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!!
A year ago today, two old friends met over a glass of wine. One was starting up a project providing garden therapy for people affected by dementia. The other was looking for ways to develop a piece of land at the school where she is the Business Manager
The Red Shed Project had a home and a brilliant space to build a garden. Thank you, St Vincent de Paul Primary School and all our funders and supporters. This year has been bloomin’ marvelous
This is Dementia Awareness week and to do our part The Red Shed Project hosted a Dementia Friends talk along with our good friends and neighbours – St Vincents Primary School. The talk was really interesting, with lots of insights into how it may feel to have Dementia. A better understanding of the effects of the disease helps us to help the people who have to live with it every day. Have a google of https://bit.ly/2VNaUtQ to find out more about Dementia Friends. After this evening we made 15 new Dementia Friends – a brilliant result from an enjoyable night.
Today we hosted a workshop for the local Young Onset Dementia Group. This group is run by Age UK and covers the whole of Hertfordshire. We had a lot of fun with an Easter Theme. Of course there was a bunny and of course we ate some chocolate eggs but best of all we made some amazing spring flower arrangements. The Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinths were vibrant colours and gorgeous scents.
We started with a quiz to identify a selection of herbs, seeds and and spices. This was great fun – the Nutmeg kept people guessing until they had the clue ‘Rice Pudding’!
We also had a sing a long – it’s amazing how many of the words you remember of even the old songs like Tulips from Amsterdam!
At The Red Shed Project garden we now have the facilities to host other groups and plan to invite more people to enjoy our wonderful space over the next few months.
Since the launch of The Garden Club on Monday 4th March, the group has been busy growing in numbers and growing plants. There are now 6 regular members meeting each week at our garden in Stevenage. The garden itself is still under construction but we have our wonderful activity shed that allows us to share tea and biscuits before we start. It has also provided a sheltered work space for those of us that feel the cold.
We have made a start creating the garden by planting up a flower boarder and a small fruit bed. We have also sown lots of seeds and are beginning to see all sorts of flowers and vegetable seedlings come through – these will be for our garden and for use in the workshops we run for other organisations.
We have space for 4 more members of this Monday Afternoon session. If you know anyone who may be interested in joining us, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the last few weeks we have received some unexpected donations and secured funding to set up a pilot project at our site in Stevenage.
We received cheques from Stevenage Rotary and a local metal detectorist group call 3CCDG. Both organisations invited us to meet with them and made a presentation. It was exciting to be talking about The Red Shed Project to new people and receive such a warm welcome and positive feedback to what we are doing. We were able to tell the groups that their donations would go towards the final stages of building our dementia garden, particularly the cost of making the surface – which is currently rough grass – suitable for use with wheelchairs and those with difficulties walking. This part of the garden construction is the ‘game changer’ and once it is in place our garden can be utilised in full and we can host other organisations for garden workshops as well as increase the numbers in our own groups.
Our Garden Club has also launched, funded through Hertfordshire Community Foundation. The funding enables us to run the Garden Club on a weekly basis through the year until December. The Club will grow and maintain the plants in our garden and provide a supply of materials for our offsite workshops as well as work on some projects with the children at St Vincents Primary School. We are planning some events to include the families of Garden Club members and have already started growing some salad and edible flowers to use when we cater for these events.
So there is going to be lots of exciting things to blog about soon and in the meantime a very big thank you to Stevenage Rotary, 3CCDG and HCF!