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Cultivating Connections: Improving Wellbeing with Gardening

In the latest blog from Peter Kinsey, Iris Care Group's Chair and Chief Executive, Peter explains how getting in the garden can support wellbeing, and shares an inside look at a special gardening project from our residential homes

Cultivating Connections: Improving Wellbeing with Gardening

10th May 2024

I want to focus this blog on a topic that I feel is particularly important in the Spring months – teaching the people we support about horticulture and how to grow their own produce.

This is a fantastic way to help the people we support understand the importance of sustainability, whilst providing further opportunities for meaningful engagement, active support, and social inclusion.

I believe that teaching the people we support how to grow their own fruit and vegetables is one of the best things that we can do. Gardening supports the development of key skills, and also:

  • Promotes mindfulness and wellbeing
  • Encourages healthy eating
  • Provides opportunities to build relationships with others in the local community
  • Gives the people we support a sense of achievement

 

Getting growing at Iris Care Group

 

A great example of the benefits of growing your own produce is a project that is currently underway with two of our Ocean Community Services Homes and a local farm.

Wentwood Court and The Glen have started a new community project in collaboration with Lower House Farm. The owner of Lower House Farm is passionate about sustainability and protecting the environment, and recently obtained a grant from Monmouthshire Council to establish a community garden.

The people we support at Wentwood Court and The Glen have been helping to create this new garden, and the progress has been amazing. The people we support have been helping to clear and prepare the area, and have been planting seeds to get the community garden started.

I spoke to one individual who is working on this project, and he shared that he has really enjoyed getting involved and is very proud of his work.

During my recent visit to Denmark Lodge, one of our Supported Living homes in Gloucester, I was also delighted to see that they have been growing their own produce in the home’s garden.

It is great to see so many of the people we support developing these important new skills, and I want to encourage all of our services to get the people we support involved in any horticultural activities – this could be in the home or in the community, and Spring is the perfect time to get started.

Let’s get growing Iris Care Group!

Peter Kinsey

Iris Care Group’s Chief and Chair Executive

“Gardening is a fantastic way to help the people we support understand the importance of sustainability, whilst providing further opportunities for meaningful engagement, active support, and social inclusion.”

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