We welcomed Moulsecoomb Chomp and Concordia while hosting MIND eco-therapy workshops, Woodchips, The Wild Network and some mental health first aid training. Sensing Friends,an organisation for blind and partially sighted youngsters now hold regular activities at the garden. We continue to offer placements to Universities for students as part of their community partnership module and Paige gained work experience with us through her course at the Brighton MET. We have been working with Paige since she was 5 and she now works at Spiral Sussex. Thanks to Peoples Postcode Lottery funding Brighton Energy Co-op put solar panels on our cabin.
Thanks to The Pebble Trust we ran another summer scheme for Moulsecoomb children to have fun learning about bushcraft, playing games in the woods and of course, make pizzas in our clay oven. However, we do need to change the format for older ones as it’sgetting harder to compete against computer games!
Daisy is now working with Warren a day a week at Moulsecoomb Primary to help maintain their award–winning school grounds, helping with the lunch time environment club and working 1:1 with 3 girls who are really benefiting from the extra support. Pupils from the school regularly visit us – planting garlic, camp building, storytelling, hunting for treasure in the woods. A few also helped with a plant sale at the Bevy selling plants grown at the school and at the garden, raising funds for the Friday Friends seniors lunch club. Our runner beans and rhubarb helped feed the seniors club. This year we adopted Moulsecoomb train station as part of the Sussex Community Rail Partnership programme with the school and have started planting up a bee and butterfly bank.
At our recent strategy meeting Rachel Bicker a biodiversity officer at Gatwick presented her draft wildlife plan. Rachel is responsible for the reptile mats at the garden helping us to increase the number of slow worms, and to make it easier to find and identify them. We are really pleased that Rachel is now one of our trustees. Beth from Team Pollinate at Sussex University has also been busy recording pollinating insects. Infact you could see them both having a Bug Off at our open day.
We like our volunteers to be fully involved and in the past year we have held two user group meetings where we listen to how we can improve what we do as well as an AGM at The Bevy which featured light show accounts, curry, karaoke and dinosaurs!
And finally its always nice to be acknowledged for your work and we came first in Brighton and Hove City in Bloom Best Community Charity Garden. So what better way to celebrate the end of the year with over 50 people enjoying what former Mayor Pete West described as ‘the best alfresco Christmas dinner in Brighton.’