Minsteracres Retreat Centre on the borders of Northumberland and County Durham is urgently looking for help in one of its beautiful gardens.

The Peace Garden was established in the grounds of Minsteracres six years ago as a two-acre space for therapeutic gardening as well as peace, quiet and contemplation.

Twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays it is used by Ross Menzies and Katrina Padmore of local social enterprise Let’s Get Growing. They lead sessions providing outdoor activity for people with physical health problems or recovering from illness, people with mild learning difficulties, mental health problems and those with early stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The nature of the group means they rely on volunteers to help both manage the group and the garden.

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“Because of the mixture of abilities, there are often days where we don’t get much gardening done!” explains Katrina,“ and that’s as it should be. We work at the rate which suits the group, and it’s important that everyone gets the best they can out of their day in the garden.

“We are looking for people to help us. We provide the horticultural expertise and you can either work with clients or focus on gardening as you prefer. People often say it’s a therapy in itself, so we hope you’ll get as much from it as you give!”

If you are interested to know more, or know you would like to apply to join the group, contact volunteer coordinator Jean Haldane at Minsteracres on 01434 673248, or e mail her a jhaldane@minsteracres.org.

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