• Voting is now closed. We'll find out the result on the 28th November. Thank you to everyone who voted!

  • Click the yellow banner to visit our project on the Aviva Community Fund website

How to cast your vote:

  • Visit the Aviva Community Fund website by clicking on the yellow banner above
  • Click the green 'Login/Register' button near the top-left of the screen.
  • Fill out your details and register - it's a quick process
  • Check your e-mail for a link from Aviva to finish the sign-up process.
  • You'll then be taken to the main Aviva Community Fund page. Either come back to this page and click the banner above again, or scroll down to the projects and enter 'Orchard Bees' in the first search box to find us again.
  • Once you're on our project, you can cast up to ten votes for the project - drag the slider to decide how many of your votes to give us!

Thank you! - the NewLink Wales team

About the project:

People need help. Bees need help. When we put those things together, awesome things can happen.

Our Orchard at University Hospital Llandough will be a beeutiful resource for patients at Wales’ second biggest hospital – and with your support, NewLink Wales will be there too, supporting people to engage with nature and personal wellbeing . . . through beekeeping! As luck would hive it, we will have full access to this site!

We want to bring five hives to the new apple-tree and wild-meadow landscape at Llandough and we’re just buzzing about it! Open to local residents, visitors, patients and staff, we’ll use these helpful, friendly pollinators as our teachers – so together, as we look after the bees, we can learn about:

• the art of communication (via waggle dances)
• self-care (how to spot dis-ease in bees and ourselves)
• planning and organisation (following the bees’ rhythms, and our own)
• emotional regulation (bee-ing calm with the hives)
• processing grief and loss (engaging with natural life cycles)
• Overcoming fears and promoting self beelief

We really know wasp we’re talking about – but we need your help! Your votes, and funding from Aviva Community Fund, will help us set up the five hives and have a NewLink Wales beekeeper at Our Orchard one full day a week for three years – a proper amount of time for us to test our wellbeeing theories and have a real impact on the people involved.

There isn’t NHS funding for this kind of project, but we know that patients receiving treatment in the breast cancer, mental health, cystic fibrosis, stroke and dementia units will all be able to access the activity, and all of them have the potential to benefit. The latest medical research tells us that spending time in a beekeeper suit - looking after our bees, harvesting honey when appropriate – is a great break from time in hospital. Our patients tell us exactly the same.

We know that bees are suffering as we develop more and more land in the UK, and forage becomes harder and harder for bees to find. With this grant, you’ll help us measure the difference these hives are making in establishing local bee populations, as well as the benefits for local people.

This will be a brilliant greencare project, which involves getting people outside to connect with nature, to connect with each other and to switch off from everyday problems. We’ve combed through the evidence and discovered that this idea really has legs – 6 of them. We have cross pollinated the science and found that there are many parallels between the skills we promote to help people keep well or recover from illnesses and the skills needed for beekeeping. This project will bring the restorative experience of beekeeping to people who would not otherwise be able to access it. We’ve got butterflies just thinking about it!

This is a world first. This is about starting a wellbeeing revolution for people and nature. This is about shaking off labels and stereotypes about illness and recovery. University Hospital Llandough is becoming a centre for rest, recovery and rehabilitation, together with NewLink Wales.