RainbowBiz CIC

RainbowBiz CIC

RainbowBiz CIC

RainbowBiz promotes equality and diversity.

Author: Sue Oliver

Social Distance in 2020

Social DistanceSo we are in the midst of the most incredible times of our life we are having to learn to social distance from our friends, family and the rest of the community.  Covid 19 has completely changed our way of live, how we work and how the Country is operating. I had never given social distance a thought before, what a different world we are living in.

Sadly, we have had to temporarily close our social enterprise, which means our Hippy Shop has closed it’s shop doors and the online shop too.  We have also had to stop both our weekly community groups, the Arty Folk and Friendship Group and Digging Deeside too.  This has affected some of the most marginalised members of our community.

Zoom Online SocialIn order to keep contact with people, Sarah and myself have taken it upon ourselves to telephone, message, text and email the people we support in order to offer a friendly point of contact at this very worrying time for us all.  More recently we have started to host weekly Online Socials using the incredible Zoom software, which has proven a great hit.  Many people have joined in over the past couple of weeks in various different ways, from sitting chatting, to playing musical instruments and we even had a music quiz the other week.  It is so nice to “see” people and keep in touch, it gives me a sense that we are all in this together, helping each other.

Growing at HomeOn a personal note, I have started to take regular exercise each day, whether that is a YouTube workout and even a ballet session (yes me and ballet)!  I have also dusted my push bike off and got it roadworthy after years of no use.  Now I am enjoying the freedom of a little fresh air whilst cycling around my local streets every few days too.  As a family we have been growing lots of fruit, veg and flowers in our garden and encouraging others to do the same. I have even started blogging again!

It is really difficult to look for the positives when we are seeing thousands of people are dying every day from this horrific virus.  However, I am remaining as positive as I can and making the most of lockdown time that has been forced upon me.  I hope you are too.  Stay home and be safe. Sue.

RainbowBiz CIC saved from closure after £10k ‘lifeline’

Photo Credit: Ginger Pixie Photography

A social enterprise that works with the most marginalised members of the North Wales community has been saved from closure after receiving £10,000 in emergency funding.

RainbowBiz CIC were facing a financial crisis after Covid-19 forced them to close their Hippy Shop in Mold, which used 100 per cent of its profits to sustain the work of the social enterprise.

With no money coming in staff feared they would have to end their work until the Steve Morgan Foundation gave them a £10,000 ‘lifeline’ to help them through the worst of the crisis.

The money will enable them to sustain the RainbowBiz Hippy Shop in Mold for the next three months and carry on working with their most vulnerable members.

RainbowBiz CIC director Sue Oliver said: “When Covid-19 struck our first thought was with the people we support.  We were forced to shut our Hippy Shop and were faced with the prospect of having to close the enterprise completely.

“Our work had previously been recognised by the Steve Morgan Foundation so we applied for financial assistance as part of their Covid-19 Emergency Fund and they awarded us £10,000. It was such a relief.”

Sarah Way, director and Hippy Shop manager said: “Not only is the shop our trading arm where we make money for our projects, it is also a gathering place for groups, volunteers, holistic therapists and our regular customers who we love to chat with.

“I am so relieved and humbled by this funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation that will keep our lovely shop from closing permanently.  The future looks bright again for us.”

The social enterprise will also be able to continue contacting members, including their weekly online social meet-up so people can socialise despite being housebound.

Steve Morgan, founder of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “Last year RainbowBiz CIC won the Best Entrepreneurial Social Enterprise Award at the Steve Morgan Foundation Awards for the work they do with the most marginalised members of the community.”

“Many of these people are extremely isolated and rely on projects like RainbowBiz  for social interaction and routine. That’s why we stepped in now so they can continue their good work when they’re needed the most.”

Morgan has committed to give £1m a week for an initial 12 weeks to charities in North Wales, Merseyside and Cheshire to help them carry on working with the vulnerable during Covid-19.

Digging Deeside Social Gardening Project

Sarah Way, Director of RainbowBiz CIC and Project Co-ordinator of the social gardening project Digging Deeside.

One of the regular groups, a social gardening project called Digging Deeside is now running a lockdown growing project called Let’s Grow Together.  This is to promote positive wellbeing, food sustainability and encourage everyone in the community to get involved.  Short videos are being shared of progress of seeds which are being grown and photographs which members of the community are being encouraged to send it which are then shared for everyone to see.  This is giving lots of inspiration and focus to the community who may not have grown anything from seed before. If you would like to get involved, please take a look at the Digging Deeside facebook page, you can also email your photographs and videos to info@rainbowbiz.org.uk  Let’s Grow Together!

