Today we held our first Stakeholders meeting. Our volunteer team and Garden Club participants were all invited to look back at last year and help to make plans for this year.
It was great to get together and to have feedback from the people that come along to our workshops. As an organisations we feel its vital to make sure that their voices are a part of our planning for the future – then we know that our service is relevant, accessible and generally hits the right spot!
There were lots of ideas including – Jigsaws for a rainy day (obviously garden pictures!), our own Quiz Night, a hanging basket workshop and a BBQ in our garden. There were also lots of suggestions about involving the community around us. It’s so positive that the feeling to get involved with our neighbours was high on everyones priorities. Part of our mission is to ‘help reduce isolation’ and create oppotunities for ‘better understanding of the effects of living with dementia’ and ‘promote cross-generational, interaction and understanding’.
…….So, it looks like we’re on track and that we’ve got a busy schedule to plan for 2020!
Our goal for our first year was to build a garden and start regular workshops for people living with dementia, their carers and families. Looking back over the last very busy months it looks like we have acheived that goal and even more.
We have a fabulous garden, designed with help from our Garden Club members to be dementia friendly, safe and accessable.
Our Garden Club is established and with our Lottery Funding we will be able to run it for a further year.
Carers had the oppotunity to learn some new crafts over the summer .
We have led workshops around the County for other organisations providing a service for people living with dementia.
Through Sing-Songs, coffee mornings, quiznights and more we have joined with the local community for events both in our garden and out and about.
Behind the scenes we have received donations from individuals and organisations. Set up all our govenance, from policies and proceedures, business plans, action plans and plans of plans!
And – most importantly – from feedback we have received, we know we have made a difference, sometimes small and sometimes very big, to a lot of people who have been touched by the work of The Red Shed Project during 2019.
Now its time to celebrate and look forward to 2020. Merry Christmas everone!
We are delighted to say that in the last couple of days we have received funding for our new Young Onset Dementia gardening group. The funding has come from Hertfordshire Community Foundation and the sessions will start on January 8th 2020. Curently services available for this group are thin on the ground so we are particularly excited to be able to provide a sion that will support their specific needs.
……and – We have also just heard that we will receive funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. This will enable us to continue our wonderful Monday afternoon Garden Club
Such a great way to start 2020. With this funding in place we will be able to build on our solid foundations and continue to grow and develop our services and make the second year for The Red Shed Project a success.
The Red Shed Project acheived brilliant success at a recent quiz night run by Hampson Park Community Centre in Stevenage. When we heard that they planned to donated some of the funds they raised to us – and that there was a fish and chip supper on the night – we couldn’t resist putting up our own quiz team to join the fun.
Our team of 8 included folk living with dementia, family, volunteers and staff and was a really good mix of age and experiences. We were excellent at the ‘chocolate’ round, did pretty good at geography, television, sport and random Monopoly questions as well. Our final score brought us in a very happy 2nd out of 10 teams. Much back patting and self congratulations all round!
But…..not only was this a successful and fun quiz night, it was also a great oppotunity to see the ethos of The Red Shed Project at work. Bringing people with dementia, their carers and families into the community, enjoying something together.
We were surprised and proud of new of our nomination for a Pride of Stevenage Award this month. We were nominated by St Vincents School who we have been such an enormous support to us since we started up last year.
Having a clear out of the photo file today and I came across one of the first pictures taken in the garden. I remember the day really well – it was July 2018 and I was measuring up to see how big the piece of land was. It’s great to see a more recent picture taken in just about the same spot. Not only has the garden changed but The Red Shed Project has also grown and blossomed. Taking lots of pictures to post on social media, use in our blog and fill a few good old fashioned photo albums has been a lovely way to record the story of the project for everyone involved.
We had an information stall at Stevenage Borough Councils Older Peoples Day event. There were lots of stalls there for local organisations, showcasing the services that are available in the area. We met lots of new people, gave out leaflets and pencilled in a couple of visits to our garden from other organisations. It felt really positive to be a part of the Older Peoples community and to be offering a service that is a bit different. Can’t wait to get gardening with lots of new people.
We were really pleased to welcome the Age Uk YOD group back to our garden. They noticed a difference – when they last visited there were no paths and the patio was still a stack of paving slabs!
After a stroll around the garden we got busy making some Autumn Leaf lanterns. It’s one of our favourite workshops and the results were stunning.
We are really proud to announce that we are launching our first set of workshops for Carers this August.
The workshops are funded by Stevenage Community Trust. The Trust was created in 1990 and is supported by local businesses and generous individuals to provide grants to local charities, community groups and families in crisis.
We will be using our grant to pilot a project of creative garden craft workshops for people who are caring for someone with Dementia at home. The idea behind these workshops has come from the carers we have worked with at The Red Shed Project, when you hear someone say that they feel like their ‘identity is disappearing’ you can’t help but want to do something.
These workshops will be running through the summer and we have connected with Carers in Herts, Open Art Box and some local craft enthusiasts to put together an interesting program of arts and crafts.
I feel sure I will be posting some amazing photographs of crafty creations very soon.
Today The Red Shed Project hosted a Cupcake Day event to raise funds for The Alzheimer’s Society. We invited our neighbours at St Josephs Church to come along as well as the families of our Garden Club members. The cake table was loaded and looked amazing, we raised £122.73 which is brilliant.
The costs of putting on this event were covered by our funding from Herts Community Foundation. It is part of our commitment to use our garden to show people in the community and the families of those effected by dementia, some of the positive achievements that can be made.
We also had the added bonus of seeing our Garden Club families exploring and enjoying our dementia garden. Cake and Daisies – now that’s what it’s all about!!