A free gardening group in Knowle West for people living with dementia and their carers has grown in popularity – and is looking for volunteers.
The group meets at Bristol Community Links South in Langhill Avenue and is run by Growing Support – a local organisation which works in care homes, community gardens and social housing across Bristol.
Th organisation has been able to continue running the gardening sessions thanks to funding from the Dementia Wellbeing Service.
Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Facilitator with Growing Support, Hilary Barber says: “All people living with dementia and their carers living locally are very welcome to come along and give it a try. New members will be supported to get to know the garden, meet the other members of the group and try out different activities…
“Growing Support gardening groups depend on the help of local volunteers. They support members with the more difficult tasks and help create a cheerful atmosphere, chatting with the gardeners and encouraging reminiscence and story telling.
“New volunteers are also very welcome and all the necessary training and support is provided…”
No gardening experience is necessary for either group members or volunteers as Hilary says the aim “is simply to have a sociable morning out in the garden.”
Dolly (74) who attends every week says: “How wonderful people have been to me. I love every minute of it.”
This summer the group has been very productive and grown their own salads, a range of vegetables and planted a flower display. Activities take place indoors if the weather is bad – and over the winter members take part in nature-based craft activities.
From 20 October the gardening group will meet every other Friday from 10.30am to 12.30pm at Bristol Community Links South, Langhill Avenue, Bristol BS4 1TN.