Digging for Dementia

Growing with people with dementia

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Hi, everyone!


Apologies for the lack of recent updates. Things have been plodding along nicely at Digging for Dementia HQ; I’m still searching for another plot of land, after the original plot was lost, and I’m hoping to be able to report some developments on that front soon! The project has taken some very exciting steps in the right direction in recent weeks, so I thought I’d share what’s been happening.


The project seems to be migrating naturally towards the Trafford/South Manchester area; quite a few of the recent events surrounding Digging for Dementia have led the project quite serendipitously in that direction! As I mentioned in my last update, I’ve been invited to speak about the project at one of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Cafe sessions, which will be held in Trafford in July, and will provide a great opportunity to spread the word about the project in that area, and learn more about what people living with dementia would like to gain from Digging for Dementia.


There is also a very strong possibility that I’ll be working with a Trafford/South Manchester-based environmental organisation to deliver the Digging for Dementia sessions, as they’ve offered to recruit me on a voluntary basis and help me use their extensive resources to find a plot of land in South Manchester. I’ll continue to report on that development as often as possible, but I’m incredibly excited about it! The organisation in question is one of my favourites; they have a fantastic community-driven, local-level approach to environmental and sustainability initiatives, and after seeing some of their projects in action, I think they’d be a brilliant fit for Digging for Dementia.


Digging for Dementia has also been offered a stall at two events held by the Trafford-based animal rescue charity, the Society for Abandoned Animals. I’m really thrilled to be taking part in two of the charity’s events; they do absolutely incredible work caring for and re-homing abandoned animals in Manchester, and I’m very grateful to them for offering me a platform to spread the word about Digging for Dementia. I have some very exciting plans for the stall, and I think it’ll be a great way to raise awareness (and hopefully a few pennies!) for Digging for Dementia, and chat to people in the local area about the project. Please take a moment to visit the Society for Abandoned Animals website, and follow them on Twitter, to learn more about their wonderful work. And if you’re based in Manchester, have a gander at their events and volunteering pages, and see how you can support the SAA. Thank you!


Finally, I’d like to give a special thank-you to my lovely workmates, who started a collection pot for Digging for Dementia in our office and have raised £13.29 just from putting their spare change into the jar. The money raised from the collection will be used to pay for new leaflets for the Society for Abandoned Animals events, as the leaflets I previously purchased have the details of the original Digging for Dementia land, and are therefore out of date. D’oh! I really am endlessly grateful to everyone who’s supported Digging for Dementia so far, whether by offering land, or a platform from which to promote the project, or by taking part in fundraising events, or by simply spreading the word online and through Twitter. I could never have anticipated that the project would develop as quickly as it has, and it’s largely due to the support and hard work of everyone who’s pitched in to help launch Digging for Dementia. I’m so excited to find a new plot of land and show you all that your support has achieved!



Let them eat cake!

It’s been a tremendously busy week at Digging for Dementia HQ! As I recently announced, the launch of the project has been postponed as the land that was offered to the project is no longer available to us, but Digging for Dementia is still going ahead, and I’m currently in talks with two different organisations regarding offers of land, so watch this space!


I completed my First Aid for Adults training course this week, which has prepared me nicely for any emergencies or gardening-related injuries that may occur during the project. You can never be too careful! My instructor was lovely, and took the time to provide some additional training related to injuries which might happen during the gardening sessions, in addition to health emergencies which might affect older people. I had a fantastic time on the course, and learnt a lot. I feel prepared to take the best possible care of the group when the practical sessions begin!


I’m also going to be delivering a presentation about the project at one of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Cafe sessions in a couple of months, and I can’t wait to visit the cafe and chat to the people who visit the sessions. Hopefully I’ll be able to find out more about what people would hope to gain from Digging for Dementia, and the experience will help me to develop the project further, and make more people aware of how the project could help them. Very exciting!


During my recent absence from work, a colleague of mine sold slices of home-made banoffee pie at work in order to raise money for the project, which was a wonderful surprise to come back to, and a lovely precursor to the events of yesterday…


The biggest news this week is that Digging for Dementia held its first fundraiser, which was a roaring success! My wonderful friend has a brand new baking business, Jam Jar Bakes, and offered to bake some cakes to sell in order to raise funds for the project. I held a bake sale at my workplace yesterday- Digging for Dementia is a project I run in my free time, not my day job- and the sale was a huge success, raising £50 for gardening equipment for the project! Everybody loved the cakes, so much so that many of them didn’t make it to the official lunchtime bake sale, having been devoured for breakfast by my workmates earlier in the day 🙂 And because everybody loves a nice cake photo, here are a few for your enjoyment:


The bake sale in action; many of the cakes had already been devoured by this point!


Just one of Jam Jar Bakes’ lovely creations, with garden-themed decorations made from icing!

Today I’ve been shopping for gardening equipment, using some of the proceeds from yesterday’s sale. Thanks to some savvy shopping, I managed to get this lovely lot for around £22!



This equipment, added to the few bits and bobs I’ve collected for the project already, means that we’re pretty much stocked up and ready to go! I’ve also ordered a large first aid kit, and a few extra bits to add to the kit, ready to be taken to the site when the Digging for Dementia sessions begin. I still have around £20 of the bake sale money left, which will be squirrelled away to be spent on seeds when the project has another start date. In the interests of accountability, I’ve added a list of the items I bought using the proceeds from the sale, which can be found in the Gallery section of the website. Yesterday’s bake sale has been so valuable to Digging for Dementia, and has really fuelled the project. None of it would have been possible without Jam Jar Bakes, so please show your thanks by checking out her website, following her on Twitter, and sending her huge cyber-hugs of gratitude!


I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s supported the project so far, whether by fundraising, spreading the word about the project throughout dementia care networks (the project is becoming quite famous!) or simply sending kind words of support via Twitter and Facebook. It’s quite overwhelming to know that Digging for Dementia has such an incredible amount of support, and I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who’s pitched in so far. Onwards and upwards!