What a difference the sun makes!
Last year’s orb live@feva was a great family affair – lots of support from service users and volunteers, and great fun was had by all. But with rain falling in torrents all day, there were very few visitors from outside Orb.
This year we had a gloriously sunny day, the big double doors were thrown back and many of the people who were thronging the town on feva market day were tempted down our alley to see what was going on.
Amongst the visitors were some who already knew a little about Orb, and had come specifically to find out more. People like Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough and Councillor Carole Reid, Mayor of Knaresborough. We also welcomed visitors from Knaresborough Rotary Club and from the Co-operative Membership Community Fund. The ‘C0-0p’ are the people who very kindly gave us an award last year to helpkeep the Orb garden going, paying for seeds, tools and the ground rent. It was great to be able to show them how good the garden is looking now, thanks to their support, and to talk about how much involvement in the green environment can boost our mental well-being.
Grub from the garden was on offer at the refreshment stalls, including some great home baked cakes, all made with Orb-sourced ingredients We haven’t quite yet reached the stage of growing our own corn and grinding our flour for the baking, but the home produced flavour of the food definitely went down a treat.
Nostalgic fairground games were also there to tempt passers by who were drawn down the alley by all the sound and colour. Remember ‘Hooka duck?’ I used to get (with hindsight) grotesque plaster dogs whenever I won at our local fair – but I loved them! First prize this year at Orb for the highest score was a lot more imaginative and life – enhancing: a free, professionally supported recording session in the Orb state-of-the-art studio.
The music . . .
Centre stage of the day, of course, quite literally, were the Orb musicians and singers, plus contributions from visitors such as the Acorn Centre Band and DJ Rory Hoy.
The art . . .
Down in the Gazebo our visitors had a second chance to see the art work that focused in our highly successful Art Show at the Harrogate Library this summer. It’s good to see how much more confident our students’ art is becoming since we we were able to fund a professional art teacher, courtesy of a grant from the Foyle Foundation.
And the green growing stuff!
But the theme for this year was to celebrate the Orb garden, and the weather was certainly on our side this year. Mick and his team were on hand to show visitors round in glorious sunshine. Our garden was originally funded by Ecominds, who are so mindful of the beneficial effects of
engaging with living, growing things – also supported by the Co-op award (see above).
‘It was just terrific, ‘ said Leon, ‘to see so many old friends and new visitors coming in to take a look at what we’re achieving. Orb is right at the heart of Knaresborough and right at the heart of mental well-being.’