Over summer, a heartwarming initiative that breathed new life into leftover floral displays from weddings brought together community members of all ages through simple acts of kindness.
The International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development (IICED) at University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) worked with Swansea Council for Voluntary Services (SCVS), Oldwalls Luxury Wedding Venues and Penyrheol Primary School to teach children about the power of simple acts of kindness and how collaboration can create social and sustainable value.
The project, called Positive Posies, is an innovative programme that promotes the reuse of bridal bouquets, which often cost thousands of pounds and are admired for just one day.
Positive Posies recognises the beauty and value of luxury flower arrangements, and works to involve communities in ensuring the flowers get a longer lifespan. The project engages volunteers to collect the displays post-ceremony and deliver them to participating schools, churches, and community groups where they are transformed – or “upcycled” – into delightful posies.
These freshly-made posies are then sent to those in the community who greatly benefit from a touch of compassion – the lonely, the ill, the elderly and the excluded. 1500 posies have been delivered so far.
There are multiple benefits to this initiative. The project has allowed schoolchildren to become enterprising, creative contributors and learn about people’s love of flowers and what they represent in society, while bolstering community spirit through an activity that has an overwhelmingly positive sustainable impact.
Hazel Israel, Lecturer in Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Education at UWTSD, said: “This initiative is not just about sustainability. The pupils are being really creative and enterprising, creating real-world, tangible value from what would otherwise have been thrown away and wasted.
“Repurposing these flowers to do good teaches our younger generation the values of empathy, positive action, and resourcefulness. By upcycling these floral displays, children and community members learn that they can create beauty, kindness, and purpose in the simplest of ways.”
Penyrheol Primary School Headteacher Alison Williams said: “Those crafting the posies experience the joy of creativity and the profound lesson of turning something fleeting into a lasting gesture of goodwill, while the recipients receive not just a posy, but a symbol of community care.”
By backing Positive Posies, UWTSD reiterates its commitment to sustainable practices, community engagement and collaboration, fostering kindness and value for others in every corner of Wales.
Anna Jones, Head of Civic Engagement at UWTSD said: “At UWTSD we not only recognise our formal Civic Mission in society and the impact that educational establishments can have on people’s lives. We also understand that learning for students comes in different ways.
“By engaging in such a wonderful project we can demonstrate to our students that life skills which embrace compassion, community and coproduction are just as important as their academic studies. The individuals who take part are our next generation, and to teach them these skills is also looking after their own future wellbeing and the future of our communities.”
“I was deeply touched to receive such a beautiful posy,” shared Heather Jones, an 84-year-old recipient. “It’s more than just flowers; it’s a reminder that there are people out there who care.”
For more information on how to support or get involved with Positive Posies, please contact Hazel Israel at email@example.com