Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival
Well we couldn’t just talk about it could we, we had to go and experience it for ourselves – and we had the best time! The sun even came out for us – how fabulous was that!
From the moment we arrived, the vibe was really friendly and relaxed and everyone was so passionate and open about sharing their knowledge and love for all things garden. Toby and his team obviously did a brilliant job of bringing together people who loved to share!
There were so many highlights from the day, and I still have to go through the brochure so I can do further research on the exhibitors as there were so many of them, but let’s just touch on a couple for them now.
Dawlish Gardens Trust
I was drawn to the first stand by all the wonderful wood carvings of bee houses and bird boxes – I got chatting to the lady at the stand and she told me that these had been made by people with learning disabilities as well as sensory and hidden impairments and the charity that supports all this activity is called Dawlish Gardens Trust – with the brilliant tag lines of “Growing Abilities” Based, not surprisingly in Dawlish, individuals can participate in a range of experience in a safe and supervised environment, and these include horticulture, woodwork, catering, conservation, music, art and craft, garden machinery maintenance and site maintenance projects.
The Garden House
As relative newcomers to the area, and not having been here in the Spring, I was particularly interested to be given a leaflet on the The Garden House which has been named as one of the finest gardens in Britain, as Toby himself says “ The Garden House is a plant spotter’s paradise” so I’d say that one for our growing list of things to do – it’s situated in a peaceful valley on the edge of Dartmoor and you can find out more at http://www.thegardenhouse.org.uk.
People and Gardens CIC
Now one of the things we really love to do on the show is celebrate successes – quite often during our research we come across brilliant people and we talk about them on the show before they subsequently get discovered by a wider media. Doing this show we have met and become friends with some truly wonderful people and two of them were celebrated this week on prime time TV on BBC1 – that was Ken and Lorraine Radford and their project People and Gardens.
“People and Gardens was set up to enable people with learning disabilities or emotional impairments to be able to develop as individuals, to learn work and social skills and to have equality of choice and opportunity in the workplace.”
We met Ken and Lorraine on our first trip to the SouthWest back in 2014 and we’ve been following and supporting them ever since, so it was so fantastic to see them featured on Songs of Praise. Now it’s been years since I’ve seen Songs of Praise but I must admit I did find the whole programme very uplifting. The first feature was on the incredible work of the Cornwall Air Ambulance who were celebrating 30 years and they told a wonderful story of turning a difficult situation into a massive positive. Then Ken and the team at People and Gardens came on – we saw everyone at work at Watering Lane and they all looked so happy – these are individuals who are overcoming a whole host of challenges, but through the power of gardening and the massively supportive environment Ken and Lorraine provide, they flourish. Based down the road near St Austell Cornwall, please do give them your support. We are all aware of the social care crisis across the country, People and Gardens are a positive example of what works and we need to give our support to make sure that by helping others, Ken and Lorraine don’t have to struggle and suffer themselves –
Here’s a brilliant quote from one of the people who benefits from the work at People and Gardens
“I like the tranquillity, the peaceful environment and the friendliness of everybody. It helps me forget my problems which are always there when I get home.”
THINGS TO PONDER ABOUT
Taking responsibility for one’s health
Why is it that so many people are happy to outsource their health and wellbeing to others? I’ll tell you a little story which is perhaps typical of a lot of people.
Debbie and I were on a train travelling from Surrey into London two or three years ago, and sitting opposite us were a young couple in their late teens or early twenties. They were talking about illnesses and health. The young lady explained to her boyfriend in no uncertain terms how she always goes to her doctor at the slightest sign of any malady, for example a cough or a sore throat and how she always expects to be prescribed a drug to treat whatever is afflicting her.
This is consistent with stories of people who go to their doctors routinely for any type of ailment and expect to be prescribed a medicine. In fact, some doctors report that they are under so much pressure to see as many patients as possible that the only way to achieve this is to write prescriptions and refer patients to specialists just to move them on, when in fact all they probably need is some advice and guidance which actually takes time which neither the patient or the doctor has!
Great Place Scheme Launch at the Paignton Picture House
Now one of the great things about working in local community radio is that there are opportunities to be invited to launches of new events. I jumped at the chance to go along to the Great Place Scheme Launch at the Paignton Picture House last Tuesday – and I am so glad I did. It was such an informative event.
In a nutshell, Torbay is one of only 16 places in the UK which has been granted funding for an expansive cultural programme here in the Bay, and we are 1 of 2 seaside locations that were granted the money, along with Lowestoft in Suffolk – so this is really special. It’s thank to the nice people at the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council – and interestingly enough I found myself sitting next to a lovely lady from the Heritage Lottery Fund. So as one of two locations, all eyes are going to be on us to deliver lots of brilliant cultural activities.
What was recognised by the funders was what a stunning array of natural assets we have here in the Bay – and I must admit I totally agree and as many of us recognise there are so many wellbeing benefits of being near the sea.
The Doobie Brothers – Long Train Running
Ward Thomas – Material
Bobby Womack – Inherit the Wind
Mary Hall & Michaela Jay – Autumn Truth
Rufus Thomas – Walking The Dog
Gaby Moreno – Quizas, Quizas, Quizas
Roberta De Francia – Free Mind
The Theme From Poirot
Playing For Change – To Your Roots
Virgin Soldiers – Vera’s Dream
The Ragamuffins – Taped Off The Radio
Jess & Jinx Jones – Walking In Your Shoes