RainbowBiz Gardening Project Supports Local Church

Volunteers from RainbowBiz’s weekly gardening group “Digging Deeside” joined members of Quaystone Chapel’s congregation on Wednesday morning to support the church in the bid to win a Community Gardens Award which is to be judged from July 4th onwards.

The Quaystone Chapel Ecumenical Church (which is a partnership of the Presbyterian and Methodist Church), High Street in Connah’s Quay, next door to Wepre Post Office has long been noted for its large gardens to the front of the church hall.  The gardens are difficult to maintain and the congregation often struggle to keep the annual weeds at bay.  Derrick Lea visited Connah’s Quay Allotment a few weeks ago and spoke to the RainbowBiz Digging Deeside team and asked if they would like to help the chapel in their quest to win this prestigious award through the RHS.  The volunteers were keen and arranged 2 days of work at the garden.

RainbowBiz volunteers were blown away by the support of the congregation members Margaret Roberts and Christina Copack who tirelessly made cups of tea and toast for the hard working gardeners.  RainbowBiz has links with Tri Ffordd a Flintshire County Council service where one of their Directors is a member of staff.  A group of keen, hard working volunteers came out to help RainbowBiz from Tri Ffordd which doubled the members of the gardening group.  Derrick Lea said “I see you have brought an army to help today”

Volunteers from RainbowBiz and Tri Ffordd worked really well together and made a huge difference to the gardens, more than 15 bags of waste were bagged up, large shrubs cut back, flowers dead headed, dandelions dug out and new plants put in.  The work has not been completed yet, the team will be back next Wednesday morning at 10am to offer another day of support to the chapel and the gardens. If anyone would like to join the team, please come and join them as more hands make lighter work.  Please bring your own spade/gloves etc as they have limited tools and transport.

Christina Copack, one of the congregation who was there on the day said “We are extremely grateful for your contribution to helping us with the grounds and gardens RainbowBiz, we are hoping to be successful with our bid in the competition”

“Digging Deeside” is a weekly gardening project that runs throughout the growing season and meets at Connah’s Quay Allotments every Wednesday at 10am.  The group runs on donations and through fundraising.  Anyone is welcome, tea and coffee are made on a camping stove, there are always biscuits and time for a chat.  The group asks for a voluntary donation of £1 each week to help to buy gas for the stove, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, biscuits and new equipment.

To keep up-to-date with the latest RainbowBiz community projects, take a look at www.rainbowbiz.org.uk

Hate Crime Awareness Week 2015

RainbowBiz_Hate_CrimeCommencing on Saturday, 10th October, Hate Crime Awareness Week aims to:

  • raise awareness of what Hate Crime is;
  • encourage reporting, and;
  • promote local support services and resources.

The under reporting of Hate Crime remains a challenge. We want everyone to understand the impact of hate crime and pledge to help eradicate it and so during Hate Crime Awareness Week Public Bodies in North Wales, supported by Welsh Government, will be working together on a regional awareness raising campaign.

Hate crime is a crime against an individual based on their identity or their perceived difference. Victims may have been bullied, harassed or abused because of who they are, their sexual orientation, gender, religion, ethnicity or lifestyle choice. The crime may be verbal abuse, offensive graffiti, threats, damage to property, assault, cyber bullying, abusive texts, emails or phone calls.

If you think you are, or have been a victim of a hate crime or incident, if you witness a hate crime or incident, or think someone you know is a victim then please don’t ignore it.

Report it by calling North Wales Police on 101 (999 in the case of an emergency) or Victim Support’s FREE 24 hour helpline on 0300 30 31 982 or report online at www.reporthate.victimsupport.org.uk

Flower and Vegetable Show 2015


The Town Council is immensely pleased at the success of the fourth annual Connah’s Quay Flower and Vegetable show held at the Civic Hall on Saturday 29 August which built upon the success of the first two events.

Councillor Martin White, Vice-Chair of the Town Council was pleased to be in attendance to meet the exhibitors and hand out prizes at the awards stage, he was ‘impressed with the quality of the produce shown’. Councillor Mrs Pam Attridge stated that she ‘was immensely pleased at the effort everyone had made.  She thanked staff and everyone who had worked hard to put the show together and members of the public for their support both locally and throughout Flintshire.’

