Children dig in to help sheltered housing residents

Green fingered youngsters take up gardening challenge


Older residents of Sunnart Street sheltered housing had their gardening SOS answered. And it's all thanks to Craigneuk Tenants and Residents Association, who recruited budding young volunteers from a local holiday club to take up the call to action.

Around 10 children, aged 5-16, attending the local summer play scheme, rallied to help residents with some of the heavier gardening work by digging up vegetables and planting for next year.

Several of the tenants are keen gardeners and grow a variety of vegetables and flowers. The produce they grow is shared with tenants, and the flowers used for colourful hanging baskets. It's a fantastic arrangement, however the residents are struggling to dig up some of the vegetables and plant new flowers in the grounds and have been actively trying to find a solution to this problem.

Meg Stewart, Sheltered Housing Officer at the complex and vice chairperson of the Craigneuk Tenants and Residents Association in Wishaw, explained: "I made an appeal to Christine McGeechan, Chairperson at the Craigneuk Tenants & Residents Association, and Christine happily accepted the challenge and approached the play scheme. Arrangements were made for the children to come to the complex and carry out the work. It was great to see residents helping the younger ones, who took a real interest and pride in their work. I'm hoping it's an arrangement that can continue in the future."

Ten-year-old, Erin Marshall had great fun in the garden. She said: "We helped dig up potatoes, enjoyed planting, picked pea pods and tomatoes. I enjoyed the digging and talking to Margaret (one of the residents) because she told me the best way to plant the flowers. It was good fun and I would be happy to do it again because we got to eat some of the tasty pea pods we picked."

The hard working youngsters attend St Thomas's, Pather; Berryhill, Craigneuk and Bothwell Park High School in Motherwell.

Resident, Margaret O'Neill, said: "I'm a keen gardener and was so pleased to help the young people. I spoke to them about plants, explaining what they were and I showed them how to plant them. I'm really looking forward to seeing the results of the children's labours next year."

Christine McGeechan added: "The young people didn't take a lot of persuading as they like trying new things. It was great to see the younger and older generations mixing so well. The children loved tasting the home grown veg and were able to take some home. They left planning to grow their own vegetables for next year. Hopefully, their green fingered efforts will be rewarded."


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