Our Kitchen Garden Christmas!

What’s better than a Christmas Dinner, with home grown veg? 

Sprouts, Potato’s, Parsnips and Carrots from our ‘kitchen garden’ at the Garden Project – we’ve had a lovely morning cooking and playing games before sitting down together to celebrate 2020 at the garden project!

A huge thank you to our wonderful Gardener – Maddy, who has helped to turn this strange year into one full of fun. We have been busy trying new things, tackling new challenges, growing new vegetables, making new garden accessories and most importantly, making and spending quality time with our friends!

To find out more about our garden project or our other activities please click here. 

Cycling, Coffee and Cake!

This morning at the garden project, we decided we would like to make the most of the dry weather and get out and about! So we got ready for a bike ride and before we knew it we we’re out and about cycling around Cheltenham.  Before too long, we thought it was time to stop for some snacks and that’s when we thought of our friends at The Bayshill! 

Located just under a mile away from our Garden, The Bayshill have just opened up their new coffee shop. With outdoor seating, and some seating in a marquee – its the perfect place for us to stop. They are now serving hot food, soft drinks and homemade cakes, and lots of their drinks and snacks are even on a meal deal. We loved it.

They are now open Monday to Saturday 7.30am till 5pm and Sunday 9am till 4pm, we really recommend you visit – Santa’s Grotto is now open too. For more information, please visit their website. 

 

Reopening our Social Enterprise

From 3rd December we reopened our social enterprise. We have been busy creating a festive feel inside, and now our breakfast room is home to  beautiful large Christmas tree, our fireplaces are decorated with lots of greenery, berries, oranges and pine cones and the Guest House is lit with fairy lights and candles! 

Our learners are back and busy gaining valuable experience, setting tables, organising laundry and getting rooms ready, all excited for 2021, when we hope to get our course officially kickstarted. To learn more about our social enterprise, click here. 

Why not visit us before Christmas to enjoy Cheltenham. The town has a bustling high street, quiet parks and is lit up with lots of gorgeous Christmas lights! Restaurants have reopened and coffee shops are there for both takeaways and sit ins. To book your stay at The Portland, please visit their website by clicking here

Chocolate Christmas Cake

At the garden project this week we have decided to stay in the warm and make our very own Christmas cake! To bake our chocolate cake – follow our recipe below:

Ingredients
Cake:

50g cocoa powder
6 tbsp boiling water
3 eggs
4 tbsp milk
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g butter (softened) 
300g caster sugar

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line your baking tin with baking paper

  2. Put the cocoa powder and boiling water into a large bowl and mix well to make a paste. 

  3. Add the remaining ingredients and beat again until combined. 

  4. Pour the cake mixture into your baking tin. 

  5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until well risen and shrinking away from the sides of the tin.

To find out more about our activities and The Garden Project, please visit our Phoenix Page, or email us: enquiries@aimup.co.uk 

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Across our services, it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Over the last week we have been busy putting up our trees and decorations. With lots of singing and dancing along to Christmas songs, laughing with our friends and getting covered in glitter, we have had a fantastic time getting ready at our homes, The Phoenix and our Social Enterprise. 

This December we have lots of festive things planned, Phoenix are busy organising their Christmas Party, the team at The Garden Project are making wreaths and our Social Enterprise will reopen it’s door from Wednesday 2nd November for Cheltenham’s Christmas visitors.  To keep up to date with what we get up to, keep checking back or follow us on social media: 

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Small Charity Big Impact Day

In June, alongside thousands of other small UK based charities, we celebrated Small Charity’s Big Impact day. We had lots of fun reflecting on what we get up to at The Garden Project and our Social Enterprise – to find out more, watch the short video below!

Spooktacular Halloween Parties

Last weekend was Halloween, and across our services we had a frightfully good time! 

At Phoenix, we had a Halloween party, which we made our own Halloween Hoopla and piñatas for. The building was decorated and we cooked our own lunch of sausage rolls, ‘horrid’ hot dogs, and much more! Over at Vincent Court we also had a Halloween Party. We had fa-boo-lous costumes and make up, lots of laughter and dancing before we sat down for a spooky spread for dinner.  To top that all off, at the Garden Project we held our last outdoor cinema night of the year, kept warm by blankets and mugs filled with hot chocolate and marshmallows we watched Nightmare before Christmas by our bonfire. 

We all had a great time and can’t wait dress up, decorate our houses again in 2021

Our Outdoor Cinema

In September Maddy and his team at the Garden project built a canvas screen and hung it from our summer house, before linking up the projector and hanging fairy lights! After a slight dilemma of a missing lead – the day was saved by a DVD player which we plugged into our projector. Service users from a few of our supported living houses travelled to the Garden Project to relax watching Fantastic Mr Fox. We had a campfire to keep everyone warm and cooked popcorn and toasted marshmallows to enjoy throughout the film! It was great to see so many friendly faces again after months of stay at home.

Last night we decided to hold our last outdoor cinema night of the year, kept warm by blankets and mugs filled with hot chocolate and marshmallows we watched Nightmare before Christmas by our bonfire. We were lucky with the weather and had a great evening together, we can’t wait for 2021 when we hope to have many more outdoor cinema nights, but as the weather changes we’re back to watching our films indoors for the time being!  

Welcome to Phoenix

Phoenix is our service user led activities hub, we open 5 days a week so why not join us for a whole range of activities from quiet sensory to rowdy karaoke and disco dancing! In our cookery sessions, we make everything from curries and casseroles to cakes and crumbles, then sit down and enjoy lunch with our friends or take some home for dinner time.  Fridays we get quizzical, our service users compete for prizes in a variety of rounds, we also enjoy other board games together – having a catch up whilst we play!

Before the rain set in, we enjoyed picnics in the park and topping up the bird feeder, Football and garden games at the garden project and lots of time out and about in our community! In the winter – we still get out, spotting Christmas decorations, warming up with hot chocolates and exploring the park. 

We are all about meeting new people, catching up with our friends and creating new and exciting activities for you to enjoy. We have 6 key areas (living skills, gardening, interactive sessions, community activities, crafts and sensory) which focuses our activities programme, but if you want to suggest we try something new – just tell us. 

Keep checking our blog page for regular updates on what we have been getting up to at Phoenix, for more information about this service, please click here!

Welcome to our Garden Project

The garden project is the result of an All Service User annual meeting and monthly forums, in which many said that they wanted an outdoor space to enjoy the fresh air, and learn about nurturing a garden, so eventually we could have our own kitchen garden which would allow us to further develop our living skills in the kitchen! The garden project came into fruition in 2018, and is now a much loved part of our activities programme.

Our garden project is based in the large grounds of one of our supported living houses and over the last two years our gardener Maddy has worked hard to develop the space which has become an incredible asset to our services. The fully inclusive and accessible garden space, is now home to all sorts of handmade bat boxes, bird feeders, bug hotels, various growing spaces and lots more!

Even with the restrictions that have been in place during 2020, we have been lucky enough to add additional activities to our Garden Project calendar, from an outdoor cinema night to camping and bushcraft. As always we have worked to use recycled materials to make various things for our garden, and we even spent some time creating our own shelves for one of our supported living kitchens. This year our garden has struggled to produce as many fruits and veggies as we had last year, but from what we have grown we have continued to enjoy cooking and baking, alongside prepping the garden for autumn and winter.

Keep checking back to see what we get up to at the garden project!