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Staff from Lloyds Banking Group staff have swapped the office for a day working in the great outdoors, helping to add colour and interest to a much loved therapy garden in Glasgow. Carrying out a range of practical tasks including weeding, planting and turf laying, the 13 volunteers have helped to transform the garden in just a matter of hours. 

The Rutherglen therapy garden is one of six being created through an innovative partnership project between Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) and The Richmond Fellowship Scotland (TRFS). 

Recognising the therapeutic benefits of gardening and being outdoors, the two organisations have been working together over the last 18 months to create attractive and accessible outdoor spaces for adults with a range of complex additional support needs. The project’s social and horticultural therapist delivers a range of weekly garden based activities that build skills, confidence and improves the health and well-being of all those taking part.

TRFS support staff have seen first-hand, the positive impact this project is having on the people they support. Lynn Dunnachie is a senior support worker and said “The feedback we get from the people we support is that they are enjoying growing things for themselves and watching their garden change.

“This has been a great opportunity for the people we support and for the staff and it has made a great difference to their health and wellbeing. There are positive changes weekly and we are always excited to see what has been happening and also the benefits this brings to the service.

“We are delighted with the input from Lloyds Bank staff and we cannot thank them enough.”

Lloyds Banking Group’s corporate volunteers regularly offer support to good causes, and hearing about the benefits gardens like this can deliver, asked to get involved. Yesterday, staff created a willow structure, laid a new lawn, planted a mini orchard and built a timber planter.

Caitlin Muir, Advisory Support Associate at Lloyds Banking Group said: “We had a great time fundraising and volunteering to help the Glasgow therapy garden. Lloyds Banking Group has put a spotlight on mental health and we have been increasing efforts to aid in de-stigmatising mental health issues. It’s amazing to see what benefit the therapy garden has given its users and we’ve certainly gained a lot from our fantastic day volunteering here.

“We have an annual “Day to Make a Difference” where we spend a day out of the office and volunteering. It’s easy to see how we have made a difference this year and it truly is wonderful to see the benefit this project has brought to the local community. Thanks to all involved for giving us such a warm welcome.”

Natalie McCall, CSGNT’s horticultural therapist, said: “We couldn’t have made these changes to the garden without the support and hard work of all the Lloyds Banking Group volunteers. We have achieved a lot and I hope everyone has enjoyed their day here.

“Projects like these are contributing to the Central Scotland Green Network, which is making central Scotland a fairer, happier and healthier place to live.”

The therapeutic gardening project is funded by The Big Lottery Improving Lives Fund and Orchard Fund, as well as donations of money and materials from a range of other funders and organisations.