Somme Poppies

Sunny Hassan is the newest member of the Grow Wild team and is our guest blogger for our Grow For It Youth Project Showcase.  He will be posting regular updates from the Grow For It network full of inspiring, wild ideas and great community stories told by young people, for young people. 

What's the project about?

With its biggest focus being the development of its volunteers and their community, Greater Shankill’s Action for Community Transformation (ACT Initiative) is a group located in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

From promoting positive community relations to working with young people; the province wide initiative prides itself on building peace through distributional leadership as well as generating themed areas of work via Area Action Groups in a wide range of localities. 

What have they been up to lately?

Their latest project involved using their Grow For It funding to renovate an empty piece of derelict land with hundreds of poppies and other native wild flowers to commemorate the fallen soldiers of the Battle of the Somme and WW1.

The main event of the commemorations of the Battle of the Somme in the area is a parade which is finished off with a battle enactment. The empty site is located on the main route of the parade which therefore gave the group a great idea to renovate the site to create a wonderful display of poppies. 

“Everyone complimented how well the poppies looked and that it was very fitting with the 100th anniversary of The Battle of the Somme.”
                — Steven Pollock of Greater Shankill ACT

The event also had a great impact on young people who were amazed at how the flowers grew everywhere and made a sea of red that reflected the blood spilled at the Somme.

Children also went on to ask more questions about The Battle of the Somme which resulted in the ACT group taking them on site visits where they were taught about the battle and about WW1.

What are their plans for the future?

The youth group have now started to gather the poppy heads which will be dried out in order to use the seeds again next year for the spectacle.

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