15 June 2023

Highland Road’s garden has enjoyed a little TLC from local volunteers from Dudley Society of Artists. Terry, who is a regular volunteer offered his services to provide a relaxing and secluded space for residents to hang out in.

The staff and residents of Highland Road have been working on the garden for several months, planting flowers to encourage pollinators, fruit trees and vegetables which they plan to use in their weekly cooking and baking sessions. The garden offers an opportunity for residents to go outside and get some headspace,

Shirley Spicer, Housing Manager for Highland Road said, “We’re very fortunate at our project to have an outdoor space, so it was important for it to be a relaxing and useable space for the residents to enjoy. Spending time in nature has positive effects on our mental health, many of our residents have their own struggles so to have a space for them to take time tending to the garden or just sitting quietly is a real blessing. We’re so grateful to Terry and his friends for their help; especially in this heat! Terry has been a long-time supporter of us, having helped decorate some of our other indoor spaces with murals and inspirational messages. It’s wonderful to have the local community involved.”

Charlotte Nickless, Volunteer Co-ordinator for YMCA Wren’s Nest Navigators visits Highland Road on a weekly basis. She explains, “Wrens Nest Navigators were given the opportunity to work with Highland Road to help develop the gardens for the residents to improve their mental wellbeing and health. I have worked mainly in the vegetable patch and it has been very rewarding to start with a blank canvas and include the residents in the plot to plate aspect of the project. I have loved the challenge of speaking to a resident who doesn’t eat any fruit and veg and finding something that they like to eat, breaking this down into ingredients and growing those ingredients. I’m looking forward to harvesting the crops and cooking some of the meals we’ve planned together.”

Watch our video to see the progress and how it has helped our resident Luke, get ready to move on: