Roots and Fruits gardening project started three years ago as a pilot here in the Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre to provide opportunities for adults with additional needs to learn the benefits of growing and cooking grown produce. Working with North Lanarkshire Council Support Services the project supported a group of ten adults of mixed ages with physical or mental disabilities. Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre provided rooms for the group to meet and an area of land for the group to turn into a community garden for growing produce. The gardeners received instruction and supervision from their Support Workers. Business In The Community Scotland with staff from William Grant and Sons helped the project get started by donating and assembling new planters and clearing the area marked for the new garden. Further assistance was provided by the Restorative Justice Team who volunteered to lay slabs and contributed with other hard and soft landscaping work. The project accessed grants from Community Food and Health (Scotland) and North Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership which paid for tools and equipment for the group to get started and allowed the gardeners to buy more seeds and plants to continue their work.
A Place For People
The work of this group reminds us that Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre continues to fulfil our vision to bring together the communities around Bellshill by providing activities that benefit all concerned. The gardening group continue to meet in the Neighbourhood Centre every week. They’re joined on occasion by members of Neighbourhood Networks, encouraging vulnerable people to participate in community activity, and children and staff members from Orbiston Out Of School Care adding an intergenerational aspect to the group.
A Centre For All
The Roots and Fruits project has improved the connections between our organisation, community members, Council departments and local businesses channelling skills, experience and enthusiasm into the community. The continued support for this group offers ongoing opportunities for participants to learn new skills, improve their health and well-being and be more involved in their community to overcome problems of isolation and exclusion.
Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre
Notes for the Editor:
About Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre:
Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre was established by Church of Scotland congregations in 1995 to provide services and activities tackling problems of social deprivation. Go For It funding helped Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre start their BeFriend In Bellshill project [in 2008] which continues to provide a valuable service; training Befrienders to provide support for isolated older and disabled people to access services, develop increased social networks and live more independent lives.
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