Growing friendship and promoting healthy eating in Waterhead Park

The Veg in the Park group has become a real hub for social activity within the community.

Volunteers and local residents continue to flock to Veg in the Park, a community growing hub based in Waterhead Park. 

The group was set up to teach children seed to plate.

However, throughout the week they also have adults of all ages that come together to do a bit of gardening, have a brew and a chat.

The group has become a real hub for social activity within the community.

Promoting healthy eating and boosting the overall well-being of the whole community, the group is pivotal in transforming lives of all ages.

The group is a great way for people to combat loneliness and is a safe space for people to escape from the problems they face in daily life as many of the members suffer from mental and physical health problems. 

They received a grant for promotional leaflets, banners and t-shirts for staff and volunteers to wear. 

The leaflets have been designed to attract more volunteers and newcomers to the park.

Caroline Lawson, who runs the Veg in the Park scheme, said: “Gardening is good for your health, body and mind.

“We have volunteers here of all ages and abilities – at the moment our age range is from two years to 76.

“The group is open to anyone who would like to garden.

“You don’t have to have green fingers, we learn from each other.

“Veg in the Park has helped me in many ways.

“Having disabilities, myself and being out of work for over 12 years, it helps me to focus and takes my mind off the constant pain I have. It has also helped me to reduce the amount of medication I take.”

Andy B, a volunteer, added: “I have suffered with mental health issues and paranoid schizophrenia for over 20 years.

“Veg in the Park gave me something to do, I now have a routine for myself and have also meet some really nice people.

“I enjoy working as a volunteer and Caroline is a very good listener with my problems.”