Onwards and Upwards community group Daffodil Doorstop Drops

Onwards and Upwards, a Salford community well-being group, has been dropping off local daffodil packages to brighten up lockdown doorsteps.

The peer support group were donated daffodil bulbs to be planted within semi-neglected spaces in Irlam and Cadishead but due to Covid, this was not possible.

Alternatively, packages were delivered locally to encourage people to brighten up their doorsteps, but also to tackle loneliness and social exclusion during the lockdown.

Onwards and Upwards will hopefully then be able to run a competition on photographs sent of the revamped doorsteps with the possibility of prizes for the winners.

The self-supported group has also been helping out the community through litter picking and distributing food parcels. Alongside this, they also introduced and delivered ‘Tea For Two’ packages which included teabags, Nescafe, a small amount of milk, and Lotus biscuits.

The organisation is hopeful that they will be able to open a community café in the future which would see them making homemade meals to sell, raise funds and help others. They are also hoping to purchase digital devices for the community and prevent digital exclusion for individuals who prefer to stay at home.

Andy Green, director of Onwards and Upwards, said: “We’re encouraging people to brighten up their doorstep – whether that’s a hanging basket, a couple of pots by the door, cleaning your doorstep, or painting your doorstep.

“It’s a way of engaging, having conversations with people again, and combatting that isolation and loneliness. It’s letting people know that we are there, but there is also something tangible attached to it where people feel a part of something.

“We’ve made some amazing achievements. The delight that this has brought to people that were sat at home on their own – just us having a reason to go and deliver them, have a conversation, and then pick up from them what we might be able to help them with next. So, it’s really good stuff, despite being really restrictive, we’re making really good headway.

“It gives us a way to stay in touch with people – and the same people have expressed interest in some growing boxes that we are running in a few weeks’ time.

“People have been delivered the bulbs and took a picture of the space – what it looked like before they put the bulbs in, and then we’ve got a few pictures coming through now of them sprouting.

“We’ve got plans to really try and see if we can continue connecting with people that might not necessarily do this type of stuff, right the way through the growing season, so it’s all looking really good.

“Out of that, it’s obviously brought a lot of joy for us – it’s shown us that the need is there for the work that we’re doing. We’re finding that as much fun as the bulb planting is, we’ve been able to safely give some real solid support at a difficult time. We hope that as Coronavirus relaxes, people that we might not have necessarily seen before will continue to keep engaging with us.

“We’re understanding that people have difficulties and we’re trying to work towards supporting them in our own way and letting the person find what it is they’re wanting, so we’re seeing some real improvements. We’ve got some real nice feedback from people about how much of a difference things like the daffodil drops have made.

“It’s kind of a win-win situation for everybody – it’s really quite nice, a nice little thing to be watching. We’ve got some opportunities in front of us, and I don’t ever envisage us not going to where we’re going to.

“We’ve took quite a leading role in actively encouraging people to remember that the past is the past but if we all work together, we can have whatever it is we want in the future. That’s what it’s always about – helping people to help themselves.”

Onwards and Upwards can be found at: https://onwardsandupwards.org.uk

Or alternatively, via email: onwardsandupwardsoffice@gmail.com or via phone: 07790052723.

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