Back in the summer, you may remember, three of my photographs were shortlisted in the Age Action Alliance ‘All About Ageing’ Photography Competition. A couple of weeks later, at the award ceremony and exhibition, I was thrilled to find out that two out of the three pictures won prizes. Part of my prize was £100 that I could donate to a local community project. It seemed fitting to direct the money towards a project that involves older people and physical activity and initially I’d hoped to support a new walking group. For one reason and another, that wasn’t to be and I’d been on the lookout for another local, ‘active ageing’ initiative ever since.
Serendipity, it seems, took over at this point, because just as I was formulating my new gardeners and growers project (with the help of the lovely Welsh writer, columnist and media personality Lynne Allbutt) and being struck by Prof Desmond O’Neill’s blog and it’s “plea for interpreting ‘activity’ in its broadest possible sense” (which I wrote about here), I discovered a fantastic, local, award-winning social enterprise.
Growing Support use social and therapeutic horticulture to engage older people, including people with dementia, with activities that are meaningful for them. Research shows that this approach can improve the health and quality of life of everyone involved.
So I am delighted to report, that my £100 prize will be gifted to Growing Support to pay for a ‘refresher’ activity session in one of the homes where they already support residents to grow their own food. They will be doing a programme of work with several homes in the Spring to get them ready for the growing season, but don’t have funding to do a hands-on activity session with every home, so this money will enable them to do one more. I’m hoping to be able to visit and photograph one of these sessions in the Spring.
So thanks to Age Action Alliance for making this gift possible, and thanks, dear friends, to you too for all your encouragement and support.
Heartfelt Christmas wishes to everyone. May 2015 be a year of joy for all of us.