Shoana’s story

Shoana is a keen gardener who, after experiencing physical health problems, benefitted from our Chrysalis and Growing Chrysalis services in Dundee.

"Over the last two years I've watched this community garden develop bit by bit under the guidance of the SAMH staff. Two of the staff posts are directly linked to the garden giving all the events, classes, volunteers and visitors support and knowledgeable guidance that we wouldn't have got from a volunteer-led project.

"The community garden was supported by the Co-op and Health and Social Care Partnership but this year we are struggling to find financial support to allow this wonderful project to continue.

"I've been part of the Chrysalis project run by SAMH after a stroke and heart attack with cardiac arrest in 2022 affected my mental health. It allowed me space to get better, be involved in the community and the garden has nurtured me as much as I have tried to nurtured it.

"In the 'Green Minds' classes held in the garden on a Monday afternoon I met new people, had fun learning to build bird boxes, weave willow, press flowers and try a number of different crafts and skills.

"I've watched toddlers and youngsters get such pleasure playing in our boat, mud kitchen and checking out bugs and our frogs in the ponds.

"I've watched volunteers get a new lease of life by helping to develop the various projects like our orchard, polytunnel and vegetable beds which we've planted up to share with the community.

"I've watched my 91-year-old Mum get such joy from the walking group that meet on a Thursday morning. They brave all weathers and the social side is as important to them as the walk.

"I've watched schools and colleges visit and marvelled at how the staff can engage a sometimes difficult audience and encourage them to try to do something they might not have tried before.

"The community garden also gives continuity to those who like me have completed the two-year Chrysalis project. This allows them to keep coming and enjoy the community garden and the friendships they have developed. This group, in particular, I think would suffer the most if the garden was unmanned or lost as we have all grown together and been involved with all aspects of its development from the start. It truly is a special space to us.

"The garden is always developing links with other community groups such as 'The Men's Shed' who helped us with tools as well as building and developing a work space. The 'Broughty Ferry in Bloom' team work closely with us too which has been mutually beneficial. We've also had experts and local businesses visit and help us set up the community pond and bog garden, tea and potting shed as well as giving talks and sharing knowledge.

"Every volunteer brings their own skills and this is shared amongst the group whilst being supported by the staff. I got the chance to start our own plant nursery 'The Duntrune Cocoon' and I hope to play my part in raising funds by selling plants and sharing resources such as plant pots, seeds and plants. We also have gardening magazines and books to share.

"With the hectic pace of life sometimes the magic of this garden is just being able to have a quiet moment in a safe place, sitting in the warmth of the sun surrounded by birdsong, greenery and friendly faces.

"This is too valuable a resource to lose and so we must find a way forward. Can you help in anyway?"

You can find out more about supporting Growing Chrysalis, our therapeutic horticulture service in Dundee, at our JustGiving page.