The successful 1st, 2nd and 3rd exhibitors in each class were all acknowledged with the prize-winners cards and five overall winners received a small prize and were as follows:-

  • Best Exhibit in the Junior class – Awarded to Mia Roberts Prize was ‘A gift voucher and a day as an Animal Keeper or with horses and ponies at Coleg Cambria – Northop’ – Exhibit: a plate of six scones
  • Best Exhibit in the Floral Class – Awarded to Therese Denis – Exhibit: Flower display.
  • Best Exhibit in the Fruit Class – Awarded to Linda Phillips – Exhibit: plate of any soft fruit.
  • Best Exhibit in the Vegetable Class – Awarded to Jim Attridge – Exhibit: plate of tomatoes.
  • Best Exhibit in show – Awarded to Jim Attridge. Jim wins a complementary meal for two at Y Celstryn, the college training restaurant at Coleg Cambria – Deeside.  Exhibit: plate of tomatoes.
  • Top Tray Category as sponsored by ‘Garden News’ was won by Bob Large.

All winners were presented with certificates from the Town Council, together with a small prize in addition to prizes from Coleg Cambria.

The Town Council wishes to extend its most grateful thanks to Mr Paul Raven, Deputy Director – Landbased & Independent Living Skills and all at Coleg Cambria and his staff Alwyn Jones and Robert MacKay for the judging, also for the prizes and the enthusiastic general support for this event. It also wishes to place on record it’s grateful thanks to Mrs Mary North for judging the Fruit and chidren’s section at the event

It is envisaged that a similar event will be arranged next year.


The quality of exhibits was very competitive and of a very high standard

Top Tray winner Bob Large with Vice-Chair of the Town Council Cllr Martin White

Top Tray winner Bob Large with Vice-Chair of the Town Council Cllr Martin White

Mia Roberts receives her prize for the best in children’s section from Cllr Martin White and Vice-Chair consort          Mrs White

Mia Roberts receives her prize for the best in children’s section from Cllr Martin White and Vice-Chair consort Mrs White

Therese Denis receives the Flower Section winning certificate from Vice- Chair Cllr White

Therese Denis receives the Flower Section winning certificate from Vice- Chair Cllr White

Linda Phillips was the winner in the fruit Section

Linda Phillips was the winner in the fruit Section

Jim Attridge receives his prizes for the best in Vegetable and overall in show from Cllr White

Jim Attridge receives his prizes for the best in Vegetable and overall in show from Cllr White

Digging Deeside 19/8/2015


New volunteers join Digging Deeside!

Today we had a few donations of plants and a composter.

Jobs carried out were:

Digging Over and planting the plants that we received.

Plants were: 
Red leaved Basil (Ocimum basilicum Purpurascens)
Lemon Basil (Ocimum americanum)

Seeds planted into bed were:

Lettuce  (Lactuca sativa)

Radish (Raphanus sativus)

Other jobs carried out were watering of plot and cultivating the ground ready for planting up.

We had a new volunteer join us today as well.

Digging Deeside 12 August 2015

Weekly Blog for Digging Deeside 


Hello Diggers, 

lynda120815This week we had many donations of plants Claire donated a lovely thorn-less blackberry “Loch Ness” we also received a large verity of plants and 3 bags of Raspberry canes from one of our new volunteers Lynda.  

Jobs carried out this week:  

The plants are doing well thanks to digger Daz coming down to water every day.

After sorting through the donations we got to work on planting the Blackberry’s and Raspberry’s in the in ground plot making sure to make the holes deep enough when planting bare root plants its best to fill the dug hole with water to help the plant recover from being out of the ground and also you then don’t have to re-water after planting.  We also got the rest of the plants in that were propagated 3 weeks ago the plants were Leeks (Allium porrum) and Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). 

We also had a good feel around the potato plants and got a good harvest of them.

We all had a good time and the weather was just right not to hot but not too cold.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this blog. Rob 🙂 

Digging Deeside 5 August 2015

RainbowBiz_DiggingDeeside_leafletOne of our fabulous volunteers and resident expert Rob has kindly agreed to do a weekly blog about the work carried out each week at our volunteer driven community project Digging Deeside.  We meet every week on a Wednesday between 10am and 12noon in the community allotment/gardens located at the back of the job centre in Connah’s Quay. EVERYONE IS WELCOME.

