Embracing Nature & Community

02 April 2024

As we’re beginning to see more sunshine and the hints of a warm spring, we can share news of some exciting Cultivate developments. 

Sewing Seeds of Gladness 

Sewing Seeds of Gladness is an 18-month intergenerational, community stitching project for people and groups in the Parish of South Petherton. It aims to celebrate the diversity and positivity of the Parish through creative stitching.  

Since its launch in April 2023, several hundred people of all ages have engaged with Phase 1 of the project, including 100 students in workshops at South Petherton Infant School; 10 WI members; 10 Youth Council members and staff involved in a 5-week project; and 10 scouts in a 3-week project. 

Between them, all the participants have created over 100 beautifully embroidered pieces (plus over 150 leaves stitched at the Stitchathon in November 23) which will be stitched together to create a Parish Map and completed by Autumn 2024. 

Thanks to a further grant from South Petherton Parish Council, the project is now moving into Phase 2 to complete the sections of the map and machine stitch it for display. We plan to reveal the final artwork at a community celebration event in September 2024.  

Soil Story 

Co-created in partnership with ARK at Egwood and Rama Life in Merriott, Soil Story started in February 2024. It is an intergenerational, land-based project for socially isolated adults with additional needs and home educated young people, that uses arts and food-related activity to transform our relationship with soil, each other and our communities.  

Soil is the source of all life, literally and metaphorically. It helps produce 95% of our food and is home to 25% of the earth’s species. All living beings depend on the soil, the soil relies on us to take care of it, and we need each other for our communities to thrive.  

The project is being delivered in two phases.  Phase 1 explores the ‘literal’ value of healthy soil and involves all the participants getting their hands very dirty! 

At Rama Life, the young people have really enjoyed getting muddy, letting go and connecting with nature. Participants at ARK have shared ideas around how to improve the compost system: “I like how we are not being lectured to but how we are on a voyage of discovery together.” 

Phase 2, which starts after Easter, will use arts activities to explore the ‘metaphorical’ value of healthy soil and its relationship to resilient, diverse communities. 

Community land-based project in Chard 

Although it’s early days, we’re working with several partners to explore the idea of creating a community land-based project in the centre of Chard that will bring people together around nature, creativity, food and wellbeing-based activity. At the Chard Together event on 9 March we asked people of all ages what they’d like to see happen and what they thought of the idea.  Everyone responded very positively, with many children illustrating their ideas on paper. 

We’ll have further updates on this exciting project in the next newsletter. 

Save the Date: Chill on the Hill 

We’re really pleased to be working with our colleagues again at Ham Hill Country Park to produce our third Chill on the Hill on Sunday 1st September 2024. Please pencil it in your diaries. 

Although we’re still in the early planning stages, we can guarantee it will be a family celebration of food, workshops and performances with a culturally diverse flavour. 

All in all, we’re looking forward to a productive spring season. 

Team Cultivate