Hertfordshire Dementia Network

Today was the first meeting of the Hertfordshire Dementia Network. Su from The Red Shed Project, Anji and Christina from Open Artbox and Bridget from Moving Through Life have joined together to create the Hertfordshire Dementia Network. The Network is for micro enterprises who provide therapeutic services for people living with dementia and their carers. The group will provide support and an exchange point for ideas as well as a hub for cross referral and oppotunities to work together. We are so excited to be a part of this!

Cold Weather Creations

The Red Shed Project has run all through the winter, however cold and grey it has been. We have a wonderful activity shed that provides a great space for keeping warm and getting creative. We have learned all sorts of new craft techniques from Collage to Kokodamas we have been keeping busy. Living with dementia doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get on and learn new skills – these wonderful pieces are proof!

Pounds for Plants!

Thank you to Stevenage Rotary and Hampson Park Cafe for the generous donations you have made to the Project. We have used the funds to tidy up our entrance with some colourful plants to give a warm welcome. It was like a 90 minute make over! Well done to our speedy gardeners!

Working Together

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!

A Merry Christmas and what a year to celebrate!

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!

Solid foundations for 2020

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.

Quiztastic 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.

Pride Awards 2019

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.

Then and Now

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.



Older Peoples Day

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.