Find us on Facebook

The more observant of you will have noticed that this blog – formerly known as ‘The Hatching of a Plot’ and also ‘The Plot Thickens’ – has been pretty quiet of late.  If you who would like to see what has been happening recently, frequent updates, photographs and the odd bit of silliness can be found here.

If you hit ‘Like’, any info posted on our ‘Sustaining Life’ FB page should appear in your newsfeed.  It will also make us feel loved!  Go on, you know you want to.

Thanks for reading.

Social and Enterprising

Well, many things have been happening; one of these being the latest image change for this wiblog.

As Sustaining Life is no longer just focussing upon the ‘Plotting to Improve’ project, this is now reflected in the new name of this blog and picture in the header.  For those who are not aware, there is also a Facebook page for Sustaining Life where the details of our most recent activity – the stained glass project – can be found, along with information about the ongoing allotment work.  Find it at www.facebook.com/sust.life and please remember to hit ‘Like’ when you visit.

The title of this post may give some indication as to the latest direction of our work.  I have been taking some advice on setting up a Social Enterprise, revolving around providing various therapeutic activities for different client groups and organisations.  My role is to be a facilitator; identifying sources of funding, approaching potential clients and working alongside skilled people – in this case an experienced glass artist – to deliver enjoyable and meaningful activities.  The working title for this aspect of the work is ‘Creative Catalyst’.  I would appreciate it if you could tell me if you like this or not.  Thanks.

We are still working at the plot, with a recent donation from Keep Wales Tidy making the wildlife pond possible.  You may remember that this was postponed in order to reallocate money to buy a replacement shed.  Well, we have had some new funding awarded so that our wildlife pond can finally be constructed.  The ‘Plotting to Improve’ allotment is still the foundational part of our work, but is now providing a basis from which to develop.  To branch out.

Please keep watching and praying, Wibfolk.  I believe there may be interesting times ahead. :)

Testing

I am in the process of building a FB page to promote the work of Sustaining Life.  I would be very grateful if any FB users reading this could follow the link and hit ‘Like’ on the page if it takes you there successfully.

www.facebook.com/sust.life

Thanks. :)

Not totally overgrown

It would appear to the casual observer that this blog is looking more than a little unkempt.  Lack of attention over the past few months has meant that a crop of updates and useful posts have been lacking.  For this, I can only apologise.

Please be assured that we value your support, interest and prayers.  Especially your prayers.  Matters are moving forward with this ministry and I, for one, am feeling more encouraged than I have for quite a while.  It is not really a good time to provide the latest news, being 11.30pm on a Sunday, but please be assured that regular maintenance and upkeep of our little patch of blog will resume very soon.

Thanks for dropping by, do please call in again.

All things new

Easter has come and gone.  The season has turned, the weather is getting warmer and the days longer.  This can mean only one thing as far as the ‘Plotting to Improve’ allotment is concerned – more work!

The broad beans have gone in, also onion sets, potatoes and some turnip seeds.  The rhubarb is beginning to show itself, as are the less weather resistant of our regulars.  It is good to see people returning and enjoying some healthy exercise and good company, not to mention a cuppa and a chat.

Next week, we are joining forces with a local mental health drop-in who have their own allotment project nearby.  We have each been given a small grant by the Association of City Farms and Community Gardens, which will enable both groups to spend a day visiting similar projects in Cardiff and Caerphilly.  The trip is scheduled for next Thursday, so good weather would be very welcome.

In other news, I am currently in consultation with an adviser from the local voluntary alliance.  Jeff and I are of the opinion that the next logical step for Sustaining Life may be to branch out into the area of Social Enterprise.  Wisdom and direction are very much needed for these decisions.

Thanks for your continued interest.  All the very best to you and yours.

 

More developments

My most faithful Vol, and right hand man, D and I had cause to visit some people who are starting up their own allotment today.  The intention was to see if we could make use of some excess free stuff they have.  Not only was some of the stuff useful, but it was good to be able to exchange information.

It looks as though there may be some opportunities to share ideas and resources in the future, and they helped link me to people with some expertise in this area who may be able to shoulder some of the burden from now on.  This is more good news, people, and has given me some encouragement and a bit of energy and motivation to move things on a bit more.

We are now looking for a window of opportunity to get these trees planted.  Conditions have been far from ideal recently, so please be in prayer for the coinciding of times, people and weather.  Ta!

Our Secretary has also let me know that there is a very enthusiastic gent from their church who is interested in seeing what we do with a view to lending a hand.  I am waiting on a phone call from him, too.

Praise the Lord of Logistics (amongst other things) for bringing things together as and when they should be. :)

Wee free trees and other matters

Woodland Trust have awarded us some nice young trees to plant in the form of a hedge.  This is great news in light of the fact that we used our previous ‘tree money’ to go towards replacement shed.  Need to sort out some kind of planting day, which I think would be a good chance to connect with people who we have worked with this past year and who have drifted.  Excuse for a celebration, perhaps (as well as/instead of Christmas meal)?

Don’t think I mentioned that a fabulous old saint from our chapel has offered his advice and support at the plot.  Well, he has.  Mr Mac is one of those lovely, twinkly octogenarians who is basically a cheeky young lad in an older bloke’s body. Please pray that I can get organised enough to fix a time for him to come and see us in action at the allotment.

Also, finally managed to get the four of our present ‘holding pattern’ committee in the same room at one time recently.  It was good to chat and pray together and establish a little more clarity as to where we are and where we need to be.  Praise God!

One final point, please thank God that I my personal walk with Him is getting more ‘real’ than it has been in far too long.  I need this basic cornerstone in order for the rest of life to function properly.  My laxness about fellowship with other people could still do with improvement, but it is a step in the right direction, I guess. :)

 

Relay

Am beginning to feel that I need to appoint a successor at the plot.  I think I know who this is, but still have my reservations.  Prayer please.  Thanks.

Also, still in need of sorting out the Committee issues, which may now include a Total Restructure (to be said in Arnie type voice).  Again, prayer needed.

Plot itself looking good.  Almost all of the major work in place, which is one of the reasons why I think it may be time to hand the day-to-day running to another person (or people?).  I must not lose sight of the fact that the reason we started this project was in order to bless people via interaction with God’s creation.  The overarching ethos needs to remain this way and we, as Sustaining Life, should still retain overall responsibility for the project.

It is now three years since we began this journey in earnest, and I think we are approaching the next phase.  Just can’t quite see what it is yet.  It may, in fact, constitute a fallow period before we take the next step.  I don’t know, but I am keeping my focus on Jesus, as best I can anyway.

Latest news

Since my last post the following has occurred:

- The shed was built with the help of some most excellent volunteers

- The funding report was finished, submitted and approved

- I have started a new ‘day job’.

Now, whilst those matters are all good news in and of themselves, the final one leaves me in a little bit of a quandry.  My new job takes up more of my time than the previous one and does not put me in such a good position for promoting the work we do – in fact it removes me from that arena entirely.  This adds to the difficulty I am having in staying focused on matters at the allotment, which I know our main volunteer finds frustrating.  Whilst I understand this, it is hard to keep the balance between work, the plot and other important life issues.

This means that I probably need to be finding a person or people to take some of the load.  We also need a functional Management Committee, cos it effectively consists of Jeff and myself at the moment, and we are really just keeping things in a holding pattern.  The day to day stuff at the project still carries on okay, but we do not want to see things stagnate or, worse still, run down.  This is my fear.  I am concerned that without sufficient input from a broader range of people, the project may suffer.

So, there is a real prayer request for you.  PLEASE ask that we will find those that we need to help carry the work forward.  I have put the word out as best I can, and have been attempting to find solutions, but a bit of Divine Intervention would not go amiss at this point.  Thanks.

In other news:  we have had some great crops recently and a couple of new regulars at the plot, so there are always things to be thankful for.  Also, the local ladies prayer group that meets monthly seems to have really taken us to heart, and a few kind souls from our local chapel also take an interest.   Note to self:  keep the faith!

Prayers please

The new shed is ordered and ready for delivery.  Please pray that I will be able to get hold of the right helpful people to assist me in its construction.  Left to my own devices, I would probably set it up such that it would be blown over the very next day.  I may have many skills, but master shed builder is not one of them!

I am also in the process of submitting the end of funding report to Keep Wales Tidy.  I will need to get my head in gear over the next couple of days and also manage to organise the collation of the various invoices etc, which means contacting the elusive pimpernel treasurer!  Please pray for a level head and focus to get this done and submitted asap.

Thanks for your continued prayers and support Wibfolk.  It helps to know that there are people out there rooting for what we do.  God bless.