Gardening on your Doorstep
A lot of older residents in Tonge Moor had issues with their gardens being overgrown or hard to maintain, leaving them feeling ashamed or unhappy in their living environment. The wider community recognised the benefits to wellbeing of assisting its older members to look after their gardens, and wanted to do something about it.
GoYD delivered a project between April and June 2017, which aimed to transform older residents’ gardens so they were easier to maintain, while also offering conversation and skill sharing over a cuppa. This allowed older community members to enjoy some company and enhance their own gardening knowledge at the same time.
The service was provided free of charge, and promoted through a wide range of community networks and organisations. 15 clients benefitted, receiving 4x 1hr sessions over a 12-week period. The project team used the local UCAN Centre to store their equipment.
The project provided residents aged 50+ with both a practical service and an opportunity for social interaction. They now feel more in control of their home environment and like they have something to be proud of again. As a result, the ward is considered more age-friendly, with increased connectedness between residents.
“I am a 70 year-old widowed lady. I have lung cancer, so doing my garden myself is impossible. I have never had a gardener before as gardening was my husband’s profession. Richard was and still is a godsend as my garden is my sanctuary. I knew that it would take some living up to, keeping the garden exactly how I like it. Richard went above and beyond my expectations.”
– Jennifer Sumner, GoYD client
Providing affordable support for residents to adapt and maintain their gardens, create spaces for neighbours to stay socially connected and maintain pride in the place where they live.
Participants involved in this project spoke of the improved sense of wellbeing a maintained garden gave them, and the benefit they also gained from knowing they had a regular gardener who they could speak to and share time with.
The free project is no longer running in the area, but nine clients opted to pay a reduced rate for ongoing gardening maintenance. This income has enabled GoYD to deliver an affordable and sustainable scheme, developed in partnership with older community members.