Roots and Shoots aims to bring teams of young volunteers (aged 13+yrs) together with isolated older people (aged 50+yrs) as part of the Leicester Ageing Together service.
We will do this by using gardening as an approach to connect people back in to the community and reduce isolation and loneliness in our society.
We have several strands to Roots & Shoots:
Individual gardening programme.
Connecting isolated older people with volunteers who will help keep their garden in shape as well as build a positive relationship and increase older people's confidence and self-esteem.
This programme strand is assessment-based and will place volunteers for up 12 weeks to:
- Begin to build a short-term relationship through gardening at an elder person's home, allotment or community garden.
- Our volunteers will try their best to help connect older people back in to their communities through local community gardening programmes.
- Roots & Shoots will discuss and signpost older people to other Leicester Ageing Together programmes.
- If older people are looking for longer term relationships but do not wish to join community programmes at this point, we will refer on to one of our other befriending services with Leicester Ageing Together.
Community garden programmes.
Connecting older people in to their community through local community gardening.
- Roots & Shoots are working within 5 wards to identify, establish and support grass roots gardening programmes. These ward areas are Belgrave, Spinney Hills, Wycliffe, Evington and Thurncourt.
- Local community projects could range from growing groups, allotment projects, to growing schemes and pocket park projects.
- If gardening programmes already exist in any of the 5 wards, we will endeavour to build a supportive and proactive partnership to develop sustainable approaches for community inclusion with other local groups and signpost older people to become active members.
- Our vision for creating/supporting these projects are for older people to become connected back in to the community, feel useful and wanted in their community and feel less isolated and lonely.
- We also want to ensure that our projects are co-designed and co-delivered by older people to ensure projects are suited to their needs and the needs of their local community.
Roots & Shoots Craft Cafe
Craft Café is a mobile workshop programme for older people, which provides the opportunity to engage in a range of arts activities with support from Roots & Shoots Intergenerational staff and volunteers.
The workshops and events are a place where everyone can learn new skills, renew social networks and reconnect with their communities.
The workshops/events can take place in a range of venues suitable to the needs of beneficiaries.
The Craft Cafe:
- Offers LAT beneficiaries a safe, social environment
- Teaches beneficiaries new skills
- Reduces isolation and loneliness
- Improves mental and physical health
- Encourages joy in later life
- Celebrates new and older artists
Activities could range from potting windowsill boxes, sowing and growing herbs, creative and arty gardening projects, pot crafts and murals just to name a few.
Whether you are 13 or 113 years old, become a volunteer and help to open lonely eyes to a world of friendship and community connections with Roots & Shoots.
If you've been a beneficiary of Leicester Ageing Together and felt the benefits of the programmes, maybe you would like to share your experiences and help others out of isolation and loneliness?
We are not trained gardeners, we are working with adults, the elderly and young people to build relationships, confidence and to create accessible spaces to serve the community and enhance connectivity.