Volunteers enjoy a day planting shrubs in new dementia garden
Cambuslang Parish Church’s Kirkhill building was a hive of activity last Wednesday, as people were hard at work in their gardens.
A group of people suffering from dementia visited the church building with their carers last Wednesday, as part of Dementia Awareness Week.
Alzheimers Scotland, the University of the West of Scotland and NHS Lanarkshire are working with the church, to create a gardening project in the rose garden at the church’s Kirkhill building. Last year, the project won £ 8500 in funding, to help create the garden.
The church’s Linda Wunsch explained: “The dementia garden idea came about after we entered a competition with the University of the West of Scotland, and Alzheimers Scotland, and we won an award.
“They approached the church to see if we could give them the use of some land, and we agreed they could have the use of the rose garden at the Kirkhill building, the former Cambuslang Old Parish Church.
“We had a big clean-up day last August where we gutted the garden and took five van-loads of shrubbery and trees down to the dump.
“As the church representative, we have been working with Fergus Maitland, who has been managing the project, and using people from the community payback scheme, who have done the construction of the three wooden raised beds, which are now full of plants, and they’ve also dug out a path, which is still to be completed.”
Fergus added: “We are creating a garden for people with dementia at Cambuslang Parish Church.
“Last Wednesday, as part of Dementia Awareness Week, we arranged a day in the garden planting out the raised beds. The planting was carried out by members of the Early Dementia Group, and, in keeping with the ethos of the project, we created a real time video link with people at the Harry Heaney Centre (day care) in Spittal who were unable to attend the garden in person.
“Both groups were able to communicate with each other and those in the day centre were able to view the progress being made in the garden whilst those in the garden were able to get feedback and comment from those in the day centre.
“All in all it was a very successful day and we enjoyed blue skies and sunshine throughout.
“We still have a long way to go with regards to completion of paths, benches, etc, however, now that we have some flowers and herbs in place things are looking good and we feel that we have a tangible garden and look forward to the days ahead.”
Linda is pleased the garden is bringing people from different areas of the local community together.
She explained: “With this garden, we’ve involved people in the community - and we’re pleased the community payback team are involved, as they’re helping in a constructive way.
“The payback team have also painted the church railings, after we were responsible for the cost of the paint.
“We have somewhere between 12 and 15 people who suffer from dementia along last week, and Fergus and his team had done such a great job, putting all the soil into the beds and digging out the weeds.
“We also laid out nearly £300 worth of plants and herbs, with different kinds of flowers, some of which are annuals like begonias, and we’ve planted others, like fuscias, which will last a while.
“The people with dementia did the planting themselves, so they all came in and had a lovely time.
“It was a lovely day as the community cafe at the church stayed open. The cafe staff were very good to us as they stayed open three hours later than normal, allowing us to have tea, coffee and cake afterwards.”
Linda added: “In the future we want to get a disabled portable toilet added, and we’ve also got a company, David Ogilvie, who are making benches for the garden to allow the people to sit.
“We hope in the future to have a summerhouse, as it will be somewhere the people can take shelter, and grow other things, such as vegetables.
“We’ve also been donated a greenhouse, which we need to build.”
As part of Dementia Awareness Week, a day in the garden planting the raised beds was arranged at Cambuslang Parish Church’s Kirkhill building