Start a new vegetarian group
No group in your area? It may be a truism - but it’s worth repeating - nothing will happen until someone tries something! So why wait, why not try yourself? The whole idea of starting up a new vegetarian group may feel very daunting. You may be asking yourself, what difference can one person make? But it’s surprising how quite simple actions can start the ball rolling. If you are feeling stuck or shy, here are a few ideas:
Organise an initial meeting
The simplest way to get a group started is to call an informal meeting to assess interest in your area. You need to:
Find a venue
A local pub or veggie-friendly cafe/restaurant makes a comfy, "neutral" space in fairly public territory for a first meeting. Do consider: Is it easy to get to? Does it have public transport? Are there parking facilities? Is it accessible to wheelchairs?
Choose a date and time
Try and find a time when the sort of people you hope to attract to the group will be free. Avoid clashing with major local attractions. Don’t always think in terms of evening get-togethers; lunch-breaks on Saturday in a popular shopping town can be appealing, or if you have a suitable café, a late Sunday morning breakfast.
Publicise your meeting as widely as possible
For example, posters in libraries, health food shops and health centres; write to the local papers and radio station. Remember to include a phone number, email or an address people can write to. They may not be able to make it to the first meeting, but might still be interested in joining your group.
It may also be useful to set up a Facebook group and Twitter account. This is a good way to help promote events and can help you stay in touch with people after the first meeting.
Don't try to get too much done in this first meeting, make it a bit of a social but try to get a feel of what sort of activities people would like. Do take a note book to jot down all the ideas and get people's contact details so you can call a more serious "business" meeting in a few weeks.
You can gain support and training on how to run a group from your local Voluntary Action or Community and Voluntary Services organisation, many of which are listed online, or you can find their details with your local authorities information or library service.
We can help
The Vegetarian Society has a wealth of resources covering all aspects of vegetarianism. Resources can be downloaded free of charge and are perfect for activities and events your group is supporting. If you require paper copies of any of the resources, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 925 2000, to discuss your requirements for your event or activity. We are able send resources free of charge to local group contacts or you can order using our online order form.
Not in a position to join a local group, though would like to do something positive to promote vegetarianism?
As an individual, you can pursue which ever aspects of our campaigns that you find most interesting, and do as much or as little as you like. We believe that when it comes to creating a culture where the ideals of vegetarianism, compassion for people, animals and the environment, are considered normal, every action you take helps!
Here's a sample of things you could do:
Keep a supply of leaflets to share with family, friends and to their friends who may enquire about vegetarianism.
Join in our on-line discussions and share our information on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
Stock your local library with veggie leaflets; you could even organise a display.
Compile a local guide to veggie-friendly businesses.
Run a stall at local community events, fairs and fetes.
If you work in a shop, business, religious or community venue perhaps you could set up a space to display our posters, leaflets and information (with permission obviously!)
Browse all our resources