An update on Growing Lives featured image
Back to news

An update on Growing Lives

Growing Lives remains closed for the time being, but staff are in constant contact with the people who normally attend. We are making the most of this break to evaluate the service and make exciting new plans for when we re-open.

Supporting people with activity ideas at home

Growing Lives is all about teamwork, group activities and spending time in a sociable environment. The guidelines around social distancing would have made this impossible, and so we have taken the tough decision to temporarily close Growing Lives.

A lot of people come to Growing Lives regularly. It is a place where they can meet up with people, enjoy taking part in activities and discuss anything that’s on their mind. The last thing we want is for anyone to lose this crucial support network – especially at a time when we are all feeling anxious and confused.

Since it closed, Growing Lives tutors have kept in constant contact by phone and text with all of the people who would normally be at the project. They have provided a listening ear so people can still discuss any worries – about coronavirus or anything else. They have made sure that people understand the latest guidance on staying safe, and know what to do if they have symptoms. Staying in doesn’t stop everything. Tutors have been giving lots of ideas for activities that can be done at home. When we re-open we’re looking forward to everyone sharing the new skills they have learnt during their time indoors.

Pausing planned activities

Since February we have been working with contemporary artist Laura McCafferty and photographer Jon Legge to create a banner for our Parade of Banners project funded by Arts Council England. The sessions were going really well and the group were at the final stages of putting together the large banner made from individual designs. The final two half day sessions are now on hold, and we aren’t sure what will happen with the planned exhibitions. We have also had to put other funded activities on hold, including a planned trip to Mount Cook Adventure Centre funded by Outdoors for All. We are grateful to our funders for being flexible and understanding.

Looking ahead

This unexpected hiatus is an ideal time for us to evaluate the project and look ahead to plan new activities. When this pandemic is over and we all start to go back to normality we will re-open our doors for past and new participants. The friendship, support and opportunities provided through Growing Lives will be as important as ever.

The community support we have had for Growing Lives has been amazing. So many people have donated to the project, bought our homemade goodies and been to our events. We would like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU. We will keep you updated on what we are doing and will hopefully see you at another Growing Lives event before long.