After months of digging, weeding, planting and nurturing, the team behind the Independence Trust gardening project at Weavers Croft site in Stroud has declared the centre’s new-look garden officially open. Weavers Croft is the base in Stroud for teams who treat and support people with mental illnesses, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions.

Once overgrown and waist-high in weeds, clients supported by Independence Trust staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to transform the garden to a haven of tranquillity.

Part-funded by Stroud Hospitals League of Friends, the project continues to grow, thanks to a little help from the community in the form of financial donations to the Independence Trust, as well resources such as tools, gardening equipment and materials for the group.

Since starting in September last year, the gardening group, which comprises Trust clients, staff and volunteers, has been producing fresh seasonal herbs, fruit and vegetables, as well as flowers and plants.

With a view to the project being self-sustaining, any produce grown can be sold to staff and on market stalls in the Stroud area.

All proceeds are ploughed back into the gardening group, helping pay for valuable and much-needed resources, as well as materials for its bee hotels and woodland crafts – such as bird boxes which are also sold to raise money for the group.

The group’s future hopes for the garden include the conversion of its outbuildings to accommodate a men’s shed – a space in which members can work on practical projects, alongside peers.

2gether NHS Foundation Trust has offered support for the project and a location, in the form of Weavers Croft, as well as helping to source funding.

The project, in Field Road, is regularly attended by around 18 to 20 people, with sessions held every Tuesday and Friday for adults, and every Wednesday for its younger members.

The project also invites referrals from both the Independence Trust and 2gether.

5 July 2017