‘*An inspiring vision of the power of green spaces and community*’, commented Colin Beattie MSP this week as he joined staff and volunteers at the Cyrenians Midlothian Community Gardens.
The East-of-Scotland based homelessness charity has been supporting people and communities for over 50 years, developing sustainable solutions to the causes and consequences of homelessness.
Poor mental health can make it harder to cope with housing problems, while being homeless or having problems in your home can make your mental health worse. To tackle this issue, the Midlothian Community Gardens provide a therapeutic greenspace for volunteers, patients from the hospital, and the wider public.
One of many such community garden projects across Scotland, Cyrenians works in partnership with NHS Lothian, for whom green spaces play a vital role in improving national health and wellbeing. Overwhelming evidence suggests they not only aid recovery, decreasing time spent in hospital, but also engender good physical and mental health, before problems can occur.
Colin Beattie comment: “It was fantastic visiting the Midlothian Community Gardens. It’s brilliant to see green areas benefitting not just the environment, but also people’s mental and physical health. Very much highlighting the importance of installing green spaces.”
Cyrenians’ Lucy Holroyd, NHS Community Gardens Manager, said, “We were delighted that our local MSP could meet with staff and volunteers to show his support and see the benefit this space provides. Offering a space to learn, socialise, and grow and eat local food, our community gardens are welcoming and inclusive spaces where strong communities and connections can be fostered – communities to best serve those at risk, or with prior experience, of homelessness”.
To find out more about the Cyrenians Community Gardens, please visit: https://cyrenians.scot/community-and-food/community-gardens/