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Pots of Kindness project tackles isolation and loneliness in Blackpool

A group of community volunteers has been working in partnership with Blackpool Coastal Housing to tackle loneliness by creating and sharing colourful plant and flower arrangements.

Pots of Kindness is an initiative developed by members of The New Langdale Community Volunteers group, who set out to address the impact that isolation has had on people’s mental health during the lockdown.

For many volunteer groups across the country, the recent challenging time has meant that participation in social projects has almost ground to a halt. The New Langdale Community Volunteers, a team of around 25 adults with learning difficulties, were each feeling a sense of frustration at not being able to contribute and support the people of Blackpool as they usually do.

In response, the group worked together to develop a concept based around the creation and sharing of colourful plant and flower arrangements. With the help of loved ones, the volunteers set about producing their own pots of kindness, creating a multitude of arrangements for distribution in the local community, each brimming with summer floral colour.

Each pot, along with compost and plants, is delivered to the volunteers’ homes and, once made up, is sent to the Blackpool Centre for Independent Living. Blackpool Coastal Housing then safely distributes the pots to recipients within their housing scheme.

In an effort to lift the spirits of local residents, a number of pots of kindness were recently distributed to the Edmonton community, which has experienced anti-social behaviour during the lockdown period.

The project has not only kept the volunteers group engaged and inspired, but has also provided the opportunity for each member to focus on their independence and creative skills while lockdown restrictions have remained in place.

Pots of Kindness forms part of an ongoing and growing partnership between the New Langdale Community Volunteers and Blackpool Coastal Housing.

John Donnellon, Blackpool Coastal Housing’s Chief Executive, said: “The efforts of the New Langdale Community Volunteers are very welcome for a community that has seen some unwanted anti-social behaviour recently.

“The pots of kindness are a good example of how communities have come together during the current crisis to support each other in a positive way.”

Cllr Jo Farrell, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Adult Social Care & Health, said: “These acts of kindness and community spirit are so important at the present time.

“We know that people have been struggling with loneliness, isolation and other mental health issues throughout the lockdown period. Projects such as Pots of Kindness are a great way to share goodwill and generosity with others, while also offering an opportunity for those involved to stay engaged and focused.

“Blackpool really is a better place when we work together – I hope that this initiative inspires other groups and individuals to take positive action in their community.”

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