Holiday Activities & Food Easter
We had a great time at St.Ann’s Allotments last week over the Easter holidays working with local families and families connected to us through the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum. This programme was part of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme supported by Nottingham City Council and The Department for Education. Our programme specifically aimed to bring families together to encourage parents and children to learn and play together, for families to meet others in their community and for the whole family to learn about and access local community resources.
The programme was fully booked and saw at least 20 children visiting each day. We were successful in attracting participants with a range of ages and across generations including siblings, mothers, fathers, aunties and uncles. With the programme taking place in early spring we chose to work with our friends and the Renewal Trust to access their spaces around St.Ann’s Allotments and make use of the Community Centre.
We were lucky with a week of mostly good weather which allowed us to lead the majority of our planned activities outdoors. The first day saw the group using all of our senses to explore the allotment, we worked with prompt sheets that we had previously created inspired by environmental and social researchers from the University of Sheffield. They walked around the allotment site gathering sights, sounds, smells and feelings through drawings and notes. We then headed back to the Community center where we worked to transform our ideas into designs for ceramic tiles. Everyone ended the session with a tile to take home and use in their own garden.
On the second day we were joined by an Urban Bushcraft Instructor who led us in creative and team building activities such as den building and fire making. The groups worked really well together and were proud to show off and test out their den designs at the end of the session. Everyone got to try out fire making and for most of the young ones this was their first time trying something like this, they handled the task and responsibility really well. The children all took care to play on the allotment site safely and respectfully of each other and plot neighbors. Everyone was rewarded with hot toasted marshmallows!
On the Third day we made a trip to the Community Orchard where the team there had organised some great family fun and outdoor activities for children and parents to take part in. They children split into smaller groups and took part in an Easter egg hunt around the Orchard site, collecting points, eggs and chicks as they explored the site. Some children and parents tried out their gardening skills by potting their own sunflower plants and did some research in the garden by collecting natural materials and examining them under microscopes. Each day we had a lunch of sandwiches, fruit and cereal bars provided by Mr.s Buns,
which received great reviews from the families. The weather was colder on this day and some families were happy to realise that there was warm food available that the community orchard team had provided.
On the final day we made bug hotels, explored the allotment site with a scavenger hunt, made our own clay bugs decorated with petals, leaves and pebbles and learned how to use coppiced willow to make bird feeders.
We had a great turn out each day and enjoyed working with some lovely families and seeing the relationships grown between them and the green space at St.Ann’s Allotments.