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Gardening for health and wellbeing: Rob’s story

Published: 13 May 2024  

Gardens and gardening can make us feel happier - that's a fact. The best part is that anyone, no matter where you are, can experience the joy of gardening.  

It can be an escape for many people and with Mental Health Awareness Week taking place from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May, we want to share a story about harnessing the power of gardening for good.  

Rob, from Speke, has been a volunteer at Grow Speke for four years now and champions the community garden for enabling him to get outdoors, enjoy the seasons and understand more about nature.  

After encountering challenges with his own mental health, Rob found a sanctuary in the project.  

“I volunteer for a lot of SLH services and got involved in Grow Speke through Tom, SLH’s Health and Wellbeing Officer. I was struggling with the loss of my wife and mental health issues, and he recommended I come along.  

“I come to Grow Speke twice a week, and just lose myself. Who couldn't lose themselves here?” 

Grow Speke gives people a space to grow 

Community is at the heart of the project; from our partnership with Groundwork Cheshire Lancashire & Merseyside, to volunteers like Rob, and local people who pop along for a brew and to enjoy the garden as it blooms throughout the seasons.  

“Community to me, is everything really. Without community, you’ve got nothing. You will be sitting in the house, moping around. Walking along the road, looking down at the floor instead of looking straight ahead and saying good morning to everyone. That’s community. Knowing people. Not the people who live next door but two, three streets away.” 

“My advice, if you’re not sure about getting involved, come down and check it out. You can sit, have a cup of tea and talk. Or you can volunteer and get involved with the upkeep of the garden. And you’ll gradually see what it’s like and if it’s for you.  

"You don’t have to come every day. Just come down for 20 minutes and sit here. And you can see how tranquil it is. 

“That’s why I don’t stay in now, if I can help it. I’m out, volunteering and enjoying it. I did enjoy my life, before this version of my life, but it’s just tranquil here and I lose myself.”    

Come and enjoy our shared green space 

Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am, the garden provides a range of events and activities to the community aimed at improving mental health and wellbeing. 

From reducing social isolation to increasing levels of self-esteem and confidence, the site provides learning and educational opportunities too. 

If you’d like to arrange a tour of the garden and to find out more about our wellbeing support, email getinvolved@southliverpoolhomes.co.uk

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