15th June, 2016
Thank you to everyone who came to our ‘Seeds of Summer’ Garden Party and helped make it a really great day. The event, held on Saturday 11 June, coincided with Carers Week: ‘an annual awareness campaign to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers’* enabling us to celebrate the Seeds of Summer with our clients and their family and carers.
Many of our clients are reliant on somebody for help and support in some way, whether it is to help them with essential tasks, or getting out and about, or to help encourage rebuilding physical and cognitive skills after a brain injury. Being a carer is a challenge, sometimes daunting, sometimes rewarding, often carried out alone. At Headway Cambridgeshire we regularly see the commitment of the carers who support our clients and we know how hard they work, often unacknowledged by the wider community. What better excuse for a garden party then, if not Carers Week?
The party was not just created by Headway staff – we had a lot of input from the clients, who provided not only inspiration and ideas, but also their help and hard work with the preparations – from getting the garden into shape, to preparing some of the delicious food served at the party.
We were hoping for good weather because as usual, the greater part of our party was planned to be outside in the garden. Simon, our Horticulture Therapist, had worked very hard with the client groups to prepare the garden, and set up a bush-craft area. Our clients get so much satisfaction from working together in the garden, growing their skills and confidence along with the fruit, vegetables and flowers. They are rightly very proud of their garden and wanted to show it off to the party guests.
One of the party activities was ‘Seed Bomb’ throwing. Seed bombs are small pellets made of clay and compost, containing the seeds of wild flowers. Party goers threw these across an area designated for wildflowers. Where the Seed Bombs land, there wildflowers will grow. Now, we just have to wait for the Seeds of Summer to germinate and grow as the summer progresses…
We wanted memories to be a theme of our party too. Memory is so often affected by brain injury and we use a range of strategies to support those of our clients coping with memory problems following a brain injury. Our Heritage history project group is currently researching the history of changes to local social care over the years, particularly in relation to Ida Darwin, whom the site of our Cambridge hub is named after. The project is called ‘Looking Back at Making Headway’ and the clients, volunteers and staff involved in the project mounted a display showing what their research has uncovered so far, and inviting people to share their memories.
In keeping with the theme of memories Mandy, our Hospital Brain Injury Co-ordinator announced that she would be baking memory themed cakes for a cake stall. She invited all the staff to tell her what their favourite cake was and add a little snippet of their memory with it. As promised, she baked all the cakes that people had reminisced about and created a remembrance of things past on a cake table.
As well as cake, we also had a BBQ with sausages, burgers and bacon, all accompanied by wonderful quiches and salads, many of which had been prepared by the clients. It was all very ably catered by our chef John and his assistant.
Our annual summer event during Carers Week was a wonderful way to celebrate with our clients, their family and friends, and their carers. We were lucky with the weather this year, so able to enjoy and showcase the wonderful garden the clients have worked so hard on. We are glad so many of you came and joined in the festivities.
Thank you for coming to the Seeds of Summer party – we’re already looking forward to next year’s party!
(*Source: Carers Week website)
“ I struggled with a lot of issues, especially how I felt my father’s personality had changed and Headway Cambridgeshire helped me a lot at that time in my life. They made me feel much less alone and I’ll always be grateful for that. ”