New generation of budding gardeners blossom with intergenerational project

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A YOUNG generation of green-fingered gardeners have joined forces with a North Lanarkshire housing provider to celebrate its golden anniversary.

Customers at Campsie Gardens in Cumbernauld have teamed up with 125 pupils and teachers from neighbouring St Mary’s Primary School for a garden project to celebrate Bield’s 50th anniversary.

The project will see a 50-shaped flowerbed created in the development’s grounds to mark the milestone birthday, filled with sunflowers which have been kindly donated by The Royal Horticultural Society [RHS].

A sunflower competition is currently underway with pupils visiting the gardens in their year groups to plant the seeds in containers which have been made from recycled magazines collected by Campsie Gardens’ customers. A prize will be award to the individual with the highest sunflower.

Gardening is a hugely beneficial way to keep older individuals mobile and active, whilst doing something enjoyable in the fresh air. 

Margaret McCallum, Development Manager at Bield’s Campsie Gardens, said: “When we were thinking of ways to celebrate our 50th anniversary, we realised all of our customers have one thing in common that they adore: gardening.

“We reached out to the RHS which has fantastic opportunities for community groups to apply for donations, which enabled us to get the local primary school involved – which is something we always wanted to do due to the existing relationship the school has with the development.

“Our customers love talking to the kids and likewise the pupils are fascinated by some of the stories they have to share. The recent visits have been made even more special after so many months of limited interaction.

“We expect some friendly competition between the pupils and our customers, it will be an exciting day when we find out who came out on top!”

Before the pandemic, pupils from St Mary’s would regularly visit the development to spend time with the older customers, and over the last few months have been sending in letters and pictures.

The 50th garden project is expected to complete this month, with the winner of the sunflower competition announced in August when the schools return.

Paula Brazill, Head Teacher at St Mary’s Primary School, said: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege for our school to have developed an immensely rewarding partnership with Bield over the last few years.

“Our pupils love visiting and the joy on the resident’s faces gives them such delight. Inter-generational working allows us to develop our pupils as confident individuals, effective contributors, responsible citizens and successful learners.

“We have shared digital skills, stories, poems, songs and shows, and all of our pupils have been involved.

“This year we are now supporting the garden development which marks their 50th birthday. Our school community and the wider community of Cumbernauld has been enriched by this partnership which I hope will continue to grow in the future.”

Campsie Gardens is a Retirement Housing with Meals development located in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, offering offers spacious properties ideal for people aged 60 and over who wish to retain their independence but want to leave the worries of repairs to someone else.

To find out more about us and our developments, visit https://www.bield.co.uk/housing-and-other-services or follow on Facebook @bieldhousingandcare and Twitter @BieldScotland.