From the AGM we held a few weeks ago, the very talented Kurly created an impressive rap/poem summarising our work of the last year.
Home Grow -Edible Resilience for communities in Birmingham
Responding to the struggles that people have been facing due to Covid 19 and the lockdown, Spring to Life’s Mother gardens project received funding from The National Lottery and Heart of England Community Foundation, to support people to grow food and develop garden spaces at home as a way to aid positive mental well-being, stay active and connect with others.
Being a network, Mother gardens project is working with a number of organisations and food growing initiatives from around the city to deliver this scheme. These groups and their sites are Mother garden hubs which will offer households in their own localities advice, plants and seeds, and opportunities to connect with their community.
During the crisis of the last six months, we have seen a sharp increase in people’s interest in gardening and nature. With a large majority of people stuck at home, people have turned to their gardens as a space of comfort to help manage their well-being. We have also seen an emergence of a culture of solidarity with people in communities looking out for one another. The Mother gardens project aims to take advantage of these two new trends, through the ‘Home Grow’ scheme.
As part of this scheme we also aim to help people connect with other green spaces out in the community run by these local mother garden hubs. These connections between community groups and households then have the potential to last beyond the lockdown.
The best way to register/get involved is to get in touch with your local hub:
Ladywood & North Edgbaston- Eat Make Play
Handsworth, Birchfield, Perry Barr, Aston, Wilson Green, Wilton – Vegan Vybes Earth Gardens
Kings Heath – Highbury Orchard Community
Bournville, Stirchley – Kushinga Community Garden
Sparkhill – Springfield Allotment Earth School
Shard End – Shard End Community Project
Smethwick – Birmingham Community Solidarity
These three organisations are running separately funded home growing support projects, but are still part of the Mother gardens network:
Stirchley – Let’s Grow Together & Fruit and Nut Village
Northfield, Frankley – Allens Cross Community Garden
Firs & Bromford, Hodge Hill – Greener Cleaner Firs & Bromford
If you do not live in any of these areas and are interested, please get in touch directly. Check out contact details on flyer below.
We also wish to invite any keen gardener or other community gardening project to sign up as a mother garden and join this network, to share and receive resources and materials.
Mother gardens is a Spring to Life project developed in 2014 promoting mutual aid through the sharing of plants, seeds and resources. Click here to find out more about the wider project.
Get in touch to receive support to home grow or to be mother garden.
In with the Trees
This summer and through the autumn to winter 2020 we are providing ‘restorative’ sessions for 11 – 13 year olds following any trauma they may have experienced due to Covid and lock down.
In with the Trees is part of a wider programme funded and supported by Living Well UK (0121 663 1217), where each child is allocated a therapist who designs a bespoke programme with and for the young person. Options for sessions include Sports, Writing for Well-being and Nature Therapy.
In with the Trees are our Spring to Life sessions run as one off sessions aimed at young people who would like to explore nature and together we will find out what we can learn from trees!
Trees grow from tiny seeds, into saplings, into young trees and finally into huge strong structures. They survive out in all weathers, seasons and withstand many conditions.
By attending the ‘In with the Trees’ session we will help the young person to consider their own qualities, identities and strengths which all contribute towards restoration and recovery.
In with the Trees – A Nature Therapy Session
Trees stand up in all weathers ‘come rain or shine’. We will meet the young people at the entrances of Highbury Park, Kings Heath, or Deers Leap Wood, Edgbaston, and take them on an experiential journey around a nature area. Taking time to reflect and notice the environment and compare ourselves to the qualities trees have.
We will notice nature’s patterns, search for things, make nature art, start a personal journal, learn to breath and relax, share stories around a camp circle. The young person can join in with as much as they feel able to.
If you want to know more call Philippa Allenby on 07967 119 839.
In response to the limitations of the Covid pandemic and lockdown we have created videos for people to benefit at home from our well-being work.
In addition to these, we have been working with Living Well Consortium, adding to their online presence of therapy resources in their Therapy Room, which include a range of videos from different organisations teaching anything from anger management, virtual fitness and well-being, to dance movement therapy, as well as more Spring to Life videos. Check these out in the Daily Well-being practices section found here.
CAN (Community Anchoring Networks) has recently been launched as a way to connect vulnerable people needing support during the Covid 19 crisis, to community projects and other services. It is being funded by the Living Well Consortium (Living Well UK).
CAN as a model was initially being developed as Spring to Life’s social prescribing initiative, connecting people to activities, services and projects in the city. We are now adapting this to link people to services and initiatives emerging as Coronavirus response work.
We have always been struck by the wealth of projects happening in Birmingham aimed to support people’s well-being in a myriad of ways. Yet alongside this we have also seen the issue of many people not knowing what is available. As a well-being organisation working across the city and in different settings Spring to Life has links with GP and mental health services, and with many vulnerable groups themselves through our therapeutic programmes. We are also part of a wide network of groups offering different therapies, and activities. In this position we are now pleased to have received funding from the Living Well Consortium to carry out this connecting work.
The current crisis is presenting a host of issues for people, specific to the conditions of this historic time. Some of these include: difficulties accessing food, domestic violence, stress around reduced income and loss of job as well as accessing benefits, loneliness, and an increase in mental health problems. We are developing a directory listing services supporting people with these issues, while also making use of other directories and portals offered by other organisations. Information from this will be made available to our clients and to other professionals.
To find out more, and to self refer or refer others to the project please contact us on 07856277028, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please get in touch also if you have a project or group you wish to promote through our directory.
Spring to Life is soon launching two bereavement café’s in north Birmingham. We are providing welcoming spaces for people who have suffered losses of loved ones, to come and drop in for a chat, a coffee, as well as the chance to engage in creative therapeutic activities. They are relaxed and informal sessions, with a chance to socialise. Yet they are facilitated by trained and experienced therapists in case people need extra support.
We will be running one bereavement café in Great Barr (St Paul’s Church), funded by Perry Barr Neighbourhood Network Scheme. The other will be in Perry Common, near Erdington. This one is in partnership with Witton Lodge Community Association, and funded by Erdington Neighbourhood Network Scheme. See posters below for full details and locations