Opening a fantastic selection of gardens across Scotland to raise money for hundreds of charities
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The Belville Wellbeing Walk - a project by Alison Bunce, QNIS Senior Palliative Care Nurse

We are delighted to share this inspirational story from our core charity, QNIS. We hope that you enjoy reading a first hand account of how funds raised at our garden openings, supported those in a local community.

Scotland’s Gardens Scheme (SGS) has been funding the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) since 1931, and we remain hugely honoured to be supported by this remarkable group of gardeners. The funding received from SGS goes towards supporting community nurses and midwives in their endeavours to address health inequalities in their communities.

Nurses like Alison Bunce, whois a Senior Palliative Care Nurse currently working at Compassionate Inverclyde, which is a social movement aiming to transform attitudes and everyday practices around loneliness, social isolation, death, and bereavement across Inverclyde. The programme is about enabling and nurturing kindness, helpfulness and neighbourliness. It inspires ordinary people to do things for ordinary people by tapping into our desire to be kind, helpful and neighbourly

Contributions from SGS enabled us to partner with C3 Collaborating for Health to support Alison in a project to develop a wellbeing walk within Belville Community Garden. Alison joined Belville community residents in a walk around the local area where they identified factors in the environment that impacted their health in either a positive or negative way.

At the heart of C3’s community engagement strategy is CHESS™ (Community Health Engagement Survey Solutions), a process to engage community members in an investigation about their health in relationship to the built environment. Alison and C3 used CHESS to collect the information from these exploratory community walks on an app. Factors such as access to green space, safe places to walk and exercise, and availability of fresh fruit and vegetables in the Belville area were considered. Results were discussed at a follow-up ‘insight’ meeting and ideas to improve the area were put forward. It was identified that the area around Belville lacked greenspace, making Belville Garden a valuable asset and so the idea of a wellbeing walk in the garden was proposed.

Wellbeing Garden Flyer
Wellbeing Walk Flyer

Alison Bunce

It was felt that a guided wellbeing walk in the garden would benefit the whole community and encourage people to spend time surrounded by nature, breathing in the fresh air and to practise being ‘in the moment’ with stopping points to read signs about improving wellbeing along the way.

For some, the wellbeing walk has been a starting point to re-engage with the local community and a step towards improving mental health, increasing physical activity and engaging in a healthier lifestyle.

We are delighted to have supported Alison with her project and are happy to hear that the wellbeing walk has been well received. We are pleased to be able to share this work with you and demonstrate how, with the support of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, community nurses are supporting people to improve their health and wellbeing with the help of their local environment.

With many thanks to Alison Bunce for leading this wonderful project and for sharing her story.

You can find out more about the work of QNIS here

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