Celebrating the MindSpace Wellbeing Garden

Celebrating the MindSpace Wellbeing Garden

3 August 2022

The MindSpace Wellbeing Garden officially opened its gate to announce its presence to the public on Saturday July 30th after many years in the making.

Garden designers, project leaders, supporters, MindSpace volunteers and helpers who have worked tirelessly on the vision to create a wellbeing garden for Stamford were on hand to celebrate its official launch and applaud as the Mayor, Cllr David Taylor, untied the hessian ribbon to mark the occasion.

What began as a massive overgrown plot off Uffington Road has been transformed with raised beds, seating areas, and a managed wild retreat with shady fruit trees. Over the four years that it has taken to tidy, build and plant, there have been numerous challenges, from the Covid restrictions that interrupted the work schedule to the current drought.

It’s impact has been felt by many already, from the dedicated volunteers and helpers who weed, plant and, more recently, harvest fruits and veg, to the members who have recently enjoyed drawing the colourful flowers.

MindSpace Trustee Mary Dowglass, who has overseen the garden project, working with a multi-talented steering group, said: “It’s designed so that people can both be active; digging and growing veggies for example, but it’s also designed so that other activities can take place such as our MindSpace Sketching Group.”

The MindSpace Wellbeing Garden is the result of a community effort involving companies who have ‘loaned’ members of staff for certain tasks, to generous donations from town charities such as the Rotary Club and involvement by members of Stamford in Bloom many others. Mary said: “We are grateful to the donors who have given time, equipment and goods to get us to where we are today. And we are thankful for every contribution, however big or small.”

She added: “Although we have been hugely grateful for the help of teams from organisations, the real core of our garden are the volunteers and helpers, some of whom come along regularly each week, others only occasionally. All are welcome and hopefully enjoy the experience and friendship of creating our wellbeing garden environment.”

Cllr David Taylor said: “The reason this garden is here is that getting back to nature and being in nature is fantastic for your mental health. Just after lockdown last year I volunteered as a gardener at Burghley for six months and really came to appreciate the benefit of nature for mental wellbeing. When you are gardening, whether digging or planting seeds, you are totally engrossed with what you’re doing, so I appreciate how beneficial it is.

“There have been lots of organisations, charities, and businesses, including Burghley House gardeners, who have helped here. It’s been a fantastic collaboration,” he concluded.

Chris Young, joint designer of the garden working with long-established professional garden designer Ken Rawson, explained that the garden is divided into an active area and a calm area. “The intention is that if you want to come and garden you can do so, but if you want to simply want to be outside in nature, you can do that too.”

There’s a selection of places to sit, including a natural sanctuary under fruit trees. The plants have been chosen for year-round interest, with summer and autumn colours, and shrubs to give structure in the winter. Chris, former editor of the RHS magazine The Garden, said: “We have got ornamentals, perennials, grasses, vegetables like potatoes and courgettes and ornamental trees we put in earlier in the year. Natural wild flowers are just coming through. And we put in a new hedge against the road to give us privacy.”

Anyone who wishes to find out more about the garden and opportunities to support it or to help in anyway should enquire at our hub 39 Broad Street, Stamford, email info@mindspacestamford.com or call 07563 385273.

You can book your place in a Monday afternoon open session (3-6pm) online at https://mindspacestamford.com/join-in/ You don’t have to be greenfingered – just come along and enjoy this lovely outdoor space.

Thank You to:

Berry Group Apprentices

Burghley Family Foundation

Burghley Garden Team

Cllr John Dawson

Hanson Cement

Hinch Enterprises

Langdyke Countryside Trust

Mole County Stores Stamford

Neil McIvor Pride of Stamford

Morrisons Stamford

Rotary Club of Stamford St Martins

Rutland Scaffolding

Sainsburys Stamford

Stamford Garden Centre

Stamford in Bloom

Steve Allan and family for Wendy

Tom Ellwood

Tom Lamb

Anonymous Donors and Mindspace Volunteers