We were very fortunate to be awarded some funding from the Big Lottery which was to deliver a reminiscence project throughout 2020. Three days after the funding arrived in our bank the country went into National Lockdown and we were unsure about how we would deliver this project. Thanks to the flexibility of the Big Lottery we were able to switch it to a remote project and put together our first batch of activity packs. These were delivered to care homes and individuals across Lancashire.
They proved so popular that we were successful in securing additional funding, and rather than the original 120 people we were hoping to support with this project, we were able to reach over 500 people throughout Lancashire. In addition, we were able to develop the project further and distribute what became known as our Big Red Buckets. These contained a selection of adapted gardening tools that made it possible for people with physical limitations to continue to garden, along with some seeds, bulbs and a leaflet that we had created with tips on gardening while living with dementia and other challenges that may impact upon your confidence to get out in the garden.
When the time is right we hope to put together an exhibition that we can take around to care homes, dementia groups and even schools, to share the stories of local people gardening throughout recent history.
I'll Bee Back
Longridge is our home town, and we are committed to embedding ourselves as part of the fabric of our local community. We ran some workshops over the summer of 2019 at The Palace Cinema, one of the oldest independently owned cinemas in the country. We had much planned alongside them as part of our I'll Bee Back project for 2020 but naturally the impact of Lockdown made that unrealistic. We are looking forward to be working with the ever enthusiastic team there as soon as restrictions allow.
In the meantime we adapted our project and were able to deliver troughs and bulbs to residents to create bee friendly pockets in their own gardens all around the town. It has been so lovely to include people who may have struggled to attend the originally planned workshops, and to see the pictures of families enjoying some much needed distraction through challenging times. We are definitely planning to develop this work further in 2021.
Growing in Gannow
This is a project that we started in autumn 2019, and was funded by Gannow Big Local. We worked alongside a group of residents who are keen to get a community garden up and running in their neighbourhood. We were able to run a few workshops on bulb planting and seasonal container planting, as well as how to make up Christmas decorations using natural materials before Lockdown came in early 2020. The second half of the project was delayed and delivered in a very different style. However, the residents rallied round and created hanging baskets and planted up troughs that are now making their neighbourhood look even brighter than before.
Borage and Brews
This was the first project that we started in 2019, and was funded by the National Lottery and the Central Lancashire Operational Group. It involved taking a range of nature based activities into
- Dementia Cafes
- Dementia Activity and Social Groups, including Young Onset groups
- Care Homes
- Day Centres
It was a 12 month project that had us planting up strawberries, tomatoes, herbs, summer bedding, bee friendly plants and copious amounts of spring bulbs. We also made Christmas flower arrangements and decorated our own bird feeders using recycled plastic bottles. At the end of each session, everyone had their photo taken with what they had created and it was printed for them there and then to take home and act as both a memory prompt and as a way to share their day with their friends and family. This has proven to be so popular and will be part of all our projects going forward.
The feedback from this project was gathered after each session by asking folk to write no more than a sentence on a cardboard leaf and stick it to our cardboard tree. This proved to be such an effective way to gather people's thoughts without putting too much pressure on them.
Although the funding for this project ended in December 2019, we are already planning to reintroduce the workshops once the current lock down restrictions are lifted.