A new Gardening Club for National Allotment Week

Service users at Maypole Grove, in Birmingham, have embraced National Allotment Week by creating their very own Gardening Club.

The latest project at the specialist home came about following the latest Service User Forum. Service users pointed out they have a large garden at their home and wanted to make the most of the space! Five residents, Elaine, Claire, Steven, Kevin, Julian and Helena; began discussing ideas as to what could be done themselves, and where they would need additional help.

Service User Engagement Manager, Sophia Fuertado said: “It was great to see everyone come together and share their opinions – some mentioned they wanted to plant herbs and vegetables, while others wanted to add more personality into the garden using sensory items such as solar lights and garden gnomes. The group have already begun works and are out in the garden twice a week together, making the changes they want to see.

Julian, a member of the gardening club said: “I love gardening, I used to garden all the time and grew Marrow’s and Chili’s. When we have grown some here and they go missing, I think everyone will know it is me!”Just over a year since opening, Maypole Grove has grown from strength to strength and welcomed new residents who have made the home their own. Maypole Grove provides care and support to people living with physical disabilities, mental ill-health and complex dementia. The Gardening Club members all live with different complex needs. By having a say about their home, and being supported to take part in their own passions and interests people can work towards their personal goals.

Maypole’s gardeners are not on their own – they have also welcomed a community gardener Mark, who visits everyone every two weeks, to help with bigger tasks and to provide tips and offer ideas. Mark said: “It’s great to come to a newer home like Maypole Grove and witness how involved service users want to get. It makes it an even better job knowing they are having their own input, and changes aren’t being made without their knowledge.”

Even Steve, Maypole’s chef, has been having his input through the kitchen window: “I’m a keen gardener at home, but don’t have the time here – and I wouldn’t want to take anything away from the group. Instead, I’ve been bringing in cuttings of my flowers for them, and of the vegetables I have been growing. The club are all very excited for the rhubarb to grow so I can cook them up a crumble.”

To find out more about Maypole Grove, or to make a referral, lease email referrals@exemplarhc.com