25 Oct 2023

Live Well Growers – A Sense of Freedom

Amy Henderson

After a very difficult year, I was signposted to Live Well Growers by my specialist nurse.

I was contacted by a therapy assistant who came to my house to explain what the group was all about and their mission for the future, as well as planning goals for me to attempt to achieve within my sessions.

As a gardener (or was before Dec 21) I thought what a fantastic opportunity this was for me to not only join a social group but to be able to get my hands dirty again within a support network.

I went for a trial session, I felt ‘free’ from the house, a little bit of independence back, I enjoyed mixing with others within the group who all appeared to enjoy gardening and socialising, this was helped by having some warm sunny weather.

I was welcomed and introduced to everyone, I was shown the new polytunnel the group had been gifted, tools, and where everything was kept.

We all set about weeding and clearing our area for planting next year.

Any produce picked was put on a harvest table so everyone could take some home at the end of the session.

I concentrated on the raised beds picking beetroot, leeks and spring onions, I also cleared lots of weeds.

My spring onions were lovely in my salad for lunch.

Before long it was coffee time, we sat outside the poly tunnel in the sun, sharing a birthday cake from a member of the group.

Everyone was chatting, socialising, and lots of laughing, I felt at home and couldn’t wait to start my sessions! My self-esteem was lifted, at last had something positive to talk about at home and loved sharing what I had done and how well and supported I felt during my session with others within my family. 

I started my 1st session in December and couldn’t wait to go, again I was introduced to some members that I hadn’t seen before, and again everyone was so friendly and welcoming.

Once more I felt free, I felt like I had a purpose and made the most of the session.

We started off with a drink if anyone wanted one, a time to catch up with any news, a new information board was set up to help with communication and planning for next year’s season, what veg and flowers could be grown now and over wintered, everyone discussed which area they were working in, and then we were off, again the sun made an appearance for a while to lift everyone’s, self-esteem and vitamin c levels.

I was near the polytunnel this week, sorting out all the seedlings from the polytunnel which were being overwintered, a table was moved for me to use, and I was then away.

Lots of talking, laughing and fun was had by everyone including myself, a harvest table again was available, it’s surprising how much produce there was still in the ground, my leeks went into my cawl the following day, they always taste so much better when they are home grown.

Before long it was coffee and cake time, this is a perfect opportunity to talk to each other, to improve our well-being, a friendship circle, knowing that others are having difficulties but a safe space to share our feelings. Top topic was about Luminate.

Help and advice is always at hand, nothing is too much trouble so everyone’s needs are covered.

After coffee time, we tidied up and safely stored out tools back in the correct areas, before leaving for home.

Looking forward to our next session, weather permitting, we are wreath making, before the Christmas festivities.