The benefits to mental health of being outdoors and working as a team have been highlighted by a gardening project in Thurso.
The Caithness Join in More (JiM) group has a newly seeded addition to the mental health initiative called Think Health Think Nature (THTN) – a garden project established alongside the fully blooming weekly JiM men’s group’s in Wick and Thurso.
Sharon Dismore from the Thurso Community Development Trust talks with men from the JiM group at the garden project in Thurso.
Dave Snashall, project officer with Listening Ear Caithness, said: “The THTN group has been meeting regularly before the Monday evening JiM meetings at the Stepping Stones Centre in Thurso, where the guys have been currently doing valuable and well-received simple garden work to help keep the gardens and grounds at the centre tidy and weeded.”
The group has benefited greatly from some valuable input and advice from Sharon Dismore from the Thurso Community Development Trust, and talks are underfoot to cement in some long term plans to utilise an unused section of the Caithness Mental Health Support Group garden to build a smaller but sustainable version of the Thurso Grows Garden at Ormlie, which Sharon created from scratch a few years ago.
“This will afford a wide cross section of opportunities for people to Join in More, whether that be in ‘green fingered’ or ‘construction/maintenance’ capacities, or by just assisting with the refreshments. The guys are welcome to come and just enjoy being with the group and some fresh air without any obligation to do anything,” added Dave.
Sharon Dismore from the Thurso Community Development Trust speaks with the men’s group.
The group was recently invited to the Thurso Grows Garden by Sharon, who talked about the multitude of approaches of growing your own produce and the benefits of that during the cost of living crisis. Members found the guided tour and talk from Sharon “most informative and enjoyable” especially as it was conducted in such a social setting. There were freshly cooked-to-order stone baked pizzas from a built in pizza oven and outside kitchen at the site.
There were freshly cooked-to-order stone baked pizzas from a built in pizza oven and outside kitchen at the siteThe group enjoys pizzas at the Thurso Grows Garden.
“Sharon was ably assisted by several of the JiM group regulars who manned the pizza oven to ensure that everyone had the most amazing pizzas and food, so a special thank you to Sharon and the guys.
“We will be looking for people to assist in building the THTN garden, with raised beds and potting benches etc, and a brick/stone pizza oven. We are also looking for any donations of materials, to assist with this operation and for volunteers to help with the smooth running of the project.”
The JiM and THTN groups are open to all Caithness men and are fully inclusive and diverse groups. “The best thing of all is that they are totally free, including the refreshments,” said Dave.
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Thurso Grows garden project.