Thanks to the wonderful Cheltenham Lions Club, we have just enjoyed a week long holiday in Burnham-on-Sea. Our staycation was packed full of fun.

We spent lots of time out and about, visiting new places, new restaurants and pubs and trying our luck in the arcade. We took the bus to Weston-super-Mare. Here we explored the Grand Pier, the arcade and had lunch out. 

Through out our holiday we collected enough tickets in the arcade to trade them in for two Spider Man mugs! 

The holiday was full of adventure, with trips on the Ferris wheel, bowling, coffee and cake out, dancing in the caravan and drinking a beer in the pub.

A special thank you to Cheltenham Lions Club who kindly donated the caravan holiday, and to Gerry Mitchell who helped organise it all. We had a really fantastic time.  If you’d like to find out more about Cheltenham Lions Club, please click here

Its National Recycling Week…

National Recycling Week, happens every year to help us celebrate the benefits of recycling and learn more about recycling. At St V’s and St G’s we’re trying to boost our recycling efforts. Our Garden Project champions recycling. Maddy and his team reuse, recycle and repurpose whatever they can. They hardly ever buy new and the poly tunnel is an Aladdin’s cave of bits and pieces that might be useful for this or that. We’re always recycling materials to make new things, repair old broken things or repurpose and reinvent.  Here, one mans rubbish really is another mans treasure. 

To celebrate National Recycling Week, we’d like to share with you some of the things that we have made at The Garden Project, so you can see just how creative recycling can be.

Skateboards into games

We had an old skate board which needed a lot of TLC, so instead of binning it – we made a game out of the wheels: The Truck Wheel Game. 

Pallets into a turbo trainer

On our mission to get fit, we worked to create our very own turbo trainer so we could cycle, without leaving the comfort of our own garden!

Cupboard doors into shelves

We always need shelves, who doesn’t? So when we decorated our bedrooms we used an old cupboard door to make some new shelves. 

T-shirts into corner flags

The garden is our sports ground, we couldn’t run our Well Close FC (our in house tiny team who are always up for a kick about) football games with out corner flags so we made some out of an old blue t-shirt. 

Tables into benches

Our CEO had a coffee table that she no longer needed, but she had always wanted a garden bench: so we made one!

Records into rooves

We had lots of duplicate records, but instead of throwing them away: we wanted to do something with them. But what can you do with a vinyl record? We made lots of hanging bird feeders, but to stop the food getting wet: we used our records as rooves.

Left overs into rooms

Since the garden opened we’ve collected lots of bits and pieces: bits of rope, left over records, the odd broken brick and much more. During a spring clear out we came up with  a plan to make use of our leftovers. We made our own bug hotel, with lots of  different rooms, which sits proudly in our small wooded area.

Cans into trophies

We love sports, from football to basket ball, our lawn is home to lots of games. We’ve even hosted our own basket ball tournament and for that, we needed a trophy. So we rummaged through recycling, and used scraps of wood to make the basket ball and a can to label the trophy.

Canvas into a screen

Who doesn’t love a big screen? When the pandemic hit, we lost touch with some of our friends, to celebrate the restrictions lifting we hosted an outdoor cinema night. We cleaned up and stretched a bit of canvas that we had left over and created our much loved screen.

Scraps to symbols

Using lots of left over scraps of wood and a bicycle wheel rim, we made our very own Garden Project symbol/logo. It now sits above our small waterfal, and we love it. 

We’re always recycling, being creative and starting new projects. If you’d like to join us at The Garden Project, or find our more please visit our Garden Project Page using the button below. 

Phoenix Fest 2021

We love music, and this year at Phoenix we have worked hard to organise our very own music festival: Phoenix Fest. In the run up to the big day, we’ve all chipped in to create a festival atmosphere through out our activities hub. We made our own wrist bands, flower crowns, tickets and signage. Worked out our warm up acts, headliners and our up and coming talents. Pinned down a day to go shopping and buy our festival essentials (burgers, hotdogs and drinks) , created our own photobooth and stage areas and spent many days chatting excitedly about what was to come. 

Phoenix Fest was AMAZING! We had a fantastic time and it was really good seeing how our hard work had paid off, we had created our own festival, and we all had so much fun. 

Performances from ‘The Spice Girls’ ‘Westlife’ ‘Elvis’ and many more made the day come alive, hours of dancing singing and partying were finished off by a Phoenix favourite: Queen, We are the Champions. 

We wore our wellies, flower crowns and funky clothes, ate sausages, burgers and drank lots of fruit punch. In the afternoon we were busy, spotting new talent on our stage when we all had turns singing our favourite songs to the crowds. 

In true festival style, a big clean up is now needed: we will be sorting our recycling, saving what we can for Phoenix Fest 2022 and trudging round rather tired tomorrow! 

World Photo Day 2021

Today is World Photo Day , to celebrate we have put together some of our favourite photos from 2021 so far! Despite the challenges COVID19 has thrown our way, we have worked incredibly hard to ensure that there have been lots of exciting opportunities to get out and about, visit new places and try new things!

Out and About

The warmer weather and easing of restrictions has meant lots of trips out and about. We have explored new places, tried new activities and had a great time engaging with our community! 

Trips to Weston

Some of us love the beach, so what better way to spend the hot summer days than visiting our local beach: Weston-super-Mare. We have mooched in the shops, treated ourselves to ice creams, paddled in the sea and even had a ride on a donkey!

Walks in the country side

Warmer days only spur us on to get out and about to explore our local country side. We have enjoyed lots of walks in Gloucester, visiting new places and returning to some of our favourites.

A break at Butlins

One of our favourite places to have a break, is Butlins. We had a week long stay, enjoyed lots of good food, discos and exploring the attractions. 

