Gardening Through the Generations
A gardening initiative which brought together young people and older people who have been bereaved was visited in July week by Alderman Alan Leslie at the Quarries Farm in Bangor.
Over three days, the participants attended workshops focusing on horticultural knowledge, self-motivation, contributing and being involved in a group environment and fun.
The workshops were funded by Linking Generations NI. They are part of ‘Beyond Words’, a partnership project between Cruse Bereavement Care and the Stroke Association. Beyond Words is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Reaching Out: Connecting Older People’ programme. The project was delivered in partnership with Growing Connections in Bangor.
Paul Finnegan, Beyond Words Project Manager said; “Being connected with nature helps people accept the inescapable cycle of life and death and these workshops have been developed to help participants plan for the future in relation to growing something. It is a pleasure to see young people and older people enjoying each other’s company, sharing stories and finding connections. The Intergenerational gardening concept is a win-win activity for everyone! The young people learned how to grow their own food and flowers — a lifelong gift they can use to improve their quality of life at home and in the community. They also glean wisdom from and nurture a relationship with an older adult. The young gardening buddy was encouraged through the workshops to nurture the older gardener's creativity or sense of adventure by suggesting new ideas or asking to try unusual plants.”
Alderman Alan Leslie who attended the final day celebrations, said "I am pleased to support this gardening initiative which will greatly benefit bereaved people. This initiative aims to provide comfort to those directly affected by grief, by helping them to channel their energy into gardening. The scheme will also offer many long-term benefits to participants as the skills that they learn will continue to enhance their lives. I would like to commend Cruse Bereavement Care and Stroke Association on the valuable work they do by helping people when they need it most."
Susanne Montgomery from Growing Connections said “It gives us enormous pleasure to see the benefits derived by people who take part in our workshops and experience our ideology in practice, working together to promote health and wellbeing through Growing Connections.“
Georgia, a participant in the workshops stated; “I am really enjoying meeting people and working with older people in discovering how different plants and flowers grow. It’s been great fun too!”
NEW FRIENDSHIP GROUP
Following on from the intergenerational project, the older members decided that it would be a really good idea to start a friendship group for bereaved people around 50 years or older. If you are interested in taking part, find out more by contacting Gail at our Cruse North Down & Ards office on 02891 272444, or Paul at Cruse Regional office on 02890 792419