Award recognition for green-fingered garden therapy volunteers in Motherwell

By Michael Pringle

Volunteers restoring therapeutic gardens in Motherwell have been recognised for their sterling green-fingered work.

The Lanarkshire Green Health project managed by Clydesdale Community Initiatives in partnership with NHS occupational therapists have been working hard with eight volunteers to restore the dementia gardens in Findlay Street Motherwell to a condition where they will offer enjoyment and relaxation.

Doctors have prescribed time in a variety of green relaxing places as a cure for anxiety and stress and other mental health issues.

Paul McGinn and Gill Hunter, occupational therapists from community mental health, have been working with the volunteers at the stress relieving gardens which provide people to go to chill following the pressures of the pandemic.

Councillor Agnes Magowan was honored to be invited to the gardens to present John Muir Trust Certificates to the volunteers.

The John Muir Trust works alongside communities nationwide, connecting people with wild places and nature, and campaigns to protect those places.

Councillor Magowan was impressed that the volunteers met the four challenges set out – Discover, Explore, Conserve and Share – and by the improvement they had made to the green site.

Complimenting the deserving volunteers, she said: “You looked after nature by feeding the birds; weeded areas that had become overgrown; created vegetable beds; found out about wildlife; you know what eggshells from a robin look like; you know about the different type of bees; you mended and painted benches, sowed seeds, took cuttings; learned biochemistry; contacted local businesses for materials for your bug hotel; and shared your wild places with your family and friends.”

Councillor Magowan is delighted the gardens are in her electoral ward and praised the volunteers for offering constituents a place of peace and relaxation.

She told Lanarkshire Live: “The group are doing a great job. When they were working for their award they also improved the local area and had a positive effect on climate change and global warming – a win win situation.”

The councillor was also delighted to hear that a gazebo will soon be erected with the help of Dalziel Rugby Club which will allow the volunteers to attend at the gardens in all weathers.

Partners in the project will meet soon to decide on the division of duties to ensure the gardens remain a beautiful tranquil place for all to enjoy.

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