Opening of ‘Everyone’s Garden’ at Families House Dundee
Many of the families we engage with are impacted by the effects of poverty. It is well documented that there is a clear correlation between poverty, health inequalities and mental health. Children and young people’s wellbeing can be adversely affected by these factors as well as those of adults. It is now well known that spending time outdoors supports good mental and physical health in both adults and children. Being engaged outdoors can decrease stress levels and strengthen mental health, can help improve sleep patterns and improve attention spans.
Earlier this year, our family support services were successful in securing funds from the North-East Dundee Partnership towards the development of a small garden for nature in an unkempt area at the back of Families House.
We know from our previous experience that adults and children enjoy spending time outdoors, being involved in messy play, in getting to know nature better and in growing things from seed. However, at home, they have limited space and resources to cultivate their own garden. We wanted to create a garden that could be used by groups and families to learn more about nature and reap the benefits of having an outdoor space to enjoy.
It took a lot of hard work to clear the derelict area, including hiring a skip. We asked for donations of materials and plants, which we were lucky to receive. The garden was officially opened on July 10th by the chair of the local regeneration forum. The event was also attended by local families, representatives from Dundee City Council, Abertay Housing Association and other invited guests. It was a great event and attendees were also treated to tastings from the produce grown in the garden and a ‘dry bar’ serving mocktails as part of our Smart Thinking Clear Drinking Project.
The garden is now a great place to spend some time. We have bees, snails and a variety of birds as regular visitors. We also have bugs and critters in our pond. Future plans include seasonal programmes to keep encouraging nature and for families to get involved in growing and developing plants and edibles as the year progresses.
We would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported the development of the garden, including the Dundee Partnership and everyone who donated things for us to use.