De Frene Summer Festival 2016

Welcome to another blog post from Acaringmind blogger Matthew Mckenzie. On Saturday 20th of August, I took a trip over to Sydenham Gardens who were hosting their De Frene Summer Festival from 1 till 5 pm.


Taken from their site “Sydenham Garden is a unique wellbeing centre utilising its gardens, nature reserve and activity rooms to help people in their recovery from mental and physical ill-health in Lewisham.”. I have visited Sydenham Garden festivals a few times and am a firm believer of events that bring the community together. I feel we should celebrate all the hard work Sydenham Gardens do.

Those who wish to watch the video of the event, feel free to watch below.

However what actually took place at the De Frene Summer Festival? There were quite a lot of activities on offer from face painting for the children, BBQ, listening to music from bands, stalls selling Chutney and Jam, plus well being sessions and spacious gardens, plus a whole lot more.

As I entered the festival I spoke to a few people on why they came to the event. Most stated that it was for a fun day out and also to spend time meeting people and admiring the gardens. I spoke to one of the organizers Jim about the project and how I would try and do a quick write up of the day, I also visited a few stalls one of them was selling Jam which was made from the fruits the project has grown.


I then moved on to the Hive Talk area where I bought some honey and then named a bee off the the honey taste stick. The Hive Keeper talked to me about the bee hive and what they do at the Sydenham Garden Project.

After spending a while looking at the gardens and flowers, I moved onto the children’s activity area and watched as one of the stall holders taught them how they would make Jam and other food items. I spoke to the stall holder about how they made the Jam and what items they used, each stall holder was very friendly and had time for my questions. After eating at the BBQ I then headed back to the main area of the festival to listen to some music.

Next I noticed a stall advertising mindfulness courses. This is where I looked up on what was on offer regarding mindfulness and mental health. The mindfulness course organiser told me about the courses and when they would start.

It was not long until I took more time to marvel at more gardens and took time to take a few pictures and a quick video before I entered a large glass house where they were selling cakes, plants and holding more arts and crafts where children were busy creating drawings.

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After spending more time examining the plants that were for sale, I moved onto the Sydenham Garderns membership and friends stall. I was told all about the garden project, why it existed and what it means to be a member, I took a bit of time to read their latest newsletter and then check out their activity map on what else would be taken place for the rest of the day.

I enjoyed my time at the Sydenham Garden De Frene Summer Festival. I can only hope they hold more festival and events as soon as possible.  Check  out more on what Sydenham Gardern does off their site which is