In December 2010 we were successful in our bid to the Big Lottery Awards for All for £10,000. The bid was for several things including a Nature Memorial Garden to be built on the site of the derelict rose garden site in the newer part of the Old Cemetery. A group of our volunteers recently met up on site to discuss how we are going to tackle the garden. We will be able to purchase seating and plants to encourage wildlife and make it a place of peace and tranquility for people to visit.
Work will be carried out refixing some of the broken memorials in the vicinity of the Nature Memorial Garden to make this area safe for use. We would have liked to refix many more but our funding is limited. (Hopefully we can raise more in the future to make a real impact in the Cemetery)
We would like to work with young people of the town who have signed up to volunteer and incorporate their ideas. We aim to run some sessions/demonstrations in the garden for all ages led by experts in their field in things such as building bird, bat boxes and insect houses, bat walks, dry stone walling, craft sessions etc
As well as running sessions in the Nature Garden we will be able to offer FODC volunteers training such as First Aid; Fundraising; Working with Volunteers; Using Power Tools, etc.
We will also be able to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the opening of the Old Cemetery with events starting in June and an Exhibition in Darwen Library.
We have already been able to replace a very old laptop we were using for administration of the group and have purchased a laser printer to go with it, so this will really help with the whole project. We will be advertising all the events on our website, local press and on our notice boards, so look out for them running from June onwards. Everyone is welcome to join in and if you would like to volunteer please come to one of our meetings.
(Rosemary Jackson February 2011)