Our Nature4Health programme aims to improve our participants’ lives. Whilst we may not be able to solve everything, we often hear of and see our participants’ successes, whether this be an improvement in their social life or their health and fitness. However, some participants have even found new careers after attending our groups.
Having recently accepted employment at St. Michael’s garden, Crystal shared her success story with us.
Crystal began her adventure with a few potted indoor plants. Despite the many struggles most of us face when caring for plants, Crystal persevered and taught herself some tips and tricks.
Yet with a growing interest in gardening, and a passion for self-sufficiency and sustainability, Crystal decided to reach out to Myerscough College where she was first introduced to St. Michael in the City. Many other participants attend Myerscough College with Crystal, and St. Michael’s has given them all a space where they can put their new skills into practice.
Impressively, Crystal now manages to work three jobs: each fitting an interest of hers. However, she has just taken on the role of Creative Projects Worker at St. Michael’s to challenge herself. Crystal chooses to tackle everything with positivity, and collaboratively running the weekly sessions has made her feel happier, as well as a sense of achievement.
Crystal describes the garden as a wonderful place full of laughter and stories, where strong relationships are created.
“There really is something magical and compelling about the garden and the kind of people that it attracts.”
Like most of us, the importance of connecting with others is no longer over-looked and is greatly treasured.
“The pandemic has had some sort of effect on everyone, and during lock-down people found ways to keep busy. For some, gardening was a way to handle that stress, to stay present and to find gratitude. People started re-evaluating their lives. The garden has bought so much joy. It is a place to share and laugh, and that is priceless.”
Other than benefitting her health and wellbeing, Crystal has learned new skills, and continues doing so the more she works at St. Michael’s. Other volunteers are now great friends of hers, and they all help one another with various tasks in the garden, from building plant beds to crop maintenance.
“Being around people who share the same goal and ideas, what’s not to love? My mental health comes first, and I already try and do different things to help with that: yoga, meditation, guitar. The garden was just an add on bonus which aided to that; a special haven bang in the middle of the city!”