The overgrown garden areas at Gartnavel Hospital were spruced up by our volunteers last week, after they picked up their paintbrushes and spades to give something back to the local community.
Throughout the pandemic our frontline workers continued to keep customers safe every day, but the pandemic did stop colleagues from making the most of our Community Action Programme (CAP). The scheme gives all of our 4,000 employees a day of company time each year to volunteer and help an organisation or charity of their choice. Last week the Communications Team – 12 staff from across Scotland and the south of England – used their CAP day to help out at the Glasgow facility.
Over the course of the day, the raised flower beds in the Applefield Patient Recovery Garden were sanded down and spruced up with a new coat of paint. Another section of the garden had become overgrown with weeds, so the hoes, spades and forks were brought out, and the area was left de-cluttered and ready for some summer planting.
Fiona Sinclair, Gartnavel’s Voluntary Services Manager, said: “Our raised garden beds had lain unused for much of 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic and were in need of some attention.
“The team arrived fully equipped to help with the maintenance of our growing spaces on the Gartnavel site, used by staff, patients and the wider community for health and exercise benefits.
“It is impossible to put into words the positive impact the SGN volunteers have made on the mental health and wellbeing of patients, staff and the wider community alike. Thanks to them our patients, staff and local people have returned to the growing spaces, motivated by the new look and looking forward to outdoor activity over the coming months.”
Our Internal Communications Manager Janet Lessells explained why it was easy for the team to choose where to spend their CAP day, following the loss of her mother earlier in the year: “It meant a lot to me and my family that our team chose Gartnavel garden for our CAP day.
“The garden held a very special place in my mum’s heart, and she loved volunteering there. Even in the latter stages of her illness, she kept going there every week for as long as she could. I’ve no doubt that the team there, and the fact it’s such a special place, really helped her deal with what she was going through.
The following day, one of Gartnavel’s patients visited the garden area and was delighted to see what had been done: “Being able to access the garden beds for growing things helps me manage my anxiety and lifts my mood. I didn’t know the gardens were being worked on and it was a lovely surprise when I came in today to see the raised beds looking as good as they now do. It really makes me feel better, and to know people care enough to keep the growing beds looking good for us means a lot."