Trellis Scotland support a network of over 460 therapeutic gardening projects in Scotland to share skills, good practice and get connected. Thank you to Trellis for sharing their community response during coronavirus and lockdown with Corra around the #SameStormDifferentBoat conversations.
Here’s all we’ve been doing since lockdown to support therapeutic gardening:
- We began the creation of simple ‘how to’ videos with 3 created in March and a further 14 added to our YouTube channel to date. This provided support for vulnerable people to garden at home and help care settings to continue to run gardening activities.
- We started a weekly ‘coffee and chat’ meeting online on 8th April, open to practitioners in our network to share the issues they were experiencing, ideas for maintaining contact with the vulnerable people they might ordinarily support at a gardening project and to understand how we can best support them as an organisation during this period.
- We started a regular blog: The (lockdown) princess and the peas to stay connected with our practitioners and help keep the mood light and nature connection possible even for those shielding.
- We provided regular mini-bulletins to inform our network. It included activity ideas, sources for templates for risk assessments and public notices during lockdown and sources of funding during the pandemic. Much of the content for these bulletins came out of discussions during our coffee and chat meetings with practitioners.
- We created a special ‘stay well and garden’ page on our website with an abundance of information, inspiration and activity ideas all in one place for easy access.
- We got underway to develop training online. With our Summer Seasonal Gardening training cancelled in May we want to be ready to be able to run training online in the Autumn. Plans are also afoot to put procedures in place to run demos and training whilst observing current social distancing and safety guidelines in relation to coronavirus when it is safe to do so.
- We sent activity packages to care homes we should have been working with during this period. The first sent was a ‘grow-along’ wigwam which was received with great appreciation.
We’ve had some lovely feedback from our network about the impact of our support during lockdown. Here’s a lovely article published on the Highland Highlife website and sent to us from one of our network members, Toni, with the message:
“All thanks to the Trellis coffee and chat a couple of weeks ago”
Rachel from Alzheimer Scotland also gave us some feedback:
“I’ve already got some more great ideas from the chat on Wednesday so I’m excited to be able to add more to send out to our community. It’s comforting to know we are all in the same boat! Stay well, and thanks for doing a great job!’
We expected to welcome over 150 delegates this year for our 14th annual event at The Bield at Blackruthven. So many of our delegates work with vulnerable people and the risk that our event could be a super-spreader event was one we were not willing to take. It did mean that delegates missed the chance to learn, share ideas with like-minded people and soak up some inspiration.
We’re hopeful we can find a way to safely hold our 2021 event to endow people with new confidence, skills, ideas and a list full of friendly contacts, all of which will maximise the benefits of gardening for participants. We also had to cancel our Dundee Networking Event in conjunction with Dundee City Council with 60 participants registered to attend.
In the meantime, we are working hard to find solutions to deliver training online as we move forward. We hope that our first online training will be all set to go for the autumn and are currently taking notes of interest for our Autumn Seasonal Gardening Activities Training.
We are grateful to Trellis Scotland for sharing this blog with us. If you would like to share how you or your organisation adapted your services to help communities during coronavirus and lockdown. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.