Who carers for Carers – well The Red Shed does. At least for a couple of hours, once a month. Which is a drop in the ocean when you consider the amount of time and support they give to those they care for….but it’s a good start.
From the outset The Red Shed Project has recognised the needs of carers and while they are included in all our Garden Clubs it’s great to be able to offer something just for them.
Following on from our Craft for Carers in August 2019 (check out our blog on 24 July 2019) we have received further funding from Stevenage Community Trust and have now launched our Grow and Care group for Tuesday mornings. It’s a place for carers to meet, chat and share, as well as get involved with some gardening and garden crafts. It’s a safe space where having a moan and getting things off your chest is just as accepted as having a good laugh. Already, participants are sharing ideas and contacts – the value of peer support in incalculable.
We have already nearly reached capacity and it’s not surprising as most carers are really in need of some ‘me time’. Working together is a really good way to get people to talk. It’s also good for your mental wellbeing to be engaged with activities that are meaningful and fun. The whole experience of being in our garden is therapeutic and it’s wonderful to see people leaving a session with a bigger smile and a lighter step.
First week we made up some Kokadoma or Japanese hanging gardens. We have lots more activity plans up our sleeves, including being involved in the design of our garden extension – that will keep everyone busy and eventually an extra space to be still, re-group and feel refreshed.