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On Saturday 18th July we presented a community cake to Walsall Arboretum User Group. The User group works tirelessly throughout the year to promote and encourage children to become more interested in wildlife and nature. The group are all volunteers and often hold charity events to help and support local causes. The cake we donated was used at a strawberry tea party where they raised over £400 for Breast Cancer Care. It was a brilliant day, well attended and a lot of fun.
On Sunday 12th July, as part of Asda's 50th birthday celebrations, St Matthews is hosting a dementia friendly picnic in Walsall Arboretum. The idea of the afternoon is for any one living with dementia or a person caring for someone living with dementia to come along and enjoy an afternoon off with like minded people. The afternoon has a 30 piece brass band, a 30 strong choir, information and awareness stalls and various other activities throughout the afternoon. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come and join us on this special day. It's a beautiful, very large site so there's plenty of room for everyone.
This strip of land used to be a paved area with a concrete picnic bench. The area was heavily used for anti social behaviour and was destroying what was otherwise a beautiful area. After a working group persuaded the council to remove the picnic bench and dig up the tarmac Asda St Matthews persuaded the council to allow us to develop a bee and butterfly friendly wild flower meadow. We sowed the seeds in March and this week all the flowers are starting to come through. It won't be really established until a few years time but it is a beautiful area and is being enjoyed by many town workers who escape there for their lunchtime breaks.
Walsall recently started a 6 week campaign to clean up all area's of the town. When asked if we would support we were given an area of waste land in front of the town centre Tesco's. Adam page gsm lead a team of "Asda community volunteers" in a campaign to clear the area. In the end we filled 18 bags of rubbish. We were also joined by the manager of Walsall town centre. There are several other litter picking events that we will get involved with over the 6 weeks.
Our Jan/Feb Chosen by you winners were our local branch of the Salvation Army. Collecting the check on their behalf was Julie, one of the kitchen volunteers
As part of the improvement of Church Hill, Walsall, we are developing a bees and butterfly friendly wild flower meadow. Originally the area was paved with a picnic bench but this just encouraged anti social behavior so the council removed the bench and Asda St Matthews along with Walsall Arboretum User Group prepared the area. Asda St Matthews bought the seeds and we spent the morning sowing and raking them in. We look forward to many beautiful wild flowers later this year and hope it will develop further over the coming years.
St Mary’s the Mount award winning junior choir has over 60 members aged 7 to 11. The children perform regularly at events in school and directly impact their community by participating in local singing festivals and providing entertainment at the annual Mencap Christmas party and Parish fair. They sign all their songs using Makaton, a language programme using signs and symbols to help people communicate. Combining sign and song enhances the experience of all participants and allows young people who have limited language and communication skills to perform alongside their peers and reap the emotional and creative benefits that arise through the fusion of singing and signing. Thanks to the generous support of Asda St Matthews the children were thrilled to be able to use their talents to record three brand new songs, written by their teacher Rebecca Thompson, at the Forest Arts Recording Studio. One of these songs, Good to be Different, is about to be used to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day in March. Schools and other interested parties can download the song from www.jacobsladderproductions.co.uk and all money raised will be given to charity. We are hoping to return to the recording studio later this year to undertake further projects. The children’s participation in these exciting projects will encourage them to value and experience the joy of singing while developing essential life skills such as self-confidence, discipline, cultural awareness, responsibility, and a commitment to community service.
This months celebration lunch was a little bit different. We were invited to the town hall where the Mayor of Walsall Cllr Pete Smith presented our colleagues with their reward. All colleagues had their own individual packed lunch with them and the trip included a tour of the Mayors parlour,