Christmas 2017

For the second year running we held a successful Christmas Lunch at Oakleigh Ave Community Room in Chaddesden.  We hired the room and did the grocery shopping and left the rest to our Fast Forward members.

The group worked well together to get all the vegetables prepared, whilst we were in charge of the hot oven.  Then all 21 of us sat down together to enjoy the meal. It was perfect!!


We also had a get together with the Arts & Crafts group at Slaney Close Community Room. This was a great opportunity for our members to celebrate the friendships that have formed over the year and enjoy a mince pie or two.


Macmillan Coffee Morning

The first ever Macmillan Coffee Morning happened way back in 1990. It was a rather small affair with a simple idea, guests would gather over coffee and donate the cost of their cuppa to Macmillan in the process. It was so effective, they did it again the next year – only this time nationally. Since then, Coffee Morning has raised over £165.5 million for Macmillan.

For a second year running Fast Forward members have been baking and contributing in aid of Macmillan. We had some amazing and very tasty cakes donated on the day at Oakleigh Avenue Community Room. We would like to thank everyone that was able to get involved, whether it was baking a cake, buying a cup of coffee, or volunteering to make the day a great success!!!

Midlands Today

On Tuesday 29th August we were very lucky to be joined by the Midlands Today team who wanted to film one of our ICT workshops. They chatted to our members about the Fast Forward project and how it has improved there confidence and self-esteem by attending the skill sharing workshops .

Unfortunately the link has now expired but we did appear on both the 6.30pm and 10.30pm show and it was a great opportunity to spread the word about the project.

Summer Activities

We can not believe the summer holidays are over and a new school term has started. We have had a very busy time over July and August with our Fast Forward members which included table top gardening, a music quiz with an indoor picnic (unfortunately was a raining day) and a fun day at Skegness (a lovely sunny day)                                           15 members between the ages of 18 and 80 joined us on a coach trip to Skegness. We had lots of fun in the arcade, a game of crazy golf and we enjoyed the delights of fish and chips, followed by ice cream and a stroll along the seafront.

Many of the older members haven’t experienced a day at the seaside for a long time so it was fantastic day that we are hoping to repeat next year.


Disability Direct Build Accessible Allotment

Nearly a year after obtaining a run down plot on Little Chester Allotments, Disability Direct has launched its Plot to Plate project.

Plot to Plate was created by Disability Direct in July 2016 after many of it members expressed an interest in growing their own produce.

Unfortunately​ many members were unable to manage their own plots due to mobility or support issues but still had the drive and knowledge to create a successful allotment.
Consultation was carried out and a design for an accessible plot was created and an application to Reaching Communities for the initial build was put in.
5 long months after getting the plot Disability Direct received funding from Reaching Communities and started the build in February 2017.

This doesn’t seem to have stopped the members getting the whole plot planted in time for the opening though. Sally Austin, lead on the project stated “We have members that range in age and abilities, our youngest member is 18 and our oldest is 80. They all work together to ensure jobs are done, its very much a team effort”.

The launch, opened by the Mayor of Derby Councillor Linda Winter coincided with Little Chester Allotments open day, included a sale of items made by the members of P2P and the Fast Forward project, BBQ, Bake Sale, Plant Sale and Parrots and Owls from ‘Under Our Wing’ avian sanctuary.
The project is supported by sessional workers supplied by Little Chester Allotments Association who pass on years of knowledge ensuring  members are able to look after the plot once the support is withdrawn. Along with on site support a Cookery Tutor holds regular classes using the produce from the plot ensuring nothing goes to waste.

Plot to Plate member Eileen says “I used to do lots of gardening and had my own greenhouse, but it became too much to manage. This project means i can still grow my own veg but at a pace that i can manage and with support from the other members. It’s a lovely place to come and my fellow allotmenteers are wonderful people”.

The plot is open to members on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11am to 2pm and new members are welcome. If you would like more information or would like to attend, contact Sally Austin on 01332 299449 or email
Disability Direct are currently fund raising so they are able to make the plot fully accessible. If you would like to donate or can provide slabs and labour, contact Sally on the above details.

Photography provided free of charge by

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