A love of gardening has helped to bridge the generation gap between young and more mature members of the community in Carrick.
The ‘Growing Together’ event, which was organised by Carrickfergus Borough Council, saw pupils from Model Primary School Growing Club join Wesley Court residents to add colour and fragrance to the latter’s sheltered accommodation area.
Participants planted out hanging baskets and large plant-pots at the location.
In a statement to the Carrick Times, Alison Diver, council’s Natural Communities Outreach officer, explained: “The residents were able to share their experience and knowledge whilst the young Growing Club contributed their curiosity and enthusiasm and everyone was in agreement that it was an enjoyable day for all involved.
“‘Growing Together’ is an environmental-based inter-generational project to carry out community activities in Carrickfergus Borough. The project aims to bring different generations together and actively encourages the breaking down of barriers between older and younger people, while challenging negative stereotypes and behaviour.
“In today’s society, younger and older people are often strangers to each other as they don’t have the same opportunities which existed in the past to communicate and participate in activities together.
“The ‘Growing Together’ project demonstrates that older and younger generations have a great deal to offer each other in terms of knowledge and experience.
“The benefit of working these groups together on projects such as Wesley Court provides opportunities for improved mutual tolerance and understanding with the local community gaining from working and growing together.”
The event was also linked to the ‘Carrickfergus in Bloom’ initiative. Each summer the borough is enlivened by hundreds of hanging baskets, bedding displays, shrub beds and trees.
The Carrickfergus in Bloom Community Competitions have a £1200 prize fund with categories designed to encourage everyone to get involved: Best Kept Garden, Best Kept Container Garden, Best Kept Community Planting Scheme, Best Kept Commercial Premises, and Best Kept Floral Display by Traders in a Street or Centre.
There are also categories for younger people, including painting, poetry, and tallest sunflower competition.
If you would like to organize a Growing Together event contact Alison Diver at 028 93 351921