Denise W & Fiona
Actions from last meeting
Cob oven - a separate meeting was held where we agreed that we need to think about the cob oven in the context of a whole new kitchen area/building. Andy has applied for £500 funding from RWT to pay for the oven.
Holiday club - Occasionally very busy, but generally numbers were quite low. General agreement to run them again in school holidays.
Weaver Hall Museum - have not been back in touch regarding request for help with their raised beds.
New member of staff - Andy to speak to Big Lottery Fund in next few weeks.
Thanks everyone for all your help this last month.
New storage bays - to store bulk deliveries of stone and 'toptrec' for path surfacing.
Cleared and flattened area by main tap, and filled in pot holes.
Flattened area around raised beds next to greenhouse.
Removed dangerous trees and stumps in new planting area next to greenhouse. More work needs doing to prepare this area and we should set up a sub committee to design the layout.
Vale Royal Group have started work on the toilet ramp (alternate Thursdays), but anyone is very welcome to join in.
Greenhouse is looking great and bountiful.
Pete (Buzz) will run monthly sessions for anyone interested in learning more about, and helping to keep, our bees.
Providing support to volunteers
Please can everyone be aware that members of staff are only available on their phones during sessions on the days that they are contracted to work.
Grozone staff are aware that they do not have professional experience of providing support for people with particular needs, and would like to be in closer, more regular contact with individuals' respective referral agencies where this is possible.
It has been suggested that some volunteers could take on extra responsibilities for particular tasks, and/or for when staff need some extra help. We'll set up a sub group to discuss this idea.
Everyone needs to remember to be mindful of each others' sensitivities and personal space. Because we don't know each others' sensitivities, we must act as though we all have them. For example, being over friendly to someone might seem to you as positive behaviour, but might come across to them as completely the opposite.
Grozone mantra - the mantra ('respect for each other, respect for the environment and safe use of equipment') is great, but we think that we should expand on it a bit. We'll set up a sub group to discuss it.
If you have some thoughts/ideas about a particular subject that we are having a separate meeting about, but you can't make it to the meeting, please let Pete, Andy or Fiona know your thoughts beforehand.
Other Grozone projects
Staff involved in these projects (CCG project on Wednesday afternoons with Fiona and UCAN project with Andy and Sarah Barnes on Thursdays) need to be left alone to work solely with the individuals involved in those particular projects. We realise this can be difficult, but please try to help with this. Some of the individuals involved in these projects are also very vulnerable and might also prefer to be left alone to get on with what they are doing.
Staff are having meetings with several new partners about possible future projects.
Start/finish times of sessions
It is very important that staff have time at the beginning and end of each day to prepare for (or clear up after) the day. Sessions run from 10.00am till 3.00pm and although staff appreciate help from volunteers before and after these times, staff must be free to get on with various tasks outside of these core hours. This will enable staff to be more prepared for the sessions.
We agreed to have a shared lunch break from 12.15 - 1.00pm where everyone (including staff) can sit down together to eat, and to have an end of day cuppa at 3.00pm.
We will soon be offering Open Awards courses that would formalise some of the learning that is already going on anyway. Again, staff need your ideas and suggestions please. Lots of courses would be very suitable (eg. horticulture, conservation, tool use and maintenance, seed sowing) and would require very little additional work to enable participants to gain accredited & worthwhile qualifications.
Staff would welcome your help to write blogs and facebook posts and to take photos. If you do write facebook posts independently, please remember that you are acting as an ambassador for Grozone, so please think about what you are writing, and whether or not it is appropriate for the rest of the world to see.
Friday 26th Setember - Macmillan Cake Day at Grozone. Please come along with cakes and/or money and tell everyone you know about it.
Saturday 27th September - Big Green Leaf at The Colliseum, Ellesmere Port. Andy will be there trying to win £1,000 for Grozone. Please come along and vote for us if you can.
Friday 10th October - Mental Health Awareness Day. Details to follow at next meeting.
The following suggestions were made for possible Grozone site visits:
Chinese Water Gardens, Arley Hall, Dunham Massey Garden and a project on The Wirral. Ideas will be discussed at the next Friends meeting.
Any other business
Jill suggested asking local supermarkets for freebies.
Lots of frogs have moved in to the new bath pond!
Date of next meeting
Wednesday 1st October at 1.00pm