Saturday, 22 October 2011

Hearing Unheard Voices Campaign Awards

We are delighted to announce that Magic Beans has been shortlisted for a UK Youth - Hearing Unheard Voices Award for "Best Local Campaign". 

The award ceremony will take place on 29th November at St James Palace in the presence of Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal (Patron of UK Youth). 

The HUV Campaign Awards will showcase the fantastic campaigning work done by young people aged 11 - 18 from across the country, highlighting their enthusiasm, achievements and impact.

To find out more about HUV and UK Youth please visit their websites:

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Truth About Youth Awards; Thank Yous

Magic Beans finished work on the garden in April so it has been a while since the last blog post--- apologies! But, here's an update on what's been going on with the Magic Beans since then...

On July 7th, Envision hosted the Truth About Youth Awards. The ceremony gave the many Birmingham Envision teams the chance to celebrate their successes over the last year. 

The ceremony was held at the Jaguar Suite, Edgbaston Cricket Ground
L-R Alice, Moyo, Amy, Zoe (from a fellow CHG Envision group), Jane

Magic Beans were nominated for two special awards and we are very proud to say that we won the "Team of the Year Award" and were commended for our use of media in spreading the word about our project. We are also delighted that our own team mentor, Bethan, won the "Team Mentor of the Year Award".       
Winning the award for Team of the Year
Catch-up with the "Dragon" from Pitch4Change
To read a summary of the ceremony please visit Envision's website:

To see some photos from the event please join the Envision Facebook page and visit this album:

We would like to say a huge thank you to our mentor (Bethan Court) and our Envision co-ordinator (Emma Packham) for their support throughout our project. They not only guided us in the planning stages but also gave up their own time to be alongside us when we were doing the gardening itself- we really would not have been able to have done all this without them. 

We would also like to say thank you to the panel from Pitch4Change for giving us a grant of £500 to get us going with the project. Without this sort of money, it would have been much more difficult for us to buy the necessary plants and equipment for the garden.   

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Working on the Garden #3

Yesterday afternoon, on a very hot and sunny day, Liz, Moyo, Emma (our Envision co-ordinator) and I met up for a trip down to Homebase to buy some plants for the new flower bed we wanted to create. We knew that we wanted more colour and smells so we set out looking for the most suitable flowers- and we did, thanks to some guidance from one of the staff at Homebase. 

What seemed like a never ending walk up Kings Heath high street, we carried our purchases back to the care home with the flowers surprisingly still intact! Unfortunately Moyo had to leave us when we got back but Liz, Emma and I continued on to start our work on the flower bed.

Upon settling on where we wanted our flower bed to be, we began our intense digging session on the very unco-operative grass! Using all the tools available to us, we dug up the thick layer of grass- finding all sorts of 'treasures' underneath the surface (e.g bricks, pieces of pottery, shiny rocks, tree roots, ant eggs...).   

Once we had done the main bit of the work, the residents and the carers came out to the garden to help us turn up more soil and to actually plant in the new flowers. Everyone had their own space around the patch of soil and we all had fun working together to bring it to life.

The three of us had never done gardening before and so it was an extremely proud moment for us to see the finished flower bed. Some of the plants have yet to flower and I'm sure in the summer, the garden will look more like an explosion of colour (and more so than it has ever done in the past).  

Photos from the day:

And here are some photos to show what the garden looks like now:

- Amy

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

All Fired Arts

Here are a couple of photos from when Alice, Immy and Bethan went down to All Fired Arts to collect the residents' personalised plant pots.

"It has been a real pleasure working alongside Envision and the girls from Camp Hill School on the Magic Beans Project. We loved the sensory garden idea straight away as it appealed to our sense of community development and working together to enrich the lives of local residents. The link to this project has been of great help in giving our apprentices a real context in which to deliver community focused arts activity, they have been adding to their portfolios which will lead to a level three community Arts apprenticeship. The residents and staff at the care home really enjoyed taking part in this creative activity and now have a colourful, personalized addition to their garden in the form of hand painted plant pots.

Really well done girls, all communities need committed, compassionate and creative citizens like you! " - Annie, All Fired Arts


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Working on the Garden #2

On Saturday, wearing our bright orange Envision t-shirts, me, Bethan, Immy’s Dad, Nancy and Emma spent an afternoon in the garden. Luckily, the weather was beautiful and the sun continued to shine all afternoon. We managed to get a lot done and kept up the hard work the other team members had done the previous week.

We managed to:
  • Put up the bird boxes (after having fun getting the nail into the fence!)
  • Plant the vegetable seeds in the raised beds (but not the carrots because Bethan realised that her packet of seeds had no seeds in!)
  • After much confusion about how to actually plant a bulb correctly, we managed to put bulbs and compost in all of the pots we’d bought
  • Finish digging bricks out of the bottom of the garden (using a huge pick axe!)
  • Plant the rest of the plants underneath the trellis
  • Put the strawberry plant in the most awesome plant pot
  • Level out the ground under the compost bin
  • Plant bulbs in the back right hand corner of the garden to fill up some gaps
The residents came out and gave us a hand with digging the bricks out of the garden underneath the trellis and also putting the bulbs and compost into plant pots. It was very rewarding seeing the smiles on the resident’s faces when they got involved. 
We all had a great time and can’t wait to get back into the garden another day! We’d like to say a huge thank you to Immy’s dad for his time, Kings Heath Park Rangers for donating the bird boxes and the garden centres which have kindly given us a discount.

Here are some pictures from the day:

- Jane

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Working on the Garden #1

Yesterday, Bethan (our Envision mentor), Immy, Immy's dad and I finally got started on the garden! After a worrying half an hour where it threatened to rain, the weather brightened up and we were able to work on our tans as well as the garden - an added bonus!

So far we have managed to:

  • Put the hanging baskets up
  • Assemble the bird feeder
  • Build the three raised beds and compost bin
  • Put the solar lights in the garden
  • Put the trellis up on the back wall
  • Start digging the bottom of the garden ready to start planting

Here are some photos from the day:

We finally managed to pick the plant pots the residents had designed from the amazing All Fired Arts. The residents and carers were delighted with the pots and were amazed at their generosity. We would like to thank them with all of our hearts!

A message from All Fired Arts

Starting the garden was more enjoyable than we expected and we really had a lot of fun. Immy and I would like to thank Immy's dad and Bethan for helping as we couldn't have started it without them!

- Alice

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Photos of The Garden

Here are some photos to show what the care home's garden looks like at the moment. These photos were taken in December which is why there is snow!

View of the garden

Raised flower bed

Seating area
As you can see, there isn't much to the garden at all. Our plan is to include an area for vegetables/fruit and to build two new raised flower beds. There will also an improvement made to the seating areas so that residents will be able to make the most of the garden during the summer. 

Please look out for new blog entries as we will be working on the garden itself in the next few weeks.