A Kirkby community therapy garden has showcased the work it does during an event to mark the planting of 30 new trees at the site.
Representatives from the Ecotherapy Community Garden based at Towerhill Primary Care Centre welcomed Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside HH John Roberts and local councillor Tony Brennan to an event to celebrate the tree planting – part of the Queen’s Green Canopy Jubilee tree planting project which the Deputy Lieutenant leads.
During the visit the guests heard how the Eco Therapy Gardens CIC was established in 2018 and works within the Kirkby community to improve the health and wellbeing of residents. It aims to tackle social isolation and mental health issues by providing a therapy garden and the combined services of talking and eco therapies.
‘Grow your own’ skills are promoted and the project runs an ongoing heritage programme growing produce and collecting local stories of Knowsley residents’ growing from 1940s to date. Garden volunteers have made a Jubilee woodland trail and are working on a native woodland boarder and a preschool garden play area next.
During the pandemic the group’s volunteer mental health counsellors provided more than 500 hours of counselling to Knowsley residents, as well as offering a men’s health suicide prevention programme and online tips on managing mental health.
Angela Davies from the Ecotherapy Community Garden said: “We are very honoured to have received a visit to the Therapy Garden from Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside HH John Roberts who is the Queen’s Green Canopy Project Lead, as well as local supporters.
“During the visit they saw our Jubilee trees and heard about the work we do. For a small project in its infancy, we are delighted our work is being recognised by such a lovely visit.”
Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods Cllr Shelley Powell added: “The community therapy garden is doing some fantastic work supporting the health and wellbeing of local residents in a supportive, outdoor environment. It is fitting that these latest additions to the garden be recognised at such an important event.”