Gardening project thrives at Nollamara Day Club

21 March 2019

Garden beds crafted by gents at the Stirling Men’s Shed are helping provide a sense of purpose for people attending the City’s Nollamara Day Club.

Since being introduced, the Nollamara Day Club has helped empower its members with meaningful activities such as cooking, crafts and gardening.

Operating on weekdays, the day club caters for about 75 people across six groups and about half of those attending have a dementia diagnosis.

The latest joint project between the day club and the men’s shed came together as a way of delivering opportunities for Nollamara Day Club members to continue enjoying their love of gardening.

Creating the raised garden beds has made gardening much more accessible for members and provided a host of benefits. The garden beds have helped provide a homely environment for members and encouraged them to take a sense of ownership of the project by heading out on shopping tours to buy seedlings and later watering, and pruning their budding crops.

Mayor Mark Irwin recently visited the day club to meet members and for a first-hand look to see how the garden beds could benefit members.

“The garden beds took shape as many of the members had indicated to staff that they found value and purpose in gardening, but accessibility was an issue,” Mayor Irwin said. “That’s where members of the City’s Men’s Shed came in – they put together five nifty garden beds that have provided a productive outlet for day club members ever since.”

The day club now grows a mix of tasty produce for members to enjoy including chilis, spring onions, beetroot and strawberries. The process of growing vegetable and herbs also offers sensory stimulation, which can be important for people living with dementia. The sensory stimulation can trigger discussions and reminiscences from the past.

Along with activities such as gardening, day club sessions feature weekly appearances by some faithful four-legged friends and a monthly visit by youngsters from a local playgroup.

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