiences, which can be an important first step to working out solutions.
  • Provide resources and tips for running different creative activites that you can adapt to specific settings, groups or topics.
  • Be user friendly and adaptable. ‘Tools’ for four creative and participatory sessions include: suggested downloadable pdfs of session plans, resources and guidelines andideas for next steps. Your feedback will help to improve the toolkit, tell us what you think.


Session Plans


Meeting in person v online: The best things about meeting in person…

“It’s a better way to communicate with people, you can share ideas better and actually show what you mean better.”

– Emma (young carer) on Zoom chat –

“It’s a really creative way to make a statement about things that are important to us.”

– Lauren Wadey, Project Lead, Barnardos –

Being online can make it easy to join in in a way that suits you. “Both organisations have done a great job of supporting the young people to share their views via multiple platforms may have enabled some people to share more than they would usually.” 

– Lauren Wadey, Project Lead, Barnardos –


Finding new ways to work creatively with young people during the lockdown: blending online and face to face methods

Creative conversations about food with young carers, Barnardos, Plymouth : Food Equality Project in partnership with Fotonow CIC.

We started working with a group of young people in Plymouth in February 2021 to talk about experiences of food during covid. All of our initial workshops took place on zoom so people could join from home, or a location that was convenient from a phone or laptop. We used the online space to watch short videos and share photos we had taken, prompting some lively discussions using the chat function as well as talking to share our thoughts.

Easing of restrictions eventually allowed us to meet face to face to take photos, make collages and plan our final creative outputs. Thanks to our weekly zoom sessions and the conversations we had online, when we finally had the opportunity to work face to face we had a shared frame of reference to build on.

Making the transition from working online to a blended model had pros and cons. One of the benefits of working online is the different ways that you can contribute: writing in the chat, using the interactive tools and joining without a camera allowed everyone to express themselves in a way that was comfortable.Face to face workshops supported many of the group to develop new skills, including digital photography and audio recording and to explore venues and events in the city using food as a lens.  Working in partnership with Fotonow CIC ensured a high quality of media training.

The group’s creative work and opinions have been brought together in this zine.

See photos from our visit to the Plot, Plymouth featured on

Your Feedback

Tell us about how you used this toolkit. Your tips, ideas and any challenges you had will help to improve the toolkit for others. Upload a photo from your workshop below.

    Which method did you use? What worked? What didn't work? Would you use this method again?

    Attach a file: (3 files max, 6mb total size, accepted file types: DOC, DOCX, PDF, PNG, JPG):