Healthy Roots is a lottery-funded project that delivers health and wellbeing support to residents in our sheltered housing complexes – Lyn Gilzean Court, Balisier Court and Churchfield Terrace.
It uses a multi-disciplinary approach, delivering a program of innovative therapeutic packages to provide positive experiences and support during the Covid pandemic and coming out of lockdown with confidence and assurance. The project aims to engage, stimulate and empower residents to bring about positive changes in feelings of wellbeing and resilience.
All three schemes residents identified having a garden or outdoor space to relax, retreat and socialise as important. This resonated with the known benefits of outdoor and green spaces for mental and physical health and feelings of wellbeing.
The residents have shaped their respective gardens by working with the project facilitator, Jennifer, therapeutic gardener Audrey, and counsellor eco-therapist Clare.
Residents have led on the ideas for the activities in their gardens, stating how they wanted to use the gardens and what they wanted in them, from furniture to colourful flowers.
Lyn Gilzean residents have grown many of the plants in the raised beds and containers from seeds. Their courtyard garden has been transformed.
“I’ve learnt so much; I didn’t know anything about plants or gardening – I’m really enjoying this”
Balisier Court residents, especially John, have cut and cleared overgrown plants to reveal a lost garden. Churchfield Terrace residents have worked together as a team to create a colourful haven that has stunned their visitors.
“This is my forever home; the garden just makes it perfect.”
Rob at Churchfield Terrace has designed and built a fantastic trellis screen around the central bin store for climbing roses and winter clematis.
“It’s fantastic; it’s made it (the bin store) a lovely feature – it’s really good.”
The gardens have been transformed – residents are using them, socialising, getting to know their neighbours; they are meeting places.
“I met three new people in the garden today, I didn’t know they lived here and I’ve been here a year!”
Should we go into lockdown again, the gardens will provide a nurturing place for residents.
Lyn Gilzean residents have also learnt about houseplants and were gifted plants for their flats. Inspired and enthused, they now care for the plants in their lounge. With further funding, the project hopes to roll out houseplant workshops to all residents.
“Caring for and having houseplants in my flat has made me feel calmer, and I’m sleeping better.”
The Healthy Roots project also funded a day trip to Matlock for fourteen residents from Churchfield Terrace and Lyn Gilzean Court. They travelled by minibus and had a lovely day exploring the Derbyshire Town after spending so much time at home over the last year due to Covid.