Fruit Picking

June kicks off strawberry season, so what better way to enjoy one of our favourite fruits than going to pick our own? 

We visited Primrose Vale, and had a great time picking the juiciest strawberries, sneaking a few to snack on along the way.

Holidays to Burnham on Sea

For the last week of June, we will be holidaying at Burnham on Sea. Thanks to Cheltenham Lions, we are holidaying in a static caravan all kitted out to make it fully accessible and easy for us to use! The site is close to the beach, a lovely fishing lake and plenty of beautiful walks – we can’t wait to explore! 

Visiting animals

We love animals, so jumped at the chance to visit some animals. We spent the day looking after chickens and walking sheep – it was great fun! 

West Midlands Safari Park

We had a lovely day out at West Midland Safari Park. We had our first tattoo (temporary & glitter of course) won a prize on the Hook-a-duck & fed the animals.

Lunch at the Pub

One of our favourite things to do to break up the week is to have lunch at a pub. This time, we treated ourselves to a cocktail – to celebrating being able to go back to our local.

Holiday in Cirencester

We had a holiday in Cirencester. We really enjoyed visiting the bird park and getting out and about somewhere new.

RDA Lessons are back

Horse riding is one of our favourite activities. Lockdown has meant we haven’t been able to visit the RDA to take part in our weekly lessons. But since restrictions have eased, we have been back and a few weeks ago we took part in a small competition, winning a colourful rosette. 

Exploring the Cotswolds

We are lucky to live so close to the Cotswolds. It means days out to beautiful places are just a short drive away. We have recently visited Bourton-on-the-Water. We enjoyed a picnic by the river, and looking at all the lovely shops along the busy high-street.

Summer has arrived!

After months of cold, damp weather – summer has finally arrived in Gloucestershire! To say we are all thrilled, is an understatement. The warmer weather, alongside the restrictions easing has meant lots of us have been able to get out and about a lot more. We have visited new places, developed our living skills and enjoyed catching up with our friends. 

Trip to Weston

We took a day trip to Weston and spent the day exploring. Walks along the beach, paddling in the sea, mooching in shops, riding the Ferris wheel and enjoying an icecream! 

The pubs are open

After a long wait, we are able to go back to the pub! Lunch and a cocktail is such a treat, we really had a lovely time. 

Gardening Services

Outside of our normal Garden Project activities we also visited one of the charity’s supported living houses, to help get on top of their garden: which suddenly sprung into life during the warmer weather. 

Our Social Enterprise and their new Courtyard area

Since reopening our Social Enterprise (The Portland Guest House) we have been really busy! Lots of guests have visited us, and left fantastic feedback on social media, booking.com and trip advisor etc! 

But the sun has also meant we have had time to sort out our courtyard. The Guest House now has outdoor seating available, pots of flowers and a mini herb garden. 

BBQs at the Garden Project

The summer also means we are back BBQing at the Garden Project. We have had a few evenings sat together, trying new foods on the BBQ. 

Picnic in the park

From Phoenix, we are only a short walk away form one of our favourite places – Pittville Park. So we decided as the weather was picking up, we would all visit the park for a picnic, quiz and ice cream. We can’t wait to do it again with more of our friends who are coming back to Phoenix in coming weeks. 

We have lots of exciting things happening over the next few months, and hope this warm weather continues so we can all enjoy being outside! 

Earth, Air, Fire & Water…

At the garden project we have been learning about the four elements; earth, air, fire and water. We then decided that we would make these symbols to hang in the garden. Using cuttings from our willow tree, we got to work. It took us some time to snip each bit of willow to the right length, and put the symbols together – but now they are hung in the garden, in our small woodland walk patch. 

This is the symbol for Fire.
This is the symbol for Earth.
This is the symbol for Air.
This is the symbol for Water.
Here are our willow elements hung up.

Spring is on its way…

Spring is on the horizon and that means we are spending more time preparing the garden for the busiest few months of the year. We have worked hard over the last few weeks to tidy up, clearing away debris, trimming back trees, bushes and over grown shrubs, weeding, washing pots, cutting the grass and organising the compost heaps.

As our garden slowly begins to wake up after winter, we have been lucky enough to have snowdrops and daffodils flower, and had many rain free days. Now the hard work begins as we sow seeds in our outdoor pots, raised beds and in the poly tunnel. So far we have planted carrots, tomatoes and spinach – ready for our summer BBQs. 

We have lots more to do, but can’t wait for the warmer days ahead when we can sit out, relax and enjoy the beautiful garden, and our freshly picked fruit and veg.

Keep checking back to see what we get up to in coming months. 

Our new found love of cycling

With many of our usual activities being put on hold, our team have encouraged us to visit wheels for all. Lots of us have been, and thoroughly enjoyed cycling using the different bikes they have available. We have had so much fun, that it has now become an activity many of us take part in twice a week, Our new found love of cycling means that as we get more comfortable some of us are trying new things, and working hard to take part on our own! 


Making a house our home

Over the last week we have been busy working on our living skills, by decorating our room. After a few days choosing a colour, we decided on blue, so got to work preparing the walls. We filled holes, smoothed the scrapes and cleaned up the skirting boards. 

A few members of the garden project chipped in, helping to cut in around the skirting boards, plug sockets and switches before we got to roll the first coat on the wall. 

Once that had dried, we worked all weekend to do another coat and add the  finishing touches, hanging our collection of hats along the beam and our framed Forest Green Rovers football shirt back up on the wall. 

We have really enjoyed decorating our room, and the transformation from magnolia to our favourite colour has made it feel more like our home. We hope to be able to help some of our other friends transform their places and use our new skills again soon.