The project has turned into a very social occasion and we always make sure everyone has a cuppa and a biscuit.  Again, another volunteer Claire very kindly donated monies to keep us in milk and biscuits for many months!  One of the most important aspects of the project is to ensure that everyone is having a good time and feels welcome.

We often receive offers of kind donations, from seeds to tools stores and we will consider any donations as we do like to make use of these where possible.  If you would like more information about the project, please call Sarah on 07759 753 473 or email digging@rainbowbiz.org.uk

Hi all this is the first of the weekly blogs on the progress of the allotment.

Jobs that were done today Planting out of the seedlings that were brought back to the allotment, after being looked after by Rob one of the volunteers. They were planted 2 weeks ago and the plants were:

• Dwarf Runner Beans (Phaseolus coccineus)
• Kale (Brassica oleraca Acephala Group)
• French Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)
• Courgette (Cucurbita pepo)
• Cabbage (Brassica oleraca Capitata Group)

Other jobs carried out were to hand harvest the best potatoes that were ready and left the small ones alone. All this was done by feeling around in the soil around the base of the plant this is a good tip as the rest of the potatoes will continue to grow so you can get a better yield from the plant. And also waging war on the mare’s tail (Equisetum arvense) which is an ongoing war!


Cash Boost for Digging Deeside


Flintshire has benefited from a cash injection thanks to an environmental grant scheme from Keep Wales Tidy and Tesco.

Digging_Deeside_KWP (7)Volunteers from Digging Deeside were thrilled to hear they’d been successful in applying for an All Wales Grant of £500 which they then used to buy hand tools, seed trays, watering cans, compost, safety equipment and a small stove to refresh thirsty volunteers.

Community groups, schools and charitable organisations across Wales were asked to apply to the All Wales Grant Scheme from November 2014, with grants of £100 – £500 available to help them with their very own green initiatives.

Run by environmental charity, Keep Wales Tidy and funded by Tesco’s single use carrier bag charge, the aim of the All Wales Grant Scheme is to assist communities across Wales in real environmental actions, both financially and practically, to help improve their local environment.

As part of their environmental project, Digging Deeside offers an informal outdoor drop in to members of the community who want to get together, socialise, maintain the community gardens and learn new skills. RainbowBiz have secured a raised bed style community allotment at Connah’s Quay Community Allotments for the project. Digging Deeside is a new project which is volunteer run and facilitated by project leaders from RainbowBiz. The project was created as a green outdoor activity to promote healthy lifestyles and well being by learning to grow vegetables and herbs in a safe social environment. Over the last few weeks the volunteers have cleared the allotment area of weeds and planted new vegetables and fruit, which are now blooming! Digging Deeside has now started to help the current volunteers to maintain the Quayscape Community Gardens, so these new tools and equipment will DiggingDeeside_teabreakbe very welcome as we have a large space to maintain. It is hoped that in the future months more volunteers will join the project, as many hands make light work. Digging Deeside has already had some very generous donations from members of the community and local Council. Councillor Eric Faulkner very kindly made a purpose built potting bench for the project after a discussion with project leaders about difficulties that some of the volunteers have with mobility. This will enable wheelchair users to be able to pot plant seedlings comfortably and independently plant these on in the raised bed allotment plot.

The project is still in need of a small lockable wooden shed to keep some basic equipment on site for those volunteers who like to visit the project on a daily basis. If you are able to help the project with any donations, please contact digging@rainbowbiz.org.uk or call 07759 753 473.

DiggingDeeside_KWTgrant (3)Darren Cook, volunteer from Digging Deeside said, “I really enjoyed shopping with Sue and Sarah in various shopping stores in Deeside and Chester for the grant equipment. Digging Deeside is a project for all of the local people of any age or abilities. Meeting or working on the Community Gardens is good for everybody and everything, our nature and our local area. For myself personally it helps me when I chat with other people and make new friends. Also it’s very healthy both mentally and physically, because working with nature is good for my mind and chatting with people and making new friends and looking after and maintaining nature is good for my heart. Being involved with Digging Deeside is very healthy too, especially on a nice day, breathing in fresh air is good for you and the sunshine makes you happy. Keep Wales Tidy were very kind and generous in giving RainbowBiz a grant enabling them to purchase many more things so that hopefully we can accommodate more volunteers with the necessary tools for jobs on the garden or the allotments.”

