Digging for Dementia

Growing with people with dementia


New year, big news!

Hi, lovely Digging for Dementia supporters! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and that you’re all set for 2014. 2013 was historic for me as I launched Digging for Dementia from nothing but a little idea and whatever resources I could scrape together, and thanks to the support and encouragement of everyone who’s backed my little adventure, it’s growing into the thriving community project I always wanted it to be. It started small, and there were a couple of false starts along the way, but all things considered, Digging for Dementia started strong this year, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has to offer. Which brings me to my big announcement…


I’ve been communicating with Salford City Council for several months regarding the possibility of expanding Digging for Dementia to two further plots on a new community allotment site in Ordsall, and I’m thrilled to announce that once the site is completed in Spring 2014, I’ll be taking on two additional plots for Digging for Dementia! I’m absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to broaden the reach of Digging for Dementia, and the new location at the heart of the Ordsall community will provide a fantastic environment in which to facilitate better community inclusion for people with dementia. If luck is on my side, I will also have a considerable chunk of funding, which will enable me to provide new equipment, facilities and transport for the project. I’m still slightly in shock over the speed at which the project has grown, but I’m so excited about this opportunity! I’ll be recruiting participants and volunteers for the Ordsall site in early 2014, so watch this space!


Thank you again for all of your support and kindness throughout 2013 – I’m so proud of Digging for Dementia, and its success would not have been possible without all of you. I look forward to sharing more good news with you in 2014, when Digging for Dementia returns from its Winter break!

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It is with regret that I announce the cancellation of the Digging for Dementia Hallowe’en Harvest event, which was due to take place this Sunday, 27th October. This is due in part to the weather forecast for Sunday, which predicts heavy rain and strong winds all afternoon. However, the primary reason for the cancellation of the event is the lack of respondents. On the event poster, I asked attendees to contact me to inform me that they would be attending, but I have received no responses, and it seems a poor use of the money donated to Digging for Dementia in good faith to fund an event which nobody is planning to attend. With the exception of a possible Christmas event, Digging for Dementia will be taking a break over the Winter and will return in the Spring, potentially with two further sites located across Salford. Thank you for your continued support, and I hope to see more of you at next year’s sessions.

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EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Digging for Dementia’s Hallowe’en Harvest!

Hello, lovely Digging for Dementia supporters!


Apologies for the recent silence; as those of you who follow DFD on Twitter will be aware, the past few sessions have been cancelled due to illness. Thankfully, I’m feeling better now, and I’m ready to welcome Autumn with a Digging for Dementia spectacular!


Our veggies are almost ready to harvest, and I thought it would be fun to make an event out of it to celebrate our achievements in recent months. It’s also almost Hallowe’en, which is always a great time for a party! So on October 27th at 12pm, I’ll be holding Digging for Dementia’s Hallowe’en Harvest, and you are all invited to help the group to harvest our vegetables, and enjoy gruesome games, petrifying pumpkins, spooktacular sweets, terrifyingly tasty treats, and lots more! 


The event will be held on Sunday 27th October, from 12pm-3pm, at the Valley Community Gardens in Swinton. The event is open to people with dementia, their friends, relatives and carers, and anyone else who’d like to join in the fun! Further details and a gore-geous event poster to follow. Hope to see you there!



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Winter is Coming

Hello, lovely Digging for Dementia supporters!


The recent change in weather conditions has necessitated a swift re-evaluation of Digging for Dementia’s development over the next few months, and I wanted to share with all of you the decisions I’ve made regarding the group’s winter activities.


Several members of the group have informed me that they are struggling to attend every week now that the weather’s getting colder, which is understandable, particularly in the case of older people and those with illnesses. I’ve sadly been forced to cancel the past few DFD sessions due to a nasty chest infection, and I’m anxious not to subject any of the group to becoming poorly by continuing weekly sessions over winter.


I’ve therefore decided that from now until Spring, I will plan a small number of seasonal events, including a harvest festival to gather up the vegetables we’ve grown, a Hallowe’en-themed event, and a Christmas crafts session. I would have loved to plan an event for Bonfire Night, but I’ll be trekking my way across New Zealand by then, so sadly we shall have to miss out on fireworks. I will publicise each event as it approaches, and I hope that some of you will be able to attend. I’ll have plenty of hot drinks and treats on hand while we work, so we shouldn’t have to worry about the cold! I will recommence the weekly gardening sessions in the Spring, once we’ve all thawed out a bit and our little plot of land is ready for planting lots of veggies. I hope that you’ll all continue to support the project over Winter, and that I’ll have an equally wonderful group in the Springtime. Thank you for all of your support as always, and I hope to see you at some of Digging for Dementia’s upcoming seasonal events!



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Weeks 1 and 2: Sowing the Seeds

Hello, lovely Digging for Dementia supporters!


Apologies for the recent lack of updates; I started a new day job and had a poorly doggy to contend with, so life has been rather getting in the way. Digging for Dementia has, however, been continuing, and our little plot is making great progress!


During our first session, we prepared the soil ready for planting carrots, radishes and beetroot. As it’s a bit of an odd time of year for growing, we decided to stick to hardier root veg in the hope that we’d get a decent crop. After preparing the soil, we planted our seeds, and lots of fun was had!



When we arrived for session two, we were delighted to discover that our seeds had sprouted brilliantly! The radishes in particular have sprouted really well, but everything is looking good. We spent session two thinning out the seedlings, and transplanting some of the radish seedlings elsewhere in the bed to give them a better chance of growing.


I also posted a video update about session two on Digging for Dementia’s brand new Youtube channel:

We still have plenty of room in the group for newcomers, so if you’d like to join us, please feel free to come along! You can find more information about the sessions here.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Recently, Digging for Dementia has received some very generous donations from supporters, and in the interests of transparency, I thought I’d share a quick update to tell you all how your money has been spent. Digging for Dementia has received an incredible total of £146.99 in cash and PayPal donations during the past few weeks, and I’m so grateful for the generosity of everyone who has donated to the project. You’re all fantastic! So far, the funds have been spent as follows:


3 litre hot water canister: £18.04

Giant noughts and crosses: £8.99

Giant playing cards: £2.97

Launch party cake ingredients: £10

Food, drink and crockery for launch party: £15


The remaining £91.99 will cover the costs of Digging for Dementia’s public liability insurance for almost five months, which is the project’s primary running expense, so I’m incredibly grateful to have that particular weight lifted! Huge thanks to everyone who has supported Digging for Dementia recently, whether by donating money or items from the Amazon wish list, baking yummy treats, attending the launch party (update to follow!), spreading the word via social media, or just offering support to me as I’ve been establishing the project. It’s so touching to see so many people getting behind Digging for Dementia, and I’m looking forward to showing you what your support has achieved!