Harvest Festival

Regular readers will know how much we enjoy helping out at St Ann’s allotments. We keep learning lots of new skills and love using the produce in our cooking too. Even though the growing season is coming to an end, there are still plenty of jobs to be doing and of course there are still lots of crops to be harvested (pumpkins and squash for Halloween!) The recent sunny and hot weather has been challenging for some of the plants, but luckily, giving them a drink with the hosepipe remains everyone’s favourite job!

Green Fingered Gardeners

St. Ann’s allotments in Nottingham are the oldest in Britain and we feel very privileged to be working alongside the St. Ann’s Allotment Association (STAA) in this beautiful setting. We helped STAA celebrate National Allotments Week (9-15 August 2021) by helping out with the weeding, watering, planting and smelling of flowers! Gardening of all kinds has been proven to improve mental health and lower stress levels, so as well as learning some valuable skills we always leave our session at the allotments feeling so much better.

30 Days Wild

June is a fantastic month to be out and about in nature and the Wildlife Trusts definitely agree! The 30 Days Wild initiative is a challenge to do one wild thing a day throughout the month of June (get your pack here) As they say, that’s 30 simple, fun and exciting Random Acts of Wildness. The challenge has been accepted by us here at Space Inclusive as you can see. We’ve done walks, litter picks and even made some cosy bug houses. Look out for more wild going’s on from us and why not sign up for a pack for yourself, your family or your group? When you sign up, you’ll get a free pack of goodies to help you plan your wild month, plus lots of ideas to inspire you to stay wild all throughout June (and beyond!)

Amazing Faces

Our friends at Vision Community have been providing us with some excellent creative tuition and support once again. Since the lockdown restrictions eased in May we have been taking advantage of their adult learning programme and trying our hand at portraiture. As you can see it’s going extremely well! On display above are some oil pastel self portraits drawn by clients at our Radford Boulevard site.

A Splash of Colour

Our clients have created beautiful artwork of peacocks during a sensory activity using a wide range of materials including paint and collage, which really brought the pictures to life. Everyone worked as independently as possible, developing decision making, fine motor and hand/eye coordination skills. Each person mixed the colours that they wanted for their artwork and we all worked together to look for textured decorations to match the colours used on the peacock’s plumage. The peacocks are now displayed in the art room at Pelham Road for everyone to see, creating an uplifting atmosphere which our clients described as being ‘bright’ and ‘colourful’.

The World of Work

James White, Manager at our Radford Boulevard Site, has designed and developed an employability training course and workbook that will be delivered in-house across our centres directly to our clients. The workbook has the aim of providing our participants with valuable transferable skills that could be used in all walks of life, but particularly employment. 

The project is for our clients to be introduced to the world of employability and to gain the required expertise to achieve this. Most importantly we want people to become more self-aware and confident whilst working with others throughout this project so that these life skills can be put into place anywhere.  This will be done through a range of activities and a workbook that have been is split into six topics: Teamwork, Self-confidence and motivation, Self-awareness, Health and Safety in the workplace, Skills for employment and preparing for work.  The participants will focus heavily on key skills such as CV writing, preparing for interviews and how you should present yourself in a work environment.

In the past, Space Inclusive have worked with a range of external organisations to deliver employability sessions for our clients, but due to the current unprecedented times we are living in several of our previous courses were postponed. This encouraged James to work on his ideas and not let the pandemic stop our young adults getting the opportunities they deserve.

James states that: “The outcome for each client might be different, for some it will be about working towards some kind of work or voluntary placement whilst for others there could be more of a focus on self-awareness and confidence building.”

This is a fantastic programme for our clients to engage with and many have gained skills they may have previously struggled with. Our hope is that in the future we can organise visits to different businesses so that this training can be put into practice.

Spread a Little Love

Spread a little love! With Valentine’s Day looming and hearing the clients make this a topic for discussion on numerous occasions, I decided to plan an activity where they could “spread their love”.We took old jigsaws and recycled the pieces to create alternative masterpieces to take home to share with their families and loved ones. The group’s enthusiasm for the activity was overwhelming, they worked with great determination and independence over the 4 weeks and all seemed very pleased with their end products.

Simple Snacks

Food has always been close to our hearts. We love it! Our colleagues and friends at Mansfield Woodhouse have started 2021 with a commitment to developing kitchen skills and are beginning with learning how to prepare (and eat) simple and healthy snacks. A few weeks in and toasties and wraps have proven to be popular and the standard has been very good indeed. We shall watch this space with interest and see what else is coming out of the kitchen…

Deck the Halls

As we head into December, a group will be continuing their voluntary work with ‘The Friends of Wollaton Park’.  They are helping out with the restoration of the walled garden. They are carrying out various tasks such as clearing brambles, removing ivy, brick reclamation and much more! The end goal is to help bring the walled garden back to its former glory.

‘The Garden, built between 1783 and1788 had 12 foot high heated walls. They enclosed a 4 acre garden, which was used to grow a large variety of fruit and vegetables for the Middleton family and their staff. Next to it was the 75 foot long, Large Conservatory, and in front of that was an Herbaceous Garden, where the flowers for the Hall were grown. After the sale of the Hall and Park in 1924 the Walled Garden continued to be used by the Parks Department for growing plants for their flower beds around the City. In 1991 this process was moved to Woodthorpe and the Walled Garden was abandoned. Since then vegetation and vandals have taken their toll.

Find our more at http://www.spanglefish.com/wollatonhistorical/index.asp?pageid=695094 or follow the work on Twitter @FOWP_ and @wollatonhall