Swan’s Supported Housing Team have been working to bridge the generation gap with a Growing Together gardening project. Charlie, a young resident living at Swan House Foyer in Basildon travelled to Dobsons House in Rayleigh where he joined staff and residents to replant the garden.  

Everyone worked together to prepare the planters whilst getting to know each other and working to their strengths. Some of the older residents are very knowledgeable gardeners and they were keen to share their knowledge and experience with Charlie and the staff. The physical work was done by Charlie, staff and some of the more physically able residents whilst everyone was able to join in planting up the raised beds. 

Tomatoes, French beans and courgettes have been planted and the residents living at Dobson’s House are now going to care for them until harvest time when Charlie has been invited back to join them for a meal cooked with the produce. 

This is an intergenerational project designed to help bring people of all ages together. Gardening has many proven health benefits and is very good for mental health which, given this event took place on the first day of Mental Health Week, was one of the many topics discussed as everyone worked.