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Nicola befriends an older person through gardening


Edinburgh, Scotland

I joined Edinburgh Garden Partners as a volunteer and Betty was the first older person I was matched with. She was a bit shy about having me in the garden at the start, but after about six months of back step hellos and check ins, she invited me in for a wee catch up, and that changed everything!

I joined the Edinburgh Garden Partners because I wanted to learn more about food growing and wanted to feel helpful and connected to my local community. I help older people to maintain their gardens, giving them an outdoor space to enjoy and someone to talk to. I love that it's a role that gets me outside and learning about fruit and veg, growing and nature.

I volunteered with Betty for two - three years and went to visit her every week! At one point my whole family were visiting from Hong Kong and came to meet Betty, and helped me in the garden. During lockdown it's been particularly important for me to be able to get to a secure, safe outside space and see someone other than who I live with, my new garden partner Irene!

Give it a go. You never know what you'll get from it without trying and you'll probably get much more out of it than you expect.