Current projects

Please click on the tabs below to find out more out our current projects

Christmas 2020

Advent windows

During lockdown, rainbows and other symbols of hope brightened windows and brought a smile to passers by. This Christmas we would like the same spirit of goodwill to shine in our streets with Advent Windows. Last year 48 households participated but we aim to exceed this and spread even more joy!

The design can be traditional or modern, colourful or monochrome: anything you choose as long as it includes the advent number (which
doesn’t have to match your house number). This is definitely not a competition – just fun, and a great project for the whole family.

A calendar of where each window will be ‘opening’ (lit for the first time) will be posted on NARA’s website and notice board, where a collection box will be available for those who’ve enjoyed following the Advent Trail. All donations will be forwarded to local charities. To participate or find out more, contact Karen (khstanford@hotmail.co.uk) by 16th November.

Father Christmas calling

Santa and his elves (reindeers are furloughed) are coming to our streets during the festive season to collect for Cheltenham families, as it will not be possible to hold the Christmas concert safely. Last year we, along with the Salvation Army, raised £375 to provide Christmas parcels for local families in need. To continue this support, Santa will be departing from the Triangle in early December. Exact dates will be posted through doors just before the event. If you wish to donate separately just let us know.

On Christmas Eve at 6pm everyone is invited to come outside onto their doorsteps and ring a bell for two minutes to spread Christmas spirit and to help Santa fly his sleigh. After this awful year it would be an amazing memory for the kids and communities. End 2020 with a bit of magic, hope and togetherness!

 

The Triangle

One of our main projects has been adopting the Triangle – a neglected space on the corner of Hermitage Street and Francis Street – to transform this triangular corner into a ‘pocket garden’. The multiple benefits of establishing a natural oasis in the midst of our streets include offering a respite from the hurly-burly of daily urban life for the many passers-by and residents of the area, which has a positive impact on health and wellbeing. It is also hoped to foster a stronger sense of community spirit.

We held ‘Cake and Consultation’ events to get local people involved in the design, and successfully applied for funding through a Community Pride grant to fund the work. Work started in December 2018, when a team of 27 intrepid volunteers tackled snow, sleepers and a lot of topsoil over three days. Three new raised beds were built and over 1000 daffodil bulbs were planted by local residents and children on New Year’s Day.

The next phase was to plant it as a fragrant, colourful, bee- and butterfly-friendly cottage garden and choose a design for an additional planter for the corner of the garden – see the latest updates here.

Litter Picks

NARA have been running litter picks along the Bath Road and surrounding streets since November 2017, thanks to the generosity of Bath Road businesses who funded the purchase of 10 sets of litter picking equipment and Cheltenham Specsavers who donated 20 high-vis jackets.

Group litter picking is not possible at this time, however individuals who wish to loan equipment for solo picks as part of their daily exercise, please contact derekscarb@hotmail.com after reading guidance for litter picking alone or in pairs.

When we are able to resume, litter picks will be held on the second Sunday in every month, meeting at 10.30am at The Triangle (corner of Hermitage Street and Francis Street). All volunteers are very welcome.