Launching our first workshops for Carers

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Day – A Sunny Success

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!!

An Anniversary………

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
Ta Dah!
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

Dementia Friends

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.

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Easter Eggs and Bunnies and Tulips!

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.

 

Our new Garden Club is growing well

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 info.theredshed@gmail.com.

Donations and Funding

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!

Our Garden Appeal Success

 

Today was the last day of our crowd funding on Local Giving.  Our Garden Appeal was to raise money to build and equip our site at St Vincents School.   We are really pleased to have raised 93% of the funds we need, that’s a massive £7183.75.   We have already begun to transform an abandoned corner of a school field into a garden that will be home to our Garden Club and provide a great space for workshops and social events for people with dementia, carers and families.

We have been shopping as we go and have now have a site clear of brambles and saplings…..and ‘stuff’.  We have a  Tool Shed – painted red of course – as well as an amazing Activity Shed that will enable us to work whatever the weather and will be a real hub for our gardeners.  We have also purchased the wood for raised beds to make our garden accessible to all.  It’s really only left to start buying the tools and equipment, from tables and chairs to seed trays.  We have had donations from all sorts of people and organisations such as Stevenage Rotary.  We have also received funding from HCF for a regular garden club which we are piloting from Monday 2 March to run for the rest of the year.

All this is of course perfect timing as Spring is most definitely in the air.

The Shed arrives!

We have come a long way since June. We have been making some really good links with other locally based organisations who support those with dementia and we have been delivering workshops around the county. However, we still need to develope our own space. This is going to need funds, time and muscle!
We have set up a Local Giving account which means we can collect donations on line – check our the Donation button on our Home Page. Gift Aid can also be added where applicable which means extra funding from HMRC.
That’s another box ticked from our to do list, but today’s real celebration was the arrival of our tool shed – painted red of course!
Perhaps because it is a tangible start to our own garden, perhaps it is because we can clear all the bits and bobs gathering in our own homes and store them on site or perhaps, it’s because we just love a good shed! Whatever the reason, this little achievement feels like the best one so far.

Wonderful Wreaths

This afternoon we led a workshop making Christmas Wreaths with Hertswise in Letchworth.  We had a great time and made some glorious decorations, some wreaths and some table pieces. We had worried that we wouldn’t have enough greenery for the group but there was a mountain of lush leaves – all sorts of shapes, sizes and shades of green.  The room smelled fabulous, especially with the sprigs of herbs and the fir tree twigs.  Now we’ve all got a bit of the Christmas spirit!

This is a great workshop to run.  It is very sensory and a lovely way to engage with the outdoors while keeping warm on a winter afternoon.  It is also adaptable for any level of skill and even those that had never done anything like this before made something beautiful.  The table pieces are good for those who are not so dextrose with the oasis making it really easy to create stunning displays that will last for the Christmas period and more.

At the end of the afternoon we all had something to take home and show off to family and friends – perfect!