believe housing grant supports club’s open evening

A Club which brings together people from some of the most remote parts of County Durham will open its doors to new members, thanks to a grant from believe housing.

Weardale Flower and Garden Club was awarded £445 from the housing association’s community grants scheme towards its annual open evening.

The club meets monthly for people with a shared interest to develop their skills and expertise in gardening and horticulture while socialising.

Its open evening at Wolsingham Methodist Church Hall on Front Street, Wolsingham, on Tuesday, 19 July 2022, from 7pm to 9.30pm, is a chance for members to take a friend, for £5, or anyone interested in the club to attend and find out more.

Joint Chair Susan Harris said: “We have about 70 members from Weardale and surrounding areas including Darlington, Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle.

“In rural areas like ours, people can experience social isolation and travel is often an issue. We bring people together at the club and we go to gardens and events people might not be able to visit if we didn’t organise a bus.

Our programme of events throughout the year includes guest speakers and demonstrations, our Royal Horticultural Society membership gives us entry to RHS gardens like Harlow Carr and we go to charity open gardens, festivals and shows.

We support local events like the agricultural shows and, since we were founded more than 40 years ago, we’ve raised more than £149,000 for local and national charities.

We’re about flowers, craft, gardening and promoting British flowers but also about bringing people together.

We’re looking for a bigger venue for the future and new people are more than welcome.

“The grant from believe housing is paying for national demonstrator Lucy Richardson, known as The Travelling Florist, to be at our ‘Friends Night’ open evening which we hope members and new friends will come and enjoy.”

Joanne Norman, Community Investment Coordinator at believe housing, said: “Clubs like this can be a social lifeline, particularly in rural or remote areas, and good for people’s overall wellbeing and confidence.

“We’re delighted to be able to support this event, for existing members and potential new ones who will be made to feel welcome.”

To find out more about believe housing community grants please click here.