Modern day Land Army at work!

Volunteers from a GP surgery in Heaviley braved the cold to help turn an overrun garden at a local care home into a communal vegetable patch.

The volunteers, Bracondale Practice Health Champions, work with the GP surgery to find new ways of improving the wellbeing of fellow patients and the local community.

One idea was to create a vegetable garden at Richard House Care Home that could be looked after and used by the volunteers, residents and local people.

After a tough day’s work, the once bramble-covered garden is ready for planting and to become a space for all to come together for communal growing.

The next step is to put in some raised beds so that the plot is accessible for people, particularly the elderly, who may have difficulty in bending down to ground level. And residents at the care home are keen to get involved and already plan to help out by sowing seeds in pots and enjoy the garden.

One of the Bracondale Champions, Martyn Faulkner, said “All of the volunteers feel like they are making a real difference to the lives of patients and the local community.

“As volunteers, we are going to maintain the garden but we’re really keen to get more people involved to help our garden grow.

“And of course we can’t wait for the day when the residents can tuck into a healthy meal including the vegetables they’ve helped to grow.”

The care home manager, Susan McDonald, was equally enthusiastic. She added “We’re looking forward to sharing our garden with our local community.

“Hopefully this project will give our residents new interests, help them build strong relationships with people from our local community and improve the health and wellbeing of everyone involved.”

Bracondale’s Assistant Practice Manager Barbara Chatterton added “We are very grateful for all the hard word that our volunteer Practice Champions do in helping us to bring our community together, and in helping to improve the lives and wellbeing of our patients.

“We are hoping that with this particular project we can encourage the involvement of all different age groups in working together”

The Practice Champions already run weekly events for local people including setting up a successful drama group and walking group to provide new social opportunities for people to come together whilst doing something interesting and fun.

If you’d like to get involved or become a Champion contact the Bracondale Surgery on 0161 426 9050.