Digging for Dementia

Growing with people with dementia

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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!



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The final countdown!

After six months of planning and preparations, Digging for Dementia finally launches tomorrow afternoon! The launch has been a long time coming, and I’m equally excited and nervous to finally get the project started. The launch party will be held at the Valley Community Gardens in Swinton (directions here), which is also the home of Digging for Dementia, and we’ll have lots of exciting things going on, with refreshments, cakes, garden games and more! We’ll also have a gazebo in case the weather decides to be uncooperative, so don’t let the weather put you off! 🙂


As if the excitement of Saturday wasn’t enough, Digging for Dementia will also have a stall at the Society for Abandoned Animals’ Summer Fair this Sunday. Come down and say hello, meet some cute animals and support a good cause!


Digging for Dementia also received a mention on a local residents’ group website this week, which was rather exciting; I really want Digging for Dementia to be a fun, educational project for the whole community, so it’s great to see local people getting on board. Hope to see you at the launch!

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Hi everyone!


As the Digging for Dementia launch approaches, I realise that some of you who are planning to attend might have some questions about the practical elements of the project, so I shall do my best to answer them in this post. If you have any further questions, please contact me using one of the methods on the Contact page. And now, without further ado…


* I will be providing basic safety equipment, such as gardening gloves and kneeling pads. All you’ll need to bring along is yourself, preferably clothed in comfortable outdoor shoes and weather-appropriate attire!


* I will also provide hot and cold drinks throughout each session, so if you have any preferences / dislikes / allergies, please let me know.


* I am a trained First Aider, and will have a kit on-hand in the event of an emergency. At the beginning of the first session, I will ask you to complete a consent form which will include a brief medical history, in order to make sure that I plan the sessions in accordance with your needs. All information will be securely and confidentially stored.


* On occasion, a volunteer or two may attend the sessions to assist in the delivery of activities and ensure that everyone in the group is properly supported. New volunteers will be introduced to the group so that everybody can become familiar before the person becomes a regular fixture at the sessions.


* One of the community garden volunteers has very kindly offered us the use of her bathroom, located across the road from the site, during the sessions. The adjoining community centre also has bathroom facilities, but is usually closed during weekends.


* I want the sessions to be as fun and educational for the group as possible, so if there’s a particular vegetable you’d like to grow, or a skill you’d like to learn, please tell me and I’ll do my best to incorporate it into the sessions. I’ve already had some requests from group members about learning certain skills, so I’ll make sure those are included in upcoming sessions.


* During one session each month, we’ll be conducting a nature-themed activity, such as willow-weaving, or growing mushrooms on old paperback books. If you’re particularly skilled at crafts or have a talent you’d like to share with the group, feel free to come forward!


I hope you’re all as excited about the launch as I am, and I can’t wait to get started!




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The Digging for Dementia Launch Party

I’m thrilled to announce that I will be officially launching Digging for Dementia on Saturday 17th August! The launch party will be held at the Valley Community Gardens, from 12pm-3pm, and all are welcome to attend. Join us for garden games, refreshments, and to find out more about Digging for Dementia. The gardening sessions will commence on Saturday 24th August; for more information about the sessions, click here.


The Digging for Dementia launch has been a long time coming, and I’m so happy and proud that the day is finally approaching! It wouldn’t have been possible without the kindness and generosity of everyone who’s supported the project so far, so thank you to everybody who’s been so positive and encouraging about Digging for Dementia, I really do appreciate it. I hope that you’ll attend the launch party if you can, and see what your support has achieved!

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Thank you!

Earlier this week, I put out appeals on Twitter and Facebook for help with certain aspects of Digging for Dementia, such as buying supplies for the launch party, and raising money to fund the project’s running costs, such as insurance. I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the response I’ve received, from family, friends old and new, and even from people I’ve never met, who have been eager to pitch in and help with getting Digging for Dementia ready for its big launch on Saturday August 17th. Whether you’ve helped by enquiring about volunteering for the project, making a purchase from Digging for Dementia’s Amazon wish list, donating to the project via PayPal, or simply spreading the word via social media, I’m more grateful than I could ever begin to articulate. Thanks to all your help this week, I’ll be able to have everything ready for the Digging for Dementia launch, and to keep things running when the practical sessions start on 24th August, so thank you very much!


I now have five participants signed up to Digging for Dementia, with interest from several others, so I’m well and truly ready to launch! I’d like to keep the group relatively small, so I only have about three spaces left, though if I receive a significant amount of interest I’d be happy to run a second group on Saturday afternoons. If you’d like to register to participate, please email diggingfordementia@hotmail.co.uk. I can’t wait to get started!





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Digging for Dementia needs your pennies!

Digging for Dementia has been gathering considerable momentum in recent weeks. With a plot of land finally confirmed, and the first participants recruited, the project is almost ready to go! I’m planning to launch the gardening sessions in mid-August with a big garden party, and I have so many exciting activities planned for my lovely group. But in order to make this a reality, lovely supporters, I really need your help!


So far, Digging for Dementia has been funded almost entirely from my own pocket, with the exception of a few fundraising events. I’ve been more than happy to fund the project’s development as I love it with all my heart and desperately want it to succeed; however, as the project continues to grow, funding it myself is no longer sustainable. Although Digging for Dementia is not a hugely costly endeavour, the costs of running the project, including insurance, equipment and other materials, can quickly add up, and I’ve realised that the time is right to ask for help. The Digging for Dementia community has been so wonderful and supportive so far, and I would be so grateful if those of you who are able to donate some pennies to the project would be willing to do so. Even if you can only spare a pound, you’ll be keeping the group in teabags for a good few weeks!


You can donate securely through PayPal, either using the link at the side of the page, or the Donate page of this website. All donations will be used to fund Digging for Dementia’s running costs, and I will be posting regular updates to let you know how your money has been used. I’m not asking for a Scrooge McDuck-esque pool of money – Digging for Dementia only costs around £300 per year to run – but I would really appreciate any contribution you could make. And if you’re wondering what’s in it for you, I’ll leave that up to Avenue Q to explain 🙂


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Digging for Dementia is GO!!!

Yesterday I teased a potentially huge announcement, and I’m thrilled beyond words to finally be able to share it: Digging for Dementia has a plot of land!!! We’ll be based at the Valley Community Gardens in Swinton, a beautiful space with raised allotment beds, communal spaces and even a community orchard! It’s the perfect setting for a community-centred project like Digging for Dementia, and I’m incredibly grateful and proud to be able to launch the project in such a fantastic location. Keep an eye on the website for details of the launch date and event, and if you’d like to register your interest in joining the sessions, please email diggingfordementia@hotmail.co.uk. Once again, I’d like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who’s supported Digging for Dementia so far and helped me to get the project to this point. Onwards and upwards!