Project aims to turn Auchmuty green

MSP Jenny Gilruth met the group last month.
MSP Jenny Gilruth met the group last month.

A new project is developing green spaces throughout Auchmuty in a bid to improve mental health.

The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) launched the Growing Auchmuty project two months ago, after receiving funding from the Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s ‘Our Place’ programme.

Since then the group has worked with organisations, schools and individuals on different projects.

One is the creation of a community garden in between houses on Bruce Road, which has seen volunteers designing and creating their own space.

The volunteers are still at the early stages, but plan to plant flowers and vegetables, and use some of the space to create a ‘wild garden’.

Robin Paris, senior project co-ordinator, said: “We want to use this to improve people’s lives and give them a sense of pride and achievement.

“It’s good for getting people out and giving them a sense of purpose. It also gives them a place where they feel they belong.”

One of the volunteers said he felt “lucky” the project had started, adding: “It takes my mind off my problems.”

Another added: “At the end of the day it feels like you have achieved something.”

As well as the community garden, SAMH has been working with the Glenrothes Men’s Shed and local primary schools.

Residents throughout the community are being urged by SAMH to visit the community garden and get involved.

The project has been praised by Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth, who lodged a motion last month to the Scottish Parliament to raise awareness of the new project.

“I was delighted to visit the Growing Auchmuty project, it was a real privilege to meet with the volunteers and to find out more about what plans they have for developing the community garden,” she said.

“This project not only encourages younger Auchmuty residents to try their hand at gardening, it also helps to tackle loneliness and isolation which impacts on some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”