As a local resident of Christchurch, I appreciate how lucky I am to live in, not only one of the most beautiful parts of the country, but one of the most beautiful parts of the world. With its heritage dating back to Saxon times and the remarkable history held here, Christchurch has become one of the most loved destinations on the south coast.
Living in a beautiful area, however, does not mean we aren’t susceptible to personal struggles. Our own mental health is as important as our physical well-being and can be just as vulnerable. It takes a lot of courage and honesty to address mental health issues and at least the stigma of such illness is beginning to change. It is an illness to discuss and not be hidden, yet talking therapy still comes second to the handing out of medication. Affecting anybody at any age, in many different ways, it is my personal belief that the young generation of today are more vulnerable to suffering with mental health problems than ever, as they are subject to more intense social pressures such as social media, a decrease in employment opportunities and vast economic changes globally.
And so, my inspiration for FlowerFest 18 was born while on a visit to Girona, Spain (tempsdeflor). The flower festival has grown from year to year and is consistently the biggest revenue provider for the town. The streets are lined with retailers showcasing their creative and inventive designs, with everything from a small plant pot to the more elaborate hanging window displays. Installations of flowers are displayed on given areas and sponsored by local businesses, schools participate, musicians and artists bring a true sense of artistic community. It is a feast for the eyes and senses.
Whilst walking the streets of Girona I decided that Christchurch would be a tremendous venue to showcase floral art and its associates in our own FlowerFest 18 way.
You maybe asking yourself what FlowerFest 18 has to do with mental health, but mental health will be the focus and driving force behind Christchurch’s first FlowerFest 18 event. The 2018 inaugural theme is focusing on the beneficial impact that engaging in all aspects of floral activity can bring. This sensory stimulation rouses the brain by releasing endomorphins providing a rush of serotonin which can balance the chemicals in the brain of somebody suffering with (or without) mental health illness. ( The wonder of nature, quite naturally benefits us all! )
It is simply imperative that we move mental health fitness to the forefront of education for the next generation.
Christchurch Borough Council have allocated the dates 13 – 17 June 2018
With fantastic news this week The Priory have agreed to work inconjuction with FF18 and have kindly allocated their grounds for sponsored floral installations especially for FlowerFest 18. This is great news as The Priory Music Festival will also being running within the church, so Music, Flora, Nature and Gardening, what better way to lift the spirits!.
Let’s make FlowerFest 18 a fresh and exciting event.
Donations will be made to a ‘yet to be decided on’ local mental health related charity, soon to be announced.
Together we can make Flowerfest 18 a bloomin’ good reason to smile in the face of adversity.
Please get in touch and register your interest here
Thank you Glenda