Lady Ryder Memorial Garden
In June this year, a small committee was put together by Lady Parmoor to see if they could restore the acre of walled garden attached to St Katharine’s in Parmoor – the Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship Headquarters. We are supporting this initiative as part of our Community Outreach Programme.
When we visited the garden recently to see how they’re getting on, we were amazed at how much the garden has transformed over the past few months!
This walled garden is a retreat for people to find peace and renewed energy. It is designed as a rehabilitation programme, encouraging people who have faced disruption in their lives to volunteer in the garden, allowing them to feel the therapeutic benefits that gardening brings and help them deal with the challenges that they face. Volunteers also learn valuable horticultural skills to help them get back on track and give them the chance of a brighter future. The charity has also linked up with the local Aylesbury College to provide official courses for the volunteers, so they can achieve recognised qualifications in horticulture.
Fuelling the project
To fuel this project, we have donated Miracle-Gro compost and plant food, so that the volunteers have the best tools for the job and can grow a truly flourishing garden. These products have certainly been put to good use, as now the garden grows an abundant range of succulent fruits and vegetables. Lady Parmoor remarked: “The crops have grown fantastically in your compost, it really is the best!” A generous hamper of freshly harvested crops grown in the garden was given to us to share at our office, so we can say with confidence that everything tasted as good as it looked!
When we were at the garden, we were lucky enough to meet a group of enthusiastic YMCA employees, who took a break from their busy gardening work to tell us how much the project has helped them. They explained how being in the garden gives them hands-on experience, and the ability to get real qualifications, which they can take with them into the ‘big world’ to help them gain employment. This is exactly why we feel it is so important to invest in community gardening projects like this.
We’re so pleased that the programme has worked out so well, and we’ll be continuing to support it to make sure it keeps on growing!