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Gloucester retirement village celebrates successful gardening project bid

ExtraCare's St Oswald’s Retirement Village in Gloucester is celebrating after securing funding from Dobbie’s Garden Centre to help provide new raised flower beds within the village.

Dobbies, the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, has announced the Helping Your Community Grow project winners, which includes ExtraCare’s project. St Oswalds is one of 21 villages and schemes run by The ExtraCare Charitable Trust that benefit more than 4,000 residents.

Winning projects will receive products and support from their local Dobbies’ store up to the value of £100. The project aims to help make the local landscape greener, to benefit people living in the local area and to help boost wellbeing with green spaces and gardening projects.

St Oswald’s deserving community project was chosen by members of the public to receive support from their local Dobbies’ store, including products, equipment and team support to help create a green space that the whole community can enjoy.

St Oswald’s is home to over 200 residents in 166 homes, and the raised beds will be a welcome addition to the gardening area at the village. The beds will allow those with mobility impairments, dementia, mental health illnesses and other wellbeing challenges to benefit from such a scheme, and hopefully make friends at the same time. Gardening provides a great opportunity to improve mental health and wellbeing but also creates opportunities to bring people together, build connections and reduce social isolation, developing a sense of purpose and improving quality of life. One of the key hopes of the bid is to create a space where residents can carry out gardening with their grandchildren.

Volunteer Organiser Ian Ellis, alongside Village Manager Juliana Rossi, and Dementia and Mental Wellbeing Enabler Helen Ginman, created the bid and are all delighted with the outcome.

Ian comments: “We would like to grow a variety of flowers and we would encourage the residents to take an active role in deciding the layout and the flower type, so they are actively engaged throughout the seasons.”

Juliana adds: “We are delighted to receive the donation from Dobbies Garden Centres, this will make a huge difference to our community project and to our residents and we are looking forward to getting started. Well done to the entire St Oswald’s team!”

Graeme Jenkins, CEO of Dobbies, said: “It has been excellent to see so many projects apply for Helping Your Community Grow. We’re thankful for all those who spent the time to tell us about their green space in need of some extra love and care, and those members of the public who helped us choose the winning project for Gloucester.”