Lesley Jones, Chief Executive of Keep Wales Tidy, said: “I am delighted that so many groups and environmental projects across Wales have benefitted from a financial boost thanks to the All Wales Grants Scheme. It’s vital that we all do our bit to care for our local environment and through the scheme, local people across Wales have been able to get the support, resources and expert advice they need to carry out their environmental improvement projects. Keep Wales Tidy would like to thank Tesco customers for their support with the single use carrier bag donation, resulting in a successful All Wales Grant Scheme.”

Digging_Deeside_KWP (6)


For more information on the All Wales Grant Scheme, please e-mail grants@keepwalestidy.org or visit the website www.keepwalestidy.org. The grant scheme was the first project to be launched thanks to a partnership between Keep Wales Tidy and Tesco, after 27,000 Tesco customers took part in a vote to choose Keep Wales Tidy as the charity to benefit from Tesco’s carrier bag charge in Wales from 1 st October 2014.

Digging Deeside Launch

RainbowBiz launch “Digging Deeside”

RainbowBiz_DiggingDeeside_FirstDay (59)sA Flintshire based Social Enterprise RainbowBiz recently launched their latest community project called “Digging Deeside”.  RainbowBiz have secured a raised bed style community allotment at Connah’s Quay Community Allotments.  “Digging Deeside” is a new project which will be group run by volunteers and facilitated by project leaders.  The project was created as a green outdoor activity to promote healthy lifestyles by learning to grow vegetables and herbs in a safe social environment.

Project Leader Sarah Way said “We will particularly welcome individuals who are at risk of isolation in the community as this project will be a safe place to meet new friends.  Anyone is welcome to join us at the Connah’s Quay Community Allotments (located behind the Job Centre).  We meet every Wednesday between 10am and 12noon.  Activities include planting, researching plants, making plant supports, perennial plant and herb planting, composting, recycling and making new friends.”

Once the allotment has been planted out for the first season, volunteers will be encouraged to maintain the plot, water plants and eventually harvest vegetables when ready.  It is hoped that some of the produce can be entered into our local “Fruit and Vegetable Show” at the end of August.

RainbowBiz Director Sue Oliver told us “We are extremely grateful to Connah’s Quay Town Council who have supported RainbowBiz during the setup of this project and we are looking forward to working with them on many other community based events.”

Connah’s Quay Town Council Clerk, Ian Jones said “The Town Council is delighted that ’Digging Deeside’ has been so popular and the results at the allotment site speaks volumes for this innovative community based scheme. With modern day pressures and stress it is important that people find time to relax with a hobby or pastime that they enjoy.

RainbowBiz_DiggingDeeside_FirstDay (36)sGardening is a British way of life and this project not only provides a hobby with the prospect of success when the produce is grown, it also provides good community spirit and social interaction. We hope some produce will be entered into the Flower Fruit and Vegetable Show being held in the Civic Hall on 29 August.”

Next door to the allotment plot there is a community garden which requires some maintenance throughout the year, volunteers will be encouraged to help maintain the garden for the benefit of the community.  This will bring a sense of ownership and pride to the volunteers as they will see it as a beautiful green space they have helped to create for local people to enjoy.  Digging Deeside are also looking for skilled volunteers to help build an accessible work space area for people with different abilities to use.  The project also welcomes donations of unwanted tools, gloves, seeds, plants and are specifically looking for a greenhouse and shed.  Please contact RainbowBiz who co-ordinate this project on 07759 753 473 or email digging@rainbowbiz.org.uk

11125412_10206815796173725_4741649586087759058_oJill Blandford, Volunteer Co-ordinator said “Step Up, Step Out is a supported volunteering project, run by Flintshire Mind and Flintshire Local Voluntary Council. We go out every Tuesday as a group and sample a whole variety of volunteering opportunities throughout the country. Individuals gain confidence to then continue to get involved in local projects themselves. It has been great fun being part of Digging Deeside from the outset, helping prepare the raised bed and start planting. Individuals can get involved as much or as little as suits them. There is opportunity to skills share, but most importantly to relax in a beautiful spot and have fun. The community allotment is like an oasis of calm in an urban environment.”

To find out more information you can follow all of the latest updates on Facebook www.facebook.com/diggingdeeside  Twitter @DiggingDeeside or Email digging@rainbowbiz.org.uk