We all love to see fresh flowers, tastefully displayed and showing off nature in all its loveliness and colour, but to arrange them so that they look their best takes a little practice.
Thanks to support from the Ageing Better in Birmingham programme, Samreena Begum, with the help of Nita Upadhyay at the Sparkbrook Ageing Better Hub was able to set up a flower arranging class at the Tyseley Community Centre and this has proved very popular with ladies local to the area. Samreena said:
“This has been 15 weeks of utter bliss and has definitely helped to reduce isolation in the local community, these ladies have come along every week, they have learnt lots of new skills, made new friends and have really enjoyed themselves."
"From the bottom of our hearts, we all want to say THANK YOU very much to Ageing Better”
We also chatted with Patricia, a lady who came to Birmingham in the 60’s. When asked about the best thing she had experienced in the group, she said:
“I would have been just sitting at home watching TV if I hadn’t come to this group, I have met so many lovely people here, made friends and felt really welcome”.
She also added “Why just sit at home and be lonely? How often can you go out shopping? It’s very isolating being on your own, and sometimes lonely people don’t eat properly, so I would always encourage others to join a group like this”.
We know about the challenges and difficulties that can be caused by loneliness in later life, especially when children have grown up and moved away, and this was very clear when we spoke with Shazia, who explained that she came to England in 2006 and now that the children are grown up and have left their home, she started feeling lonely and isolated.
"When the children left, I became very sad and started taking tablets for depression, my doctor suggested it would be good to do some voluntary work and then I found out about this free flower arranging class from a leaflet in my local Mosque”.
“Coming to this group has been really, really helpful for me. I have learnt new skills, made new friends and have had time to laugh and relax. I feel much better now!”
Shazia also wanted to personally express her heartfelt thanks to the Ageing Better in Birmingham programme for providing support to to the people who made this group happen. She said that women really benefit from getting out and meeting others and she hoped that in the future, there could me more groups and classes like this.
It's really encouraging that people are coming together in their local community, making it a better place to live for everyone!