Changing lives with like minded volunteers enhances wellbeing, gardening, bees and flowers.
Chat, joke, sing and dance, but understand differences, love not hate, we are in this together.
Working together in green spaces, enhancing nature, saving the bees from extinction, reducing global warming, trying to save the planet. Living life to the fullest for enriched lives.
Regular community gardening means that we get low-intensity physical activity.
There is evidence that gardeners live longer and are less stressed, pointing to both the physical and mental health benefits of gardening. Sowing seeds or planting bulbs in your garden or at the allotments benefits many things.
Grow flowers, pollinators to save the bees. Flowers provide bees with nectar and pollen, which worker bees collect to feed their entire colonies. Bees provide flowers with the means to reproduce, by spreading pollen from flower to flower in a process called pollination. Without pollination, plants cannot create seeds.
Plant trees to reduce global warming. Trees and plants take in carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, theoretically planting enough trees should reduce carbon dioxide.
By gardening, the exercise you get from doing so burns off a lot of calories, relieves stress, lowers your blood pressure and spending time outside is good for your bones.
Walking up down and all around the garden or the allotments, breathing in the fresh air, glancing at the green spaces, the wild flowers and the trees, listening to the birds and the insects as they search for feed or as they start their journey to migration or hibernation. Very heart warming.
Gardening is good for your mental health and enhances wellbeing, gardening, bees and flowers. You feel pride and joy as you work hard, to enhance nature. Sowing seeds by hand with great care, ensuring that the depth and the spacing of each seed or bulb is within its limits as per instructions for impending growth. Learning all of the time.
While the plants and trees grow, they inhale and exhale, so, the carbon that plants absorb from the atmosphere in photosynthesis becomes part of the soil when they die and decompose.
Wild birds help gardening by eating the plant eating insects to feed their young and by consuming weed seeds, to keep away unwanted plants.
Hi my friends, I walked my first 6 laps of the back garden at 2pm this afternoon. Sometimes when I’m walking around the garden a bee buzzes past me as if to say hi Daz, thank you for tending the wildflowers that provide pollen and nectar for us bees and other insects.
Today I’d only been outside for 30 seconds when the bee buzzed by. I have the feeling that the bees wait for me these days.
As I walked the garden there were clusters of daisies and dandelions, both of these wildflowers are important plants for pollinators in the UK daisies are important plants for pollinators, including beetles, ants, and moths.
Dandelions are not the first source of pollen for bees. The pollen from dandelions is of poor quality, but better than nothing. They do provide a good source of nectar. A lawn full of dandelions is better for bees than a weed free lawn, but not nearly as good as a garden with a variety of plants and no dandelions.
So today I’ve walked 6 laps of the back garden and I’ll be walking 12 laps as usual today. Staying at home and exercising in my back garden is good for my self-isolation and saves me from catching the #covid19 virus. So therefore I am protecting the NHS and saving lives, including my own life.
Walking into the garden for light exercise and to listen to the birds and the bees is good for my body and my mental health.
Listening to the whistling of the birds or the buzzing of the bee brings happy smiles to my face and takes away any feelings of stress.
We need to look after and care for the birds and all of the insects in our gardens. Just like us, the birds and the insects need to eat and drink to survive diverse whether. I provide of fresh tap water in dishes for the birds: Birds need water to drink and to bathe in, to keep their feathers in good condition to keep their body isolated in the winter Insects can drink water from the morning due, plants, fruit, raindrops or from the edges of ponds or puddles. Garden birds will eat, slugs, snails, worms, caterpillars, spiders and fruits berries from trees. Insects will eat leaves. Sucking insects poke tiny holes in leaves and draw the juices out of them.
So 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.
In 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.
On 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 GETS CASH BOOST FOR ECO PROJECT DIGGING DEESIDE
Flintshire has benefited from a cash injection thanks to an environmental grant scheme from Keep Wales Tidy and Tesco.
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 be 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 email@example.com or call 07759 753 473.
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.”
For more information on the All Wales Grant Scheme, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.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.
A 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.
Gardening 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 email@example.com
Jill 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.”
You may remember we attended Manchester Pride last year in support of George House Trust, a fabulous charity based in Manchester that we still hold in close regard. RainbowBiz also raised a staggering £500 for George House Trust with the help of Andy Bell from Erasure and the fantastic online support that each and every one of you offer us. You can read below a press release from George House Trust which details their latest fundraiser, please feel free to share this with all your friends!
We’re delighted to announce that George House Trust is hosting its first ever Drag Ball, as part of our 30th Anniversary events. The Drag Ball will be at the Freemason’s Hall on Saturday 18th July and tickets are £20, the price includes cava on arrival and canapes.
The aim of this ball is to fundraise, to raise awareness and to formally celebrate our City and its vibrant drag scene. This event is the first of its kind in the country, combining the genres of cabaret and alternative drag under one roof. We’re extremely excited about our Ball and hope that you are able to join us for an evening of unique performances and special guests.
Tickets are available to buy online from http://www.ght.org.uk/dragball . You will also be able to purchase any additional tickets on behalf of your friends or guests who you want to join you on the night. The venue has a limited capacity and tickets are sold on a first come first served basis.
Finally, any support you can give us around promoting this event on social media and through your networks would be very much appreciated.
Marketing and Community Fundraising Coordinator
We have been to see the fabulous Basix Wrestling team several times now! Every performance they give is an explosive fun filled one, that engages full audience participation. We asked them to share some more information with us about what they do… see their blog below.
Do you, your child or someone you know love wrestling and are looking to become one?
Basix Wrestling are a wrestling organisation based in North Wales and do live shows across Wales and the UK and have been for the past 10 years. We now have a training school opened at DL Fitness based in Connah’s Quay where qualified and experienced wrestlers who work on professional shows will teach you the ins and outs of wrestling, including break falls to body slams, cross bodies to cross faces, hurracarranas to powerbombs, ring presence and performance.
The wrestling trainers include: ‘Iron Man’ Mike Roberts (head trainer), Dazzling Danny Valentine, Tony Bond, Rockgod 50 and Jonny Blaze!!
Hard work and a good attitude and passion will then lead you to perform on Basix live shows, we are always looking for someone new to join the Basix roster.
Our shows are always fun for the workers and the audience, we welcome all ages of fans and the Basix crew are always determined to deliver an explosive performance for the viewers as each show involves something different every time. At the end of the night the wrestlers come from back stage to sign autographs on the merchandise such as posters that we sell, chat and pose for photos.
Our next show will be Saturday 25th of April, at the Coedpoeth Parish Hall 7:00pm Doors, Bell time at 7:30pm so please spread word to see some amazing wrestlers perform and family friendly entertainment – all for you.
For more info please feel free to comment, or Contact Us direct!
We recently met Cheryl online via Twitter, another one of our fabulous followers who regularly retweets us and engages with us. She happened to mention her Charity Evening coming up on 5th May in Chester, Cheshire. The charity night is being held in Telfords Warehouse in Chester and there will be live music from Tiro Lark and lots of great raffle prizes. To find out more and get your tickets for this event please visit the official Nurses for Angels facebook page. You can also call Dani on 07703 527170 for more information. We felt compelled to ask more about Cheryl, her family life and her campaigning to raising awareness of Angelman syndrome, she very kindly wrote the following blog for us.
This time last year, we had the devastating news (at the time) that our son has Angelman syndrome. This syndrome is very rare, with less than 1000 cases in the UK. There is little awareness here and I have been trying to change that! I think it was like therapy for me, instead of getting depressed, I got proactive! I soon joined twitter and have gained many followers.. however I kept feeling I needed to do more.
Angelman syndrome is a neuro genetic disorder affecting chromosome 15.. Jack (my son) has the most severe form as he is classed as deletion rather than mutation (part of the chromosome is missing, rather than abnormal). This tiny thing causes severe learning difficulties, epilepsy, poor balance, many never talk or speak just a few words and many never walk. I am hopeful for Jack and I will always stay positive for him. The plus side is he is very happy, laughs at the slightest stimulation and loves life.. his bond with dad and granddad and of course me is so lovely to see. He communicates in his own way and is absolutely beautiful.
Last year I did the Wirral walk and raised £2000 for the UK charity ASSERT, this charity has helped us a lot, I have also found another supportive organisation in America. FAST was set up by the mother of a child with Angelman and she has helped raiser millions for research and truly believes in a cure.
I do accept Jack is who he is and I would hate to change him, rather unlock the doors for him so to speak.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, and after being off sick from work as jack was having up to 10 seizures a day..this is also part of his condition and it really knocked me and his dad for 6 seeing him like that, the first time I felt truly helpless since diagnosis, my colleagues came to visit me with a bunch of flowers and (nurses for angels) was born! They are nurses working in the Chester area, and have been absolutely amazing, giving up their free time organising our event, contacting everyone and anyone, setting up facebook and twitter page, getting a great band, creating flyers and tickets.. I could go on! They really are angels and I am so overwhelmed by all of the support for our jack.
The money raised will go to jacks specialist school in flint Ysgol Pen Coch, a truly wonderful school that are so amazing with our children of varying abilities.. I really hope I can help them as they have helped us so much xx
I honestly think that Jack is the reason I am supposed to be here, I cant even remember my life before him, but I am sure it must have been pretty boring!
That’s not a generalization or an optimist’s lament. It’s the product of deductive reasoning. It’s a bona fide statement of fact. We just have difficulty perceiving it long-term.
The latter is particularly true of Trans people BEFORE they transition. But when your physicality finally aligns with your psyche, the true nature of reality explodes into view like a Roman Candle. Similarly, remarkable things start to wriggle from the woodwork. I’ll be 26 years old and 2 months on HRT when this blog goes live; growing exponentially happier with every passing hour. You WILL be OK. I wouldn’t promise you that if I didn’t believe it, reader.
“A lot of girls out there have penises” my doctor said. Likewise, a lot of guys have vaginas. I simply refuse to have my social identity determined by the contents of my jeans or genes, respectively. The latter doesn’t matter. The former is between Mr Calvin Klein and me.
The world is not Black and White like it was in the opening sequence of The Wizard of Oz. And, just like Dorothy, people will come to see the rainbow eventually. I’m pretty sure they introduced colour back in 1953? But even in B&W, trust me: ‘50’ is a staggering underestimation when it comes to ‘shades of Grey’.
Photographer: Dean Chesterman
I am a Trans female recording artist from Essex – stage name: Tall Dark Friend – currently couch-surfing between the UK and Scandinavia. I love the Swedes, the Nords, the Danes, the Fins… I gig a lot in Sweden and it’s like another planet. A ‘flat pack planet’. A ‘flanet’. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my crazy lil’ meatballs out there in Abbaland. Jag älskar er alla så mycket!
It was made aware to me very early on that the two things that HRT definitely wouldn’t change were my skeleton and my voice. My bones and my tones. I will always be 6ft tall with size 11 feet. That’s just the way it is. And if you begin HRT after your voice has already dropped, it doesn’t ‘un-drop’. That’s not a thing. You have to learn to manipulate your voice manually to reach the desired level of femininity. Which you think would be no problem for a singer, right? Wrong. It’s so hard! Tough I’m convinced it’s psychological. Doctors have achieved mixed success in the field of VFS (Voice Feminisation Surgery) but I’m not let anyone near my vocal chords. Not in this line of work. Same goes for my Eve’s Apple: it’s staying.
As it stands, I’m closing in on album #7, currently filming music video #5 (#HangWithThe Happiness) and scheduled to appear at a few dozen festivals up and down the UK in 2015. I came out to my home county, on stage, in November 2014 @ The Essex Entertainment Awards – clinging timidly to the awards for ‘Best Original Song’ & the gender-neutral ‘Best Original Artist’. This April, I am overwhelmed to announce that I’m nominated for 4 more: including ‘Best Female Solo’. I cried when I saw my name in that category alongside the other girls. Thanks to the hormones, I cry at most things these days #HappyTears :’) Then again, can you blame me? I mean… have you SEEN ‘Cat Hugs Baby Kitten Having Nightmare’!? Youtube it.
I am proud to be a woman, of any delineation. I am proud to be Trans and of the inherent struggle. I’m proud of Essex – of England – of Earth! But with such opportunity to be prideful in our lives, I think it’s important that we cling to our humility with the same intensity as we do our accolades. Music is a cutthroat industry and I try to live my life mindful of others’ toes and shoulders… so as not to tread on either. Put exquisitely by Hendrix: “Music is our mission, not a competition”.
Off stage, outside of the music, I’m an independent author. My début novella ‘Dog Bless The Day’ is basically ‘Animal Farm meets Fear & Loathing’… if ‘basically’ is the right word for a car-crash of a concept like that? Novel #2 is the first in a 5 book New-Adult Thriller series and Novel #3 is a standalone Sci-Fi Spaghetti Western (due for release in 2016). On the side, I’m penning a 2nd autobiography: the story of ‘a MTF transition told with humour and heart’. I literally can’t stop writing. Like right now. All I do is type. See? Look! Somebody. Pleeease!? Stop meeeeeeeeee…
When all’s said and done… what REALLY turns me on is my independent research toward a G.U.T (Grand Unifying Theory *of Physics*) It’s a theorem that marries Gravity with the other 3 Fundamental Forces. Science is sexy. Simple as that. Best of all it’s open to everyone and, to prove it, I’ll be TWEETING my accumulated work – just for the lolz. I have my little heart set on being the first Transgender woman to publish a pioneering G.U.T. It’s thirsty work… but I’m happy to settle for a soy cappuccino (no sugar) since I’ll be officially 14months sober when this blog comes out. If you drink: Quit. It’s terrible for your brain. And for Trans people, it doesn’t hurt to start your HRT with a clean bill of health.
Life’s too short to waste it wondering. Be good to yourselves and trust in the goodness of other people. It’s not 1955 (more’s the pity, I love me some rock-a-billy-roll!). I promise you it’s not as scary out here as you think. Come out. Play!