Merrylee Allotments saw a lot of merriment recently when the Carr Gomm team celebrated their newly developed plot.
The charity Carr Gomm Scotland uses the plot as a social meeting point and therapy project for the people who take up its services. The plot has been used for twice weekly facilitated gardening sessions since 2010. Last year it was decided to create raised beds and a slabbed path to make the plot more accessible to people with limited mobility.
The Muirend branch of Travis Perkins responded to an appeal from Community Development Worker Kevin Fullerton and Project Facilitator Derek Black and provided materials and expertise to lay a Cotswold stone path which allows people in wheelchairs to access the plot and to work in the different parts of the garden.
Produce and fresh herbs grown there, supplies the Healthy Kitchen project run by Carr Gomm at the East End Healthy Living Centre in Glasgow.
A person-centred organisation, Carr Gomm supports people to lead their lives safely and to do the things they want to do.
One active Carr Gomm user is Derek Watson who said: ‘Being involved in the allotment plot has been great for me personally. I’d cared for my father for some time and when he died, I didn’t want to be in the house. So the allotment was good for my mental health. I never knew a thing about allotments till then. I’ve learned how to maintain and grow things from scratch; I know the names of vegetables and how to grow them and I know how to lay a path, now, too.’
Derek Black said when they first took over the plot it was badly overgrown but with a lot of work from everyone, it was brought under control. ‘Over a cup of tea in Toryglen Asda we drew up a picture of what we wanted to do to develop the plot. But we needed help and that’s where Travis Perkins came in.’
The company’s representatives attended the garden party in brilliant sunshine along with other guests, friends and service users.
David Thomson has a degree in horticulture. Being able to access the Carr Gomm plot in his wheelchair makes him feel: ‘Fantastic! The path is absolutely great. I couldn’t ask for more. This is a real opportunity for me to be involved in growing the vegetables and other things.’ His extensive knowledge is freely shared with the other gardeners and everyone benefits.