About us

Overview of the project

Frocal is community-owned company (Community Benefit Society) created to unleash creativity and channel action in Forest Row over the coming decade with the aims of creating a localised and circular economy, strengthening community cohesion and ensuring that all action allows for harmony with Nature, each other and oneself.

We hope that after a decade of such focus and application, Frocal will have nurtured a culture of belonging and connection with a deep-rooted understanding that thriving does not mean growth but an increase in wellbeing for all. Forest Row will be a resilient and abundant village that will celebrate people’s gifts and use them as its basic currency at the same time as supporting projects that recognise its international responsibility.

Our view of a local community

  • One in which most of our food comes from nearby farmers who are part of our community and who ensure food security year round.
  • One in which we produce our power from renewable sources, and take care of much of our waste in our community as we can, recycling and reusing whenever possible
  • Imagine children being free to play and explore their world safely under the watch of neighbours whom we know and trust.
  • Imagine the money we spend on everyday goods continuing to recirculate in the local economy, building community wealth along the way. 
  • Imagine local businesses multiplying and providing ample, meaningful employment opportunities.
  • Economic localisation can make these visions a reality for us all.

Our approach and principles

We respect resource limits and create resilience
We promote inclusivity and social justice
We adopt subsidiarity (self-organisation and decision making at the appropriate level)
We pay attention to balance
We are part of an experimental, learning network
We freely share ideas and power
We collaborate and look for synergies
We foster positive visioning and creativity

Who is involved?

The project is currently held by Ben Christie, Patricia Patterson-Vanegas, Kate Taylor-Smith, and Stephen King. All members of the team are local to the area and bring together over 50 years of lived experience in this place. Their professional work is devoted to communities, in pursuit of both social and environmental outcomes for the places and people.

Our team has been designed to bring together both the right on the ground skills to make a community project work, as well as being able to bring in ideas & structure from elsewhere. For community projects to work you need to be able to meet the needs of the community, and that is at the heart of what we will be looking to achieve. The team is compensated for them to devote their attention to this project, currently 1 day per week. All other funding raised goes to the initiatives catalysed by the the group.

Strategy summary presentation