In May 2022 the Garden hosted its second Greenfolk Festival and members of Shipley Eco Action Group and volunteers were interviewed for a feature in the GreenSPring Project about green social prescribing. Hear from those involved about how and why the Garden came to be and how the space is used for green social prescribing. The weather couldn’t have been better for filming and we had a fantastic event that day. It is hard to believe only 2.5 years before this was filmed, the area was just a field and now it is a beautiful productive space, bringing the community together.
We held our first Wassail at the Community Garden in January 2023. A Wassail has its roots in pagan rituals, we blessed the trees in the food forest for a good harvest. The wonderful ceremony involved welcoming the good spirits and scaring away the not-so-good spirits to keep the trees in good health throughout the year and produce a good harvest.
Everyone embraced the traditions and made plenty of noise, banging pots and pans to scare away the not so good spirits. Wassailers sang and soaked stale toast in apple cider to hang from the dormant trees, which is considered to be a way of attracting the friendly spirits! The atmosphere was very special with our very own Graham Kearton leading the procession through the garden, lit up by lanterns, beautifully made by volunteers.
Shedquarters provided a cosy and welcome shelter from the rain where Wassail outfits and headdresses could really be appreciated and Wassailers enjoyed a Morris Dance demonstration. Volunteers had supplied homemade cakes and biscuits, mulled cider and apple juice, which all went down very well!
Thank you to all those that came out in the rain to bless the trees and be merry together.
One thing is for sure, Wassailing will now be an annual event!
In 2021 SEAG volunteers came together and made up hampers that were delivered to local care homes. This year volunteers put together an amazing 60 plus hampers, which were distributed to residents in the most need in Cotmanhay and Ilkeston by the young people from The Pod, Action4Cotmanhay and East Midlands Housing.
Over a number of weeks volunteers collected boxes, gift bags and materials to decorate the hampers, made crafts and preserves and donated items. Our fabulous friends at Warburtons and Co-op also donated food items to the hampers.
Donations of items that can be used for Christmas hampers in 2023 are always welcome. Some great items include:
We recently realised a vision we have had for some time and held our first Wellness event at the Community Garden. Volunteers led a small group in Yoga, QiGong, Ecstatic Dance, Meditation and Mindfulness practices. Guests also enjoyed Reiki treatments and massage with the beautiful Weleda products.
Thanks to volunteers, handmade Tipis were put up around the garden for treatments and areas for quiet contemplation. Blankets, throws, cushions and books were placed around the garden and added to the relaxed vibe of the day.
The group were treated to a delicious homemade plant based lunch made by volunteers Lynsey, Christina and Kay using some of the produce from the garden.
Our first Wellness event couldn’t have gone any better and the feedback was fantastic. Just some include:
Just to say thank you for a wonderful day. I enjoyed every minute. Great relaxing sessions, delicious food and lovely company. No room for any improvement!
I wasn’t sure what to expect on booking but certainly wasn’t disappointed. I found the whole day relaxing, informative and had lots of ideas to take away and use for myself. Journaling – a good reminder on benefits and nicely laid out booklet that I plan to use. Relax/yoga – lovely intro to the day. I had reiki and massage, both of which were a lovely addition to the day and relaxing. Lunch – what an amazing spread! Delicious. Qigong – fab intro to it. Would have liked to do more. Meditation – lovely end to the day, I’m sure I heard some snoring! The group size was comfortable and everyone was lovely. Thanks for letting me know about it, it felt that a lot of thought and planning had gone into the day.
We are already planning more Wellness events for 2023 and will share information once details are finalised.
Yes we know a Dog Show is not the first event you think of taking place in a Community Garden but when you have neighbours so passionate about dogs and whose own dogs considered the field their home long before it was a Community Garden, who are we to say no!
The Garden’s neighbours Gill and Kev Whitehead are passionate dog lovers and Gill gives up her spare time to volunteer for Yappy Ever After, helping find suitable homes for dogs and raising funds for the Charity.
So it was only fair when Gill asked the SEAG Committee if she could host a Dog Show to raise funds for Yappy and the Community Garden that we got fully behind her. And so the planning commenced.
All Gill’s hard work and planning paid off as the day was a huge success. We had over 400 people through the gates and that doesn’t include dogs! There was music, refreshments, cakes, stall holders, natural play area for the children, including a vintage fire engine to climb aboard! The weather held although the strong winds just before the first dogs entered the ring, meant it was all hands on deck to get all the gazebos down before they took off in the wind!
Local businesses were extremely generous in donating prizes for the Tombola and once again we thank our friends at Warburtons, Co-Op and Derby Lodge Tea Rooms for donating refreshments and cakes and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust for the donated burgers.
Over £2000 was raised on the day between Yappy and the Garden. SEAG felt honoured to be supporting such a wonderful cause and found the dedication of the people behind this amazing Charity inspiring. We met so many of the dogs that thanks to Yappy are in loving homes, living their best lives. It therefore comes as no surprise that the SEAG Committee didn’t hesitate to donate an additional £300 to Yappy.
We hope you enjoy these pictures from the day and we are already looking forward to this event next year!
On the 16th April, the Community Garden hosted a free family day including an Easter Egg hunt and craft activities for children. The weather couldn’t have been any better and it was a fantastic turnout. Volunteers had just as much as fun especially our Jude dressed up in the Bunny outfit – we love you Jude! Our thanks to Sainsburys and Warburtons for donations of garden pots and tea cakes for this event.
On the 5th March 2022 the Community Garden held our first Wildlife Family Fun Day. It was bitterly cold but that didn’t stop our hardiest of volunteers and visitors from braving the elements. It was an activity and educational day with children making creature houses, pine cone bird feeders, seed bombs, origami butterflies and more activities with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. Shedquarters had a lot of traffic thanks to the expertise of our volunteer Bob Deavin explaining and demonstrating all the pondlife identified in our wildlife pond and moths from the moth trap evening the night before.
We had some fantastic educational resources including stands from the Mid Derbyshire Badger Group and Russell’s Prickly Hedgehog Rescue raising awareness of and funds for their fantastic Charities.
We are once again very grateful to the Co-Op and Warburtons for their support with this event.
The UPS Foundation’s philanthropic approach centers on four focus areas: health & humanitarian relief, equity and economic empowerment, local engagement and planet protection. Owing to the volunteer hours put in at the Community Garden by Matthew Gayle, UPS employee as well as some of his colleagues and the Garden’s mission, we have received a significant grant from The UPS Foundation.
The monies will mean we can complete the next phase of the ‘Shedquarters’ build by insulating and cladding the interior and adding solar panels and/or a wind turbine to generate power. This will mean we can use the space all year round as an educational and community space.
We envisage hosting workshops, demonstrations and talks on a wide range of topics. It will also be our sales area for the quality crafts made by the volunteers, hold our smalll Honesty Library plus so much more.
Plans are already underway for this next phase and we can’t wait to get going!