Birmingham Gardening Group
The Aquarius gardening group has hugely improved the once overgrown and neglected garden at our Bristol Road office by growing flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs, building bark paths, and installing bird boxes in the trees. The group – lead by service volunteer and ex Allotment Manager, Terry – meets every Wednesday morning to renovate the garden and continue on their journey to recovery from alcohol addictions.
The garden now boasts beautiful flower beds, pots, hanging baskets and a fantastic section of wild flowers, as well as fruit, vegetable and herb patches.
Therapeutic gardening benefits physical, mental and emotional well-being. In addition to burning calories, improving fitness, strength, muscle tone and hand-eye co-ordination, stimulating appetite and aiding sleep problems, the combination of fresh air and physical activity helps to oxygenate the bloodstream, lowers the blood pressure and releases endorphins which help alleviate stress.
Through the group, service users grow in confidence and self-worth while friendships blossom, aspirations flourish and new lives bloom. Members of the group reap the benefits of participating in physical yet calming activity in the fresh air, enabling their thoughts of alcohol misuse to turn to compost.
The gardening group provides a rewarding hobby which stimulates and engages service users, giving them the opportunity to focus on a meaningful activity rather than their alcohol addictions and the plethora of problems which often comes with it including financial, employment and relationship issues. Working as a team, service users are able to socialise and have fun with others in similar positions to themselves without relying on alcohol.
Furthermore, gardening involves creativity, problem solving, motivation and responsibility to living organisms, as well as providing service users with skills which will benefit them in their personal life and may even help them into employment. Many participants feel peaceful, spiritual and at one with nature in the garden.
The Aquarius gardening group is deeply valued by service users; many have commented that they thoroughly enjoy being a part of it and it has significantly helped them on their journey to recovery.
If you are interested in joining the gardening group, please contact Jacqui Bull on 07709338243.