Member Eric has been busy painting during lockdown, and his paintings are now framed and ready to hang on the wall. The quality and artistry of the paintings are clear to see, so well done Eric!
At the start of the lockdown, all our regular had to shut down, although regular contact was kept between our members and volunteers. As restrictions eased a little, it was possible to tentatively recommence a few of our activities such as gardening at the allotment. Sophie also organised a series of picnics at the Rectory of a period of several days with just six members at a time being able to take part. This has been a tremendous success, in spite of the somewhat temperamental weather we have experienced towards the end of this summer. Fortunately, the large wooden shelter in the Rectory garden helped us keep out of the rain and wind, and the pleasure of being able to meet up with a few friends for a chat overrode any disappointment in the weather. A huge thank you to Sophie for organising these picnics. Unfortunately, restrictions have just been reintroduced, so once again, we will have to be very careful on how we organise our activities.
As the Coronavirus lock-down gradually eases, we dared to venture back to the allotment to harvest some of the crops that had survived the temperamental weather experienced during this year's growing season. We picked sufficient produce for each member to take away a bag containing new potatoes, runner beans, sweet corn, apples and courgettes, so the season wasn't a total disaster. Fortunately, we picked a sunny day for the visit, and as this was the first time we had been together since March, we really enjoyed being together once again. Soon, it will be time to prepare the allotment for next year's season!
What a pity the Garden Group is unable to meet during the lockdown. Progress has been made at the allotment, although with mixed fortunes. The sharp frost at the beginning of May destroyed the tender young courgette plants and killed off about half the runner beans. Fortunately, spares were growing in the potting shed, and the damaged seedlings quickly replaced. Then came the drought! Carrots and beetroot failed to germinate (in spite of copious amounts of evening watering), and those plants that had germinated struggled to establish themselves. Things are looking better now with the recent rain. The potatoes are now flowering, the runner beans half way up the poles, the broad beans are setting with pods forming, the leeks are planted, and any amount of lettuce flourishing. If any of the the Garden Group would like a lettuce (or two), please let me know and I will try and get them to you.
Christine, one of our members, seems to have adjusted well to life under lockdown! If anyone else has pictures of their activities, please let Sophie have a copy. Please see gallery for more pictures of Christine.
We are now into April, and the allotment is ready for the new season. The beds are dug over and manured, the strawberry bed planted out, 2nd early potatoes planted. The 1st sowing of peas, carrots, beetroot and parsnips are complete, and seedlings of sweetcorn, leeks and broad beans are coming along in pots and will be planted out in the next week or so. The herb bed we planted last year is flourishing with thyme, parsley, sage, sorrel and chives coming along nicely, and the rhubarb is sprouting nicely. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has meant that as a group, we are unable to meet up for the foreseeable future, so I will have to keep the allotment in work by myself. It's just as well I have time on my hands as a result of the lockdown! With a bit of luck (and some rain), I hope to be able to distribute some produce around the group come harvest time.
The gardening group met last week at the Lutterworth College workshops for our first morning session of the new season. The project for the day was to build garden bird feeders, and the wordwork instructors, Lewis and Roy, had prepared for us kits of parts ready for assembly. We spent a most enjoyable (and successful) morning assembling the kits and managed to complete 17 bird feeders before the end of the session. All our members will take one feeder home for their own garden, and the remainder will be sold at the Christmas fair to raise funds. Our grateful thanks to Lewis and Roy for all their hard work in preparation, and their good humoured supervision while we amateurs put together their design.
Since 2018, Gazeley and Lutterworth’s Magna Park staff have organised several charity fundraising events for their designated national charity, Dementia UK. These activities, which have included a golf day and two cycle rides, have raised a total of £16,000. Dementia UK, in conjunction with Gazeley and Magna Park, the Lutterworth-based Academy for Dementia Research and Education (ADRE), and the Lutterworth Share and Care Group, have agreed to use these funds to ‘pilot’ Admiral Nurse Clinics over the next two years. While every case will be considered on an individual basis, priority will be given to people living with dementia and their carers from Lutterworth and the surrounding villages. Admiral Nurses provide the specialist dementia support that families need. When things get challenging or difficult, they work alongside families affected by dementia, giving them the compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions, to help them face dementia with more confidence and less fear. Initially, the clinics will be held on the 3rd Monday of each month at the Lutterworth Wycliffe Medical Practice, until a specialist Community Centre is opened in the town later this year. Dr. Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO of Dementia UK, seen in the picture [...]
Alberta Aboagye, a second year Occupational Therapy student studying at the University of Northampton, has spent several months with us on a work placement as part of her course. Shadowing Sophie, our coordinator, Alberta has had the opportunity to witness and join in with the full spectrum of Lutterworth Share and Care's varied programme over the last few months. She quickly settled into her role with us and has certainly set the standard for future student placements! Her placement is now finished, and we have to say goodbye. Good luck Alberta with your remaining studies.
The Lutterworth & District Tractor and Machinery Club found they had some surplus cash in their account, and after a brief discussion, voted to donate this money to us. The pictures shows Peter Lawrence of the Tractor and Machinery Club presenting a cheque to Jackie Parkes, Chairman and founder of the Lutterworth Share & Care Group at the club's Christmas dinner. This is the second donation the club has made to Lutterworth Share & Care, and we are immensely grateful for their support.