Therapeutic Gardening - Autumn/Winter 2020
We are delighted to continue to run therapeutic gardening sessions for those who are able to attend, after a break during lockdown. The sessions continue to offer meaningful activity and crucial social contact at a time when there are a lot of restrictions on normal life and much social isolation. We have put in place a variety of measures to reduce any risks as far as possible and to keep our participants and volunteer support workers safe as best we can. You can see our safety guidelines here.
This year, in response to local demand, we decided to use our large veg-growing area to grow produce for an organic veg box scheme for vulnerable residents in our community, including our own gardening therapy participants. The boxes proved very popular, including the weekly recipe newsletters with ideas for simple, healthy recipe ideas. This replaced the weekly participant newsletter with which we stayed in touch with everyone during lockdown. This contained photos and updates from the garden, ideas for creative activities at home, including both art-based and healthy recipe ideas. It also gave participants the opportunity to share photos and news of themselves with other members of the group, thus maintaining an important sense of belonging.
The project co-ordinators continue to be in regular telephone contact with participants who are still self-isolating to check in with them one-to-one and to provide a listening ear.
Extension to Sanctuary Building
We are deeply grateful to have received new funding from the Community Foundation, as well as some private donations, to enable us to complete an extension to our Sanctuary building in the Peace Garden. This is really important to enable us to meet social distancing guidelines on wet days in the months ahead. The work is still in progress, but we have already started to use the space in its unfinished state! Thanks to our joiner, Wayne Mackie for doing the work so promptly, efficiently and with a smile on his face - here he is with two trusty helpers fitting a large window to the front of the new building which will give us fantastic views out over the garden.
Last year one of our long-standing participants, Andrew da Costa (see photo above right) used his considerable skills as a photographer to produce a fantastic photographic record of the group’s activities through the seasons of the gardening year, with support from volunteer, Veronica Bell. Other participants have enjoyed coming up with humorous captions for the pictures. You can enjoy this vibrant visual record by using the link above or the drop down menu at the top of this Latest News page.
As a registered charity, Let's Get Growing is commited to keeping its therapeutic horticulture service available to all, regardless of financial circumstances. The majority of participants attending our gardening therapy days are able to access a personal budget or direct payment. Those who are not supported through the NHS can apply to our bursary fund, as we have a clear policy of welcoming all, irrespective of personal means.
The nature of the beneficiary groups with whom we work means that some charitable funding is therefore needed to support our work. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Boundary Lane Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, the Tesco Bags for Help fund, the Watkins Family Fund and the Big Lottery Community Fund for generously supporting us through the pandemic.
Our wonderful Sanctuary building is available for hire by third parties as an alternative workshop space or away day venue - please see photos below. The building has a newly-fitted kitchen, woodburner and the poshest compost loo you have ever come across! It's simple, cosy and the setting is truly idyllic. Cost £50/half day or £100/full day. All proceeds go towards maintaining the building to support our gardening therapy work. For more information on hiring the building or to check dates, do contact us