Leyburn sheltered housing residents take on gardens

From left to right: Gillian Aitken, a volunteer at Leyburn Arts and Community Centre, tends the garden with resident, Brenda Askew.

Residents at a Leyburn sheltered housing scheme have joined forces to look after the surrounding gardens.

And their work to restore the flowering beds is to expand next year with plans to grow their own fruit and vegetables for all to enjoy.

The project started when one Thornborough Hall Gardens resident started looking after a patch of garden opposite her flat – that sparked interest from several other residents who all decided to do the same.

Now this has developed to most of the housing scheme beds and patio pots being cared for.

“For some of the residents they have taken up gardening for the first time,” said Richmondshire District Council supported housing manager, John Turnbull.

“This coming together of a small group who share a common interest in gardening has increased the wellbeing of our residents following a tough few years of not being able to socialise.

“Next year the plan is to branch out into fruit and vegetables to help with the cost of living, and the council has promised to build some raised beds for this purpose.

“We are also looking at plans to roll this initiative out to other sheltered housing schemes.”

He said that friends of residents have also become involved by helping to dig over flower beds, offering advice and by donating flowers, shrubs, and cuttings.

And the district council’s  grounds maintenance team is also helping with the project.