New disabled access facilities have created a space in Garthdee for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to enjoy the many health and wellbeing benefits of the natural environment.
The RGU Foundation, the philanthropic fundraising arm of Robert Gordon University (RGU), secured £10,000 in funding from the Big Lottery Fund to increase the accessibility of the RGU Garthdee Community Garden, an innovative community health project developed by the university in partnership with Garthdee Field Allotment Association.
In collaboration with a range of statutory services and third sector agencies, the community garden project aims to improve the health and social inclusion of diverse populations.
The donation went towards increasing the accessibility of the allotment by installing an on-site disabled toilet with hand rail and ramp assistance at the garden.
The garden, which is open to all, offers a variety of groups the opportunity to participate in purposeful or meaningful activity outdoors as well as encouraging social interaction.
Liz Hancock, Head of the School of Health Sciences at RGU, explains: “Allotments are known to provide an array of recreational, social and environmental benefits including improvements in physical and mental wellbeing.
“They provide a source of fresh fruit and vegetables to improve diet, supporting an active lifestyle for people of all ages, particularly those who may not like traditional types of exercise, and encourage social inclusion and community engagement.”
Sports and Exercise Science and Occupational Therapy students from RGU work with a wide range of individuals at the allotment, including primary school children, the elderly community, those with physical or learning disabilities and Alzheimer's as well as the Scottish Prison Service.
Eddie Findlay, RGU Foundation Development Officer, said: “The collaborative approach to the community garden is central to reducing the costs to the public purse in terms of dependency on the NHS and other statutory agencies.
“We hope the donation will help to increase participation and use of the facility, which is of value to our students who will develop practical skills, as well as the wider community who will benefit from taking part.”
Release by Anna Duthie
Senior Communications Officer
Press and Media Enquiries