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A new expression of creativity is emerging in Wigan and Leigh to help the vulnerable and marginalised in the borough
Monday 30th March, 2015

Angie Seddon, Founder of Daisy Chains, has partnered with two community projects, in Wigan and Leigh, in a collaborative effort to serve the local area. These schemes are: Wigan Growing Network CIC, based at Worsley Hall, and As in Eden, community centre in Leigh. These two sites facilitate a number of people-led groups and societal projects, which enable marginalised individuals to engage with the community.

Angie said: “What I am trying to achieve is about connecting the community and bringing people together. It is about helping isolated individuals on the fringes of society to reconnect.

Daisy Chains is currently caring for an individual with ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). Becky Heap, 46, from Billinge, attends the Women’s Friendship Group, which meets at the Worsley Hall site, and receives frequent visits from Angie. She said: “It has changed my quality of life. They introduced me to activities which have led to meeting new people, given me a social life, and given me a purpose, as well as improving my confidence”.

Angie, who has a background in social work, said: “There is still an awful lot of stigma attached to ME/CFS. With this condition, one day you can be fine, and the next you are not. People need to be more understanding about this, and be willing to be flexible because the condition fluctuates. People don’t always grasp the severity of a condition, even if they know the person”.

At the Worsley Hall site, Wigan Growing Network works to promote community engagement through assigning allotments for private and community use, endorsing a ‘grow your own’ ethos. Hannah Morris, Director at Wigan Growing Network, said: “Our hope is that the allotments will help some of the food banks’ most needy people”.

Weekly and monthly groups are also held at the site, including: training in bee keeping, craft, and basic cooking skills. These groups, open to the general public, are often attended by those who are isolated or lonely in society, and provide an opportunity for them to connect with others. Becky, who visits the site, said: “The government, or other community-based groups, could provide additional funding to contribute towards, or subsidise, activities such as the ones on offer at Worsley Hall, so that they are affordable to those accessing them, and so that those organisations delivering the sessions can be sustainable and able to continue”.

These advancements in Wigan and Leigh, whereby individuals are looking to generate positive community-based creativity, are an indication that many individuals want to see further support offered to those who are marginalised, or on the fringes of society.

Angie said: “It is so rewarding to witness people experiencing joy in their lives, be it going to a brass band concert, or having afternoon tea. It’s through doing these things that they re-find their love of activities”.

Contact Angie Seddon on: 07758667172, or angieseddon@gmail.com

To find out more about Wigan Growing Network CIC, visit: www.wiganallotmentnetwork.org.uk/about.php.
Contact Hannah Morris on 07904272344, or hannah@wigangrowingnetwork.org.uk.

Visit As In Eden’s website: www.asineden.org.uk, or contact Jan Harney on 01942 269187 / 07811 764355, or by email: jan.harney@btinternet.com.

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