There was something new at J24’s Sedgemoor Market in Bridgwater – a Pop-up Public Living Room!
With kind permission of J24, the Pop-up Living Room was created by The Somerset Young Farmers and mental health professional Becky Wright (New Leaf Life Design) – calling themselves the Farmerados – and a space was transformed ready to welcome anyone and everyone for a catch-up and a chat.
The Farmerados are a group of volunteers – based on the principles of the Camerados global movement, who believe that the best way through tough times is to look out for each other.
Having recently completed Mental Health First Aid training with New Leaf, 15 Somerset Young Farmers became Mental Health First Aiders, and decided they wanted to show support and do some good within their farming community.
The fundamental value of the group is to look out for each other, and a Farmerado is halfway between being a stranger and a friend on the farm – someone who is there for a chat, with no judgements, no fixing, but a supportive somebody who is just there to be alongside.
Becky Wright from New Leaf Life Design said: “We set up the first Farmerados Public Pop-up Living Room at J24. The space is supportive, somewhere you can come alongside each other, no fixing, no agenda, relax, chat and look out for each other.
“When we go through hard times we often forget the two most essential things: Friends and Purpose. You get both when you look out for someone – a connection and a real sense of purpose, and you get away from your own problems for a bit too.”
The Pop-up Living room is based on the following principles:
- It’s ok to fail
- We don’t fix people, just be alongside
- We mix with people who don’t look like us
- Remember to have fun
- If we disagree, level with each other respectably
- If someone is struggling, try and ask them to help you. This is what we call the secret sauce of Farmerados. If someone is having a tough time they become devoured by their own problems. So watch what happens when after a bit of sympathy you then ask them to look out for YOU, to do YOU a favour or give YOU advice. They come out of their own problems, they feel trusted, talented and driven with a new purpose. They have something to offer. This way of working – not a handout but mutual help instead.
The Pop-up Living Room came in a box – provided by the Camerados, and passers-by were welcomed to just have a chat and a piece of one of the fabulous cakes. Somerset Young Farmers said about the weekend’s event: “We had a brilliant start to the Farmerados project. Thanks to all who helped and especially Becky Wright, for the inspiration.”