Key workers and those they care for have been ‘overwhelmed’ with gratitude after receiving plants in hand-decorated pots from children.

Kilwinning kids got crafty with Artastic CIC’s Lottery funded Pots of Talent project, designing and painting 160 gifts for care home residents and other vulnerable people.

Angela Hughes McAlpine, director of Artastic, said: “The project has been a lot more emotional than I expected.

“When the pots were delivered, they were in tears because people were thinking about them.

“They were so grateful, and you just want to give them a cuddle but you can’t.”

The community art centre won funding as part of the Lottery’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

A much larger project was planned, but due to the coronavirus lockdown it had to be scaled back, but Angela said it couldn’t have come at a better time.

She said: “What I wanted was to have a link between the younger generation and the older generation.

“It’s a good time to show these people we’re all still thinking about you.”

Some of the pots were delivered to Buckreddan Care Centre and owner Theresa Fitzsimmons said the residents were ‘delighted’.

Irvine Times: Resident pleased to receive a special plant pot.Resident pleased to receive a special plant pot.

She said: “It really cheered them up, they were very grateful, especially because they’re all missing their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

One resident, Agnes, who is a huge Kilwinning Rangers fan, even received a personalised pot decorated by the team’s manager’s youngest child; completed with ‘Come on the Buffs’ painted across it.

Ms Fitzsimmons said: “I think because there has been so much generosity, it has been quite overwhelming.

“And it is nice for the residents to maintain that community contact.”

Millie McCann discovered that her pot had been painted by a little girl with the same name.

Millie Cursley’s mum said she had never seen her daughter concentrate on anything as much as she did on it and it was the most fun she’d had in weeks.

Irvine Times: Ward 3 at Woodland View with the pots for their dementia garden.Ward 3 at Woodland View with the pots for their dementia garden.

The pots were also individually planted with flowers by Terry and Jacqui at Sunnyside Nursery in Kilwinning, which means they will continue to grow and brighten up rooms and gardens for all their recipients.

Some of them also contained hand-written letters from the children.

Angela said: “They said we just want to give you this, so you know we’re thinking about you.

“You’re giving the pots and you’re in tears and they’re in tears.

“But happy tears, it’s not a sad thing. It’s really just because they weren’t expecting it.”

Pots were also delivered to Ward 3 at Woodland View, North Ayrshire Dementia Support Service, Anam Cara Care Home in Kilbirnie, Spiers in Beith and Three Towns Care Home in Stevenston.

Irvine Times: Some of the pots also had handwritten letters from the children.Some of the pots also had handwritten letters from the children.


Scotland is in lockdown. Shops are closing and newspaper sales are falling fast. We’re not exaggerating when we say that the future of the Irvine Times, and the vital local news service we’ve provided since 1873, is under threat.

Please consider supporting the Irvine Times in whatever way you can – by paying just 90p for a copy of the paper, when you’re shopping for essential supplies for yourself and others, or by subscribing to our e-edition here.

Thanks – and